Google, the California based search engine giant, really hit it big with its creation of the Android OS. Just like any operating system Android needs to be upgraded and improved on a regular basis. The Newest version of Android has been dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich and comes with some sweet new updates. Some of the all-around updates you can look for are visual updates, improved camera, voice typing, improved contacts and voicemail, face unlock, Android beam, and a data usage graph.With the number of devices that use the Android platform it’s no surprise that Google wants to provide the highest quality product, especially when your competitors are Apple and the newly emerging Microsoft.
Why Ice Cream Sandwich? Since the beginning Google has named their Operating systems after desert items in alphabetical order including: Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, and the tablet OS Honeycomb. Leave it to Google to make even the simplest of things like an OS name fun.
So what is the big deal with Ice Cream Sandwich? Ice Cream Sandwich is much different from its predecessors, blending parts of Gingerbread and Honeycomb to be one OS for both smartphones and tablets. Users of Android operating systems have had a problem with something called fragmentation in the past. Fragmentation is a situation where software that is written for one Version of Android does not look very good or work as well on a device that is running a different version of the OS.
One of Android’s greatest strengths is one of its biggest weaknesses in this respect. The Android OS is carried by more smartphones and tablets than any other OS which can lead to problems. With a wide range of companies developing both unique hardware and software it can be hard for IT developers to make apps that work on all phones and for hardware developers to make devices that can easily be updated to newer versions of operating systems. Ice Cream Sandwich is expected to abolish these problems as well as set some standards that that make updating and IT development a little easier.
The first piece of hardware being released that runs Ice Cream Sandwich is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Most of the forthcoming Android devices will run Ice Cream Sandwich; however a few smartphones and tablets will still be running older versions of Android. To make sure that this new OS is everything that it is made out to be Android is making sure that phone testers run the OS on their handset to ensure that there are no complications with the manufacturer’s software. Manufacturer’s software that is added onto the phone is called a skin.
While the Galaxy Nexus does not have skins other manufacturers like HTC, Motorola, and even other Samsung devices do. These will all need to be tested with the OS before they are able to be released to the general public. Depending on the results some of these devices may be released with older versions of the Android OS. The good news is some older devices may still be eligible for the Ice Cream Sandwich update.