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So What is the Android 'Ice Cream Sandwich' Everyone's Talking About

Hint: It's not a summertime treat.

I'm sure you've seen this tasty little guy at least once while reading the newspaper, web surfing or watching the news.  You may even know that's the iconic image of Android's "ice-cream sandwich." But just what does this mean?

Yesterday, Google announced its 4.0 next generation operating system and Samsung, at the same event, announced the first phone that would be able to work with the new Android  4.0 operating system.

The Android Ice Cream Sandwich is just another name for Android's 4.0 operating system.

Gizmodo succinctly accounts for all food-themed nomenclature associated with the Android platform:

Ice Cream Sandwich continues Google's tradition of alphabetical dessert naming. Froyo begat Gingerbread, Gingerbread begat Honeycomb, and together, Gingerbread and Honeycomb begat Ice Cream Sandwich. If you bought a high-end phone recently you will almost certainly be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, and upcoming high-end devices will have it preloaded.

Froyo was Android's 2.2 operating system in May 2010. In late 2010, Android released Gingerbread, which was Android's 2.3. And Honeycomb was released in May 2011 as Android 3.0.

According to a Google's Android developers blog, the Ice Cream Sandwich includes the best of previous operating systems with its own twist:

Android 4.0 builds on the things people love most about Android — efficient multitasking, rich notifications, customizable home screens, resizable widgets, and deep interactivity — and adds powerful new ways of communicating and sharing. It includes many great features for users, including social and sharing integration, network data usage control, innovative connectivity and camera options, and an updated set of standard apps.

Tech Radar reviews the systems improvements:

Minor improvements include better copy and paste, data logging and warnings and, at last, the opportunity to easily grab screenshots by holding down the power and the volume buttons.

The new OS is designed to bring common actions to the fore, with better animations and an entirely new typeface [...].

[...]

Among the first new features championed by Google at the Hong Kong media event was a brand new typeface for Android in the shape of the easy-to-read "Roboto."

Gizmodo reports that it won't use any hardware buttons and has improved capability for multitasking, among other features.

The new operating system will work with the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus as well as other Android devices. Tech Radar continues:

Director of Android operating system User Experience Matias Duarte told Engadget that Google is. "Currently in the process for releasing Ice Cream Sandwich for Nexus S. Theoretically it should work for any 2.3 device."

Motorola confirmed to TechRadar that the Motorola Razr will launch in the UK with Android 2.3, but that there will be an update to 4.0in 2012.

Watch Google's representation of Android 4.0 in action on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus:

One last thing…
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