What's coming in Android's Ice Cream Sandwich Update?

Google unveiled its newest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, last night in Hong Kong. Matias Duarte, formerly of Palm, is now heading up design for the Android team. Ice Cream Sandwich is the first version of the OS that he's been able to fully influence.

Google released this short video to highlight the new look and several new features coming to the Galaxy Nexus, the Nexus S, the Nexus One and other devices currently running Android 2.3, Gingerbread.

Some of our favorite new features include:

  • Updates to the core Google Apps including Gmail and Calendar including robust widgets and navigation features like zooming in on Google Calendar to see more event details. Google has also enabled the offline search of Gmail which can be customized for access to as much email history as you would like. 
  • Android Browser updates including tabbed browsing, the ability to automatically sync your Chrome and Android browsers, the ability to choose between full and mobile versions of web sites, and the ability to save web pages for offline viewing.
  • The Android Beam feature allows you to quickly exchange all types of data simply by bumping phones. 
  • Tighter integration with Google Voice allows the playback of voice messages directly in your call log and also allows you to speed up or slow the playback in real-time. 
  • Google's voice recognition technology now runs natively on the device in real-time rather than going out to Google's servers to be processed. This makes dictating emails, messages, texts, searches, voice actions or any other content easier than ever. 

 

 

Android enthusiasts can watch the entire overview below.