WITH THE LAUNCH of the Iphone 4S, the Motorola Razr, and even Nokia Lumia 800 devices hogging the headlines, Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) update has been somewhat left out in the cold.
That's a shame, as it's one of the most notable updates to the legal profession's favourite operating system (OS) that's full of tasty treats for smartphone addicts.
The INQUIRER has picked 10 of the most splendiferous features we like in the update that will help ramp up future Android devices, and no doubt other smartphones as well, in the coming months.
10. Face detection for unlocking the phone
Google continues its quest to make devices easier to use by introducing facial recognition in ICS that lets handset owners unlock their device without having to input a PIN.
The system, dubbed Face Unlock, simply requires users to hold the device in front of their face to unlock it. If someone else tries to unlock the handset, they will be shown a message saying that their face is not recognised.
From demonstrations seen so far, Face Unlock looks rather swish and unlocks devices pretty much instantly, and it certainly represents a far higher level of security than any other method on the market.
However, some teething problems have been spotted. The system is unable to recognise faces in low lighting and reports are also emerging that a photo might be able to bypass the security. We expect Google to iron out these problems before the launch, though.
9. Improved keyboard and spell-checking
Typing on a smartphone touchscreen can be frustrating, so enhancements to the Android keyboard that promise improved error correction and faster text input are definitely welcome.
Furthermore, Google has added a spell-checking feature that provides a series of suggestions to any mistyped words, ideal for ensuring that you don't send a load of nonsense, or worse, something inappropriate when typing on the fly.
8. Unified interface for tablets and smartphones
One of the key attractions of ICS is that it works on both Android smartphones and tablets. This will give firms selling tablets and smartphones running the OS a much better chance of tempting buyers to get both devices, as they can promise a unified experience across both types of devices.
It will also be a great boon for developers, who will no longer have to create tablet and smartphone versions of their apps.
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