Google’s Android operating system is perhaps one of the greatest things that has ever happened in the world of mobile technology. The biggest problem with Android is that there is so much fragmentation within its ecosystem. There are hundreds of different devices that all run Android but some have the latest version and others do not. At their annual I/O conference, Google announced that they have developed a new version of Android, one that will unify all Android devices, and one that will ensure that going forward, no device will be let behind. The new version of Android will be called Ice Cream Sandwich.
Ice cream for everyone
Google has come under fire from many different people over the last couple of years when it comes to the various different versions of Android floating about, but it is not really Google’s fault that different handsets run different versions of its operating system. Part of the problem has been the major cell phone carriers, and cell phone makers that have not wanted to update devices so that they could sell new ones. Well all that is about to change.
Google announced at the 2011 I/O conference that for the first time in the history of the Android operating system that carriers have united and will continue to support devices for at least 18 months after their original release date. The other great news is that all new devices (both smartphones and tablets) will all have the same software installed on them. Ice Cream Sandwich will be taking the best of both worlds from the two newest versions of the Android software, Gingerbread, and Honeycomb.
Gingerbread is the latest version to be on smartphones, and Honeycomb is the latest version on Android powered tablets. Google has completely re-designed the operating system and the new user interface will look a lot more like Honeycomb than previous versions that have been found on smartphones. Not only will all new devices have this software from the get go, they will also all be updated at the same time so that nobody gets left out.
All new features
There will be a host of new features included in the new Ice Cream software. Google has reported that device efficiency will be greatly increased, which means that users can expect faster performing phones which will also have better battery life.
The newest features in terms of functionality will include being able to transfer pictures from your digital camera wirelessly to Android based tablets, being able to wirelessly use Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers, which will make playing games much easier. The update will also include Google’s new movie streaming service which will let you rent thousands of movies from the improved Android Marketplace, a new book reading app to rival both the Kindle and Nook e -readers, a new video editing app that will rival Apple’s iMovie, a faster web browser that will take on Microsoft new and improved mobile IE-9, and of course Google’s new cloud based music player, Google Music.
The mobile future looks bright
There is no doubt that Google is launching an all out attack on all of its rival operating systems. Google look to have taken all of the best features from Windows Phone 7, and iOS and have sandwiched them into the new and much improved Android Ice Cream Sandwich. With there being 400,000 Android handsets being activated everyday already, Google is positioning themselves into a very strong position. Both Apple and Microsoft had better start planning to be left behind the monster that is Android.
Engadget, Google announces Android 3.1, by Donald Melanson