Android Ice Cream Sandwich Experience
Android Jelly Bean is upon us. We wish to bid farewell to one of the finest Android versions of all time in Google Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Each new Android version brings a flurry of refreshing tweaks and overhauls to the interface. Besides these, new apps and improvements to features and performance also complement a new makeup. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has clearly offered one of the best Android experiences so far. However, the fluidity and features of the OS vary from one mobile device to another. Behold, as we review the varying Android Ice Cream Sandwich experience on some of the top dogs in the smartphones market today.
LG Optimus G
LG has come leaps and bounds from what used to be a relatively inferior mobile manufacturer. It is seriously annoying to see manufacturers keep the Google Android from performing at full capacity by forcefully pairing it with their own custom OS. Thankfully, LG Optimus G has not fallen victim to any such torture.
Courtesy of this freedom, Android Ice Cream Sandwich justifies the presence of a whopping Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset by helping it fire at all cylinders. Bear in mind that LG is the first to feature the S4 Pro. This, in turn, translates into excellent stability of software.
The number of customization options with Android is quite interesting. We have previously seen how the lockscreen on previous LG Optimus smartphones brings up a dew drop effect. Android 4.0 brings the same 3D effects to the latest entry in LG Optimus lineup. The usability features do not finish here; pinch-zoom functionality to zoom into various apps is also a nice one. Ofcourse, this means that you have the freedom to pinch-zoom out to hide those unwanted apps that may have started to hinder the view of your fancy wallpaper.
We have always been a fan of the Q Slide functionality by LG and are even happier to notice how well the Android 4.0 handles it with its stable nature. Just so that you know what it exactly is, the Q Slide allows two apps to function simultaneously whereby the non-active app becomes transparent in the background while the active one shows in true colour. This goes on to show how well Android 4.0 fairs in regards to multitasking on the LG Optimus G.
One For The Multimedia Lovers
For those multimedia lovers out there, you would be pleased to know that Dual Screen Dual Play on the LG Optimus G allows screen extension to the extent that users can now watch different things on two screens at a time. Android 4.0 kicks in to complement the awesomely powered S4 Pro chipset to determine what shows on which screen. Being able to zoom in to the video speaks even more highly of the Android 4.0. All in all, Android 4.0 infuses a series of exciting features in LG Optimus G and cooks it the Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) way.
SONY Xperia TX
SONY Xperia TX has won over many people with its unique looks but question is, does it squeeze the Android Ice Cream Sandwich goodness with all its might? Despite the issues with Android OS being interrupted in its operations, we are quite pleased by the unique fashion in which Android Ice Cream Sandwich sits well with Xperia TX.
The Right Mix
Interestingly, the Android Ice Cream Sandwich experience on this particular device from SONY functions quite differently from how it appears on LG, HTC and Samsung. SONY’s very own TimeScape skin complements Android 4.0 in the operations, but that doesn’t mean that the Android experience is compromised in any way. Infact, the experience remains smooth as ever. Stability remains top notch on the phone.
Users, as always, have the access to five separate homescreens and the ability to freely drag and drop widgets across the homescreen. Swiping left and right unlocks the phone and brings up the camera, respectively. The three capacitive buttons that used to be physical keys are now well managed on screen, thanks to Android 4.0 again. It may require getting used to for those already accustomed to the old Xperia smartphones but we feel it is a sensible move by SONY.
We do acknowledge the fact that Android falls short of being as good as the iOS in regards to multitasking but Android Ice Cream Sandwich seems to fair magnificently well. Android 4.0 also keeps Dual core 1.5 GHz processor run in full flow and this allows all tasks, ranging from the zippy web browser to the excellent gaming experience to run like a charm. In all fairness, ICS plays out well on SONY Xperia TX.
HTC One X
We have always been a huge fan of the HTC Sense UI as we believe it’s that one user interface that truly does justice to Android. HTC Sense 4.0 on the HTC One X is no exception. There is absolutely no denying that a combination of Sense and Android Ice Cream Sandwich means that you are getting the best of Google and HTC. Both have impressed not only in regards to visual experience but functional experience also gets a boost.
HTC’s lockscreen is only second best to that of the iPhone. That is an achievement in its own respect as many other vendors have taken a leaf out of HTC’s books to put similar amenities on offer. HTC has certainly been setting standards in respect of such nice visual experience. Customization options are endless as a total of seven homescreen panes can be customized as one pleases while the preloaded widgets along with a total of eight lockscreens can be chosen from. The entire system operates so smoothly that going from one homescreen to another takes no time. Moreover, opening an app never proves a heavy task to accomplish either.
Retains Some Honeycomb Functionality
Android Ice Cream Sandwich adopts the same method of allowing for the addition and removal of widgets as Honeycomb’s-pressing and holding on the homescreen gets the job done. However, Ice Cream Sandwich takes a different course than vanilla Android in regards to editing homescreen (for the better, we believe). This time around, pressing and holding a widget and then dragging it across the homescreen brings a couple of options whereby the user may edit or remove the widget.
The app switching interface displays running apps in a rather unique way-turned to the side. Same rules of swiping and removing apply but it is a pity that merely three of the apps fit the frame at one time. An ICS update could have utilized screen space but unfortunately, that never really came to pass. However, what the Ice Cream Sandwich really does well is that it allows speedier access to Settings via the notifications bar. Plus, the notifications appear in a larger font so as to make sure you do not miss a thing.
The latest version of Ice Cream Sandwich browser offers a lag-free web browsing experience and gives the HD display and a powerful processor its true meaning. In short, Ice Cream Sandwich is pretty well utilized on the HTC One X, making the phone slicker and more convenient to operate while not compromising its HTC identity at the same instance.
Samsung Galaxy S3
Android Ice Cream Sandwich experience does not get any bigger and better after you have experienced it on the Samsung Galaxy S3. Not many people have been satisfied with the looks of this particular handset crafted by the Koreans but one thing is for sure, this one makes best use of Android Ice Cream Sandwich to date. The incorporation of the latest variant of Android Ice Cream Sandwich means that SGS3 is the cleanest looking Android on the planet.
It is pleasant to see the entire interface change for the better with Android ICS in the mould. Sure, there is TouchWiz assisting in the operations but it complements the OS rather than interfere with it. The new lockscreen brings up water ripples upon a single swipe, coupled with related sound effects which remains true to SGS3’s claim of being inspired by nature.
The Recent Apps button is gone with the advent of the new Ice Cream Sandwich update. However, we feel that it is the right move made in favour of bringing in the Back and Menu virtual capacitive keys. Besides, one can always long press the home button to bring up the Recent Apps anyway. Exciting features like S-Voice , SmartCall and SmartStay provide an all-round nature-inspired experience that hasn’t been offered elsewhere.
The SGS3 may be the only phone loaded with a plethora of Android features; however, it fairs excellently well in regards to keeping all tasks running at a nifty speed, courtesy of its quad core processor. Be it the excellent long-lasting battery or the awesome ICS-topped web browser, everything oozes high quality performance. Without doubt, if you are looking for a smartphone that offers the absolute best Android Ice Cream Sandwich experience to date look no further than the Samsung Galaxy S3.