We recently covered improvements to Apple’s iPhone 4S that make it a great fit for athletes, but what about other smartphones? Last week, Google announced Android 4.0, its “Ice Cream Sandwich” device, with a myriad of new features that make it easier to use than ever.
Does the Ice Cream Sandwich have more to offer athletes than Apple’s iOS5? Check out the system’s top features and functions, then decide for yourself.
Is swiping the home screen to unlock the device growing a bit tiresome, especially when your hands are sweaty or you just stepped out the shower? Or have you ever failed to switch your phone off before chucking it in your sports bag, only to discover later that the phone took hundreds of garbage photos and sent dozens of blank text messages? Ice Cream Sandwich seems to have solved this problem with an optional feature that unlocks the phone when the user looks into the camera.
Ice Cream Sandwich sports a slick design and a multitasking icon that calls up recently used apps, promising less fiddling and quicker access to the stuff you use most.
A better snap time means you’ll never miss a chance to capture an awesome shot. Ice Cream Sandwich also packs a new filter-filled photo editor, and another particularly cool feature: an image rotator that spins the photo based on where your eyes are looking.
Like Siri on the iPhone 4S, Ice Cream Sandwich includes speech recognition technology. OK, you won’t be able to ask your Android about the meaning of life, but you can write e-mails, shoot off texts and complete a number of other functions simply by speaking.
Ice Cream Sandwich lets you take screenshots without installing apps. Whether you want to share a play you saw online with your teammates or grab a shot from a training video, you can take a picture of whatever is on your screen simply by holding the power and volume-down buttons simultaneously.
Ice Cream Sandwich makes it easier than ever to access important widgets by letting you alter the size of information on the home screen and select any widget with the push of a button.
Ice Cream Sandwich uses NFC (near-field communication) technology, which lets you share apps, websites, videos, maps and directions just by tapping two Android Ice Cream Sandwich devices together, much like the iPhone’s Bump app. Use the Android Beam to share great content with your teammates on road trips.
New Browser Functionality
The Android 4.0’s Web browser has evolved to closely match Google’s Chrome desktop browser. The new browser can sync bookmarks between handset and desktop browsers, switch between desktop and mobile views and browse in private through an Incognito tab.
New Contacts and Social Networking Features
Ice Cream Sandwich’s “People” function helps you stay connected by merging your phone contacts with your social network connections.
Ice Cream Sandwich will premier on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and make its way to other handsets in the coming months, giving athletes in the market for a new smartphone a tough choice.