SMARTPHONE DEVELOPER Google has shown off Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
After Google and Samsung rescheduled the launch event for the Galaxy Nexus, previously widely tipped to be called the Nexus Prime, and Android 4.0, the duo took the wraps off what is looking like a boatload of new features in the headline Android handset.
The Galaxy Nexus handset has a 4.65in 'contour display', meaning it has a gentle curve, and a dual core 1.2GHz processor. There's LTE or HSPA+ connectivity and the Galaxy Nexus is the first device to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Google's launch was more about Android 4.0 than the handset, after all there are many high-end Android handsets that can give Apple's Iphone 4S a run for its money, and Google did manage to pack in the features. In a breathless two minute video, the firm showed off features such as facial recognition to unlock phones, the ability to share data through near field communications (NFC), updated notifications, improved multitasking and tighter integration with Google+ and Hangouts. Interestingly there was no direct mention of an improved voice recognition system to rival Apple's Siri.
Samsung's Galaxy Nexus smartphone will not be the only device running Android 4.0, with Google saying that the Nexus S will also receive an update. Older devices might have to wait for third party Android distributions such as Cyanogenmod before they get a taste of Android 4.0.
Since Google has said that Android 4.0 will serve both smartphones and tablets, it was no surprise to hear that the firm has optimised the operating system for high definition (HD) displays. The company said, "We created a new font that's optimised for HD displays and eliminated all hardware buttons in favor of adaptable software buttons. We also dramatically improved the keyboard, made notifications more interactive and created resizeable widgets". The firm also touted a "significantly faster" web browser and optimisations for Gmail and Google Calendar applications.
Google said that the Galaxy Nexus will be available pretty much everywhere from November, but gave no word on pricing or which carriers would subsidise the device. The Galaxy Nexus might also be the last headline device that Samsung and Google collaborate on, if Google's deal to buy Motorola Mobility gets the green light. µ
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