The folks at Android Police have taken the wrapper off Google's Ice Cream Sandwich.
The tech news site yesterday revealed several new details and a couple of screenshots of the upcoming edition of Android.
Showing Ice Cream Sandwich running on a Nexus S, the screenshots seen here are a bit dark but do point to changes in the user interface. As noted by Android Police, blue seems to be the theme color of the new OS, while the notification bar has gone through a major revamp.
Other screenshots published by tech site RootzWiki, as seen here, also show several enhancements to the UI, including a new app launcher, app drawer, and possibly some type of tray to hold multiple apps.
Insisting that its intel is from a reliable source and more than just rumor, Android Police disclosed other details about Ice Cream Sandwich beyond what can be discerned from the images: The camera will now offer a panorama mode. Gmail has been redesigned to mesh with the new operating system. Most of the changes seem to be in the UI itself, so smartphones and tablets older than a year should still be able to run the new OS.
Rumor: Samsung Nexus Prime to be first Ice Cream Sandwich phone
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Ice Cream Sandwich First Take
The Nexus S will receive Ice Cream Sandwich via an update, but the Nexus Prime will be the first phone to actually get the new version.
Also citing the reliability of its source, RootzWiki added a couple of other tidbits. Ice Cream Sandwich will come with Google Shopper so that NFC-equipped devices can tap into mobile payments. And the Google search bar will be embedded on the top, just like in Honeycomb.
Google is said to be rushing to push Ice Cream Sandwich out the door before Apple debuts its next iPhone as it doesn't want Android customers coming off contract "drooling over the iPhone 5," according to Boy Genius Report. Reports say the new Android OS and the first Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones are slated to reach consumers in October.
Ice Cream Sandwich will be Google's first attempt to create a single unifed mobile OS that can run on both smartphones and tablets with different features and sizes.