An Ice Cream Sandwich would make me happier than an Apple

The Brunei Times/ANN Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011

As I was playing with the iPhone 4S one evening (I’d rather not say whose), I quickly put Siri through a series of tests, but sadly, I was not as impressed as what was demo-ed by Siri users in the States.

After a good 30 minutes of running Siri through every silly thing I could think of, majority of the answers led to Siri prompting me to search the Web.

I was getting nowhere, which led me to tinker with the 4S’s camera.

The camera was decent, the shutter was definitely faster than the previous models, but quality wise, I wasn’t blown away after comparing it to the Galaxy S II, Sensation or even, my own Atrix.

I also went through the iPhone 4S with a series of speed tests, opening numerous websites on both the 4S and my Atrix’s browser using the same connection at the same time.

You’ll probably think I’m lying but my phone (released very early this year) was beating the 4S on almost every website.

After reading many readers’ feedback, it still doesn’t make sense to me why one would buy the 4S if they already had the iPhone 4.

That’s the argument I’ve been presenting eversince the 4S was launched.

Don’t get me wrong, I used a number of “new” features like iCloud, iOS5, and so on, and thought to myself again, for $948 ( maybe I could actually…heck no.

With respect to the late Steve Jobs (and a classy move I might add), Google had delayed the launching of its hero phone, the Galaxy Nexus, which it worked with Samsung, but we’ll get in-depth with that next week.

This new handset is equipped with Google’s next generation Android, Ice Cream Sandwich.

There’s no need to tell you that it has real multi-tasking, full Flash support, cloud support, “PC Free”, and so on, because that’s what Android users have been enjoying since almost two years ago.

On the other hand, I’ll tell you that the target of this latest Android version 4.0 is to unify the operating system’s handset and tablets.

Google takes the best features from both Gingerbread (phone) and Honeycomb (tablet), refines them, and adds a couple of interesting new toys.

Also below, you’ll get to see what you’ll be able to experience if you get your hands on an Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) only.

A very powerful camera:

Although the Galaxy Nexus, currently the only device with ICS equipped, has only a 5 megapixel camera, its camera has a zero shutter lag feature. You could keep tapping on that shutter button and it’ll constantly snap away.

What more, with 1080p recording, you can still take stills whilst the video is being recorded.

Besides that, some basic features such as panoramic camera, and photo editing have been implemented into the camera app.

If it works as well as it looks, users can probably cut down on third-party photo editing tools.

Google has been taking advantage of NFC (Near Fields Communication) for its Google Wallet feature and it’s something the Japanese have been using for a while now. They tap their mobile devices on subway gentry’s or when boarding a bus, paying for meals, anything to do with payment, you do it through your phone.

NFC allows this to happen and Google had it in since its previous Google phone, the Nexus S.

Android Beam uses this technology so when two NFC enabled phones come together, you can ‘beam’ apps, contacts, websites, music, videos, links, and so on, to the other phone.

Furthermore, Android Beam isn’t an app, it’s a functionality, you don’t open it up if you want to beam me something. You just put my phone against yours.

Nokia’s dead-end N9 (running MeeGo) has an even more advanced NFC feature where you tap earphones or headsets and other accessories to it, and it just links up.

Whether ICS has something of that sort, is still unknown.

There are times when your phone runs an app that you don’t really need/want. With the new data usage tracker, you can allocate how much data can be used for a particular app or for your whole month. It also shows you more detailed readings like how much data you’ve used on Wi-Fi or on your 3G network.

Ultimately, this give you more control of what’s using your 3G, and if you’d like, you can permanently stop the app from running, leading you to a higher battery life / lower (prepaid) bill.

This isn’t Siri, sure, but by the way, some jokers made a version of Siri called Iris (that’s Siri spelled backwards) that offers almost the same function but was created only in eight hours.

Anyway, that’s besides the point. Android 4.0 or ICS has a more advanced voice input feature that types as you speak.

You can do it in any language you want. this also gives you the ability to avoid those lost in translation moments when travelling abroad.

I can already imagine the looks I will get when I ask a non-English speaking person to talk into my phone so the words get translated.

My Motorola has a fingerprint reader, where you swipe your pre-installed finger across the sensor and it unlocks the phone.

It’s a novelty, I stopped using it after three days.

Although the concept of having Face Unlock is cool, where you just put the phone up towards your face and the camera reads the facial shape leading you to an unlocked phone, I remain a little skeptical. the demo during ICS’s launch failed, but online demo’s show that the feature works extremely well. Well, if your face fails, you can always use a PIN to unlock.

Whether or not this is just a novelty, or will work well in real life situations, only time will tell.

Widgets is something exclusive to Android devices, and it’s something really nice to have. It gives your phone that customised feel so that you don’t feel like you’re holding the same thing as everyone else.

With ICS, Google lets you re-size your widgets, bringing another dimension to an already highly customiseable OS.

ICS gives you a new user interface, a font optimised for the OS, a new multi-tasking feel/look, a more feature-equipped lock screen like you’ve seen with HTC’s Sense 3.0, a smarter keyboard, and new widgets, just to name a few.