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What's New in Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich

Android's latest version, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), has been out just over a month now. Since this version will be available on mobile phones as well as tablets, the market has seen a lot of great devices that are ready to take advantage of the new features that are available in 4.0. Many of these updates are simply upgrades to some of the already existing features in the operating system. This article talks about what these new features are all about.
New Typeface
The old font, "Droid Sans" is out and a new font, "Roboto" is in. Roboto is a typeface designed for the small, high-resolution screens that mobile phone and tablet users have and brings a slick, updated feel to the interface.
In ICS, the dictionary and spell-checking have been updated for better error correction and word suggestion. They have tried to improve the identification of double-typed characters, missing spaces and skipped letters. Word suggestion will now only show three words at a time in the suggestion strip. Spell-checker is probably the best improvement in this group since it will now underline misspelled words and suggest replacement words. You can also add words to the dictionary if it is not recognized.
Taking screenshots is often an important feature for some users and now you do not need to tamper with your Android device or install third-party apps in order to take them. You can now take a screenshot by holding down the volume down key and the power button. This will capture the screen and put it in your photos.
Voice Commands
Android 4.0 now has the capability to receive voice commands. You can use the talk-to-text feature to give your phone commands or dictate text messages.

Updated Camera
While previous versions of Android's camera were lacking, there have been some great improvements with 4.0 that were gained with some help from Samsung. The camera was also the area where the most upgrades are happening. ICS devices will now have 1080p video, the shutter lag has been removed, easier photo and video sharing, tap-to-focus, face detection, photo filters, and a photo-stitching panorama mode that allows you to move the camera to take one continuous picture.
Many of these features have been long-awaited by Android fans. There is even various photo editing tools to clean up your pictures and easier ways to share with Google+, text message, Bluetooth, Email and Picasa.
Better Browser
The standard browser is the new Chrome mobile Web browser that syncs bookmarks with other versions of Chrome that you have on your desktop or laptop as well as other mobile/tablet devices. The browser can now save pages for offline reading which is great when you are on the road and unsure of your signal availability. Chrome mobile has been updated greatly for speed and now has the capability to open up to 16 tabs for your multi-tasking pleasure.
Android Bump
Sharing information with other Android devices has become a lot easier with a secure Near Field Communication (NFC) app called Android Bump. Based on the NDEF Push technology, this application will allow two Android devices to share websites, maps, contacts, applications and play games together.
Copy and Paste
Copy and paste functionality got a re-vamp and is much easier to use. You can now move around whole blocks of text.
This update only shows how committed Google is to making Android the top mobile operating system. As you can see, there are many great new features in Ice Cream Sandwich that make it a top contender in the mobile and tablet market. This also shows that we can expect many more great new things from Android in the future.
Michael Dorf teaches at LearnComputer (learncomputer.com), which offers instructor-led local, online and onsite Android training for companies and public. Our flagship Android Bootcamp course will get you writing Android apps in just FOUR days! There is simply no better way to learn Android!

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