It's only a matter of weeks before the whole world gets to experience the latest or the 4.0 version of the Android operating system, codenamed "Ice Cream Sandwich".
While Google hasn't really given an extensive preview of Android 4.0, the company - via various conferences in the past few months - has nonetheless given the media a glimpse into what's next for their mobile OS.
Thus far, here are a few things that we know about Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich:
1. Ice Cream Sandwich will definitely come with a Face Recognition Software that app developers can use in a number of ways, like for identification and facial features manipulation in games, in photo-editing and even while using the camera.
2. Ice Cream Sandwich aims to unify all platforms of Android into one, which should eliminate fragmentation. Simply put, Android fragmentation means that the same application has to be redeveloped or reconstructed to work with various devices and versions of the operating system, which is simply time consuming, laborious and not too cost-friendly. Google will fix this by implementing a single API framework to make every app scalable on a variety of devices.
3. USB support is perhaps the best improvement that Android 4.0 brings -- especially for tablets. You'll be able to easily plug in any gadget that uses USB as a jack like PS3 controllers, mice and keyboards.
4. As yet, we know little about the UI changes or improvements that we'll see on Android Ice Cream Sandwich. But based on leaked photos of a phone supposedly running the said OS, blue will replace green as the 'staple' hue on the drop-down status or notifications bar and in other parts of the UI. Also, there are some reports stating that Android 4.0 will come with a redesigned, customizable action bar.
5. Aside from the Face Recognition Software, users will also get a Virtual Camera Operator. This feature allows the camera to recognize a speaker and focus on his or her face. Let's say three persons are in front of the camera, Virtual Camera Operator can determine who among the three is speaking and automatically zooms in on the right person. Obviously, this feature should prove useful in video conferences.
That's it for now. Stay tuned for updates -- they should come in rapid succession pretty soon.