Google unveiled the latest iteration of their popular Android OS, named "Ice Cream Sandwich," in Hong Kong on October 18. Google chose Samsung Mobile as their hardware partner for Android 4.0 and displayed the new "Galaxy Nexus" smartphone running Ice Cream Sandwich. The OS looks crisp and beautiful, with a native resolution of 1280x720 (HD quality) and no physical buttons! Yes, all of the buttons required are in the software. The new OS has a plethora of features starting with a new typeface (Roboto), offline search in Gmail, improved multitasking, an advanced browser, a new facial unlock feature and NFC radio. This is a significant upgrade to the Android platform and will compete against Apple’s new iOS 5.
Prior to the ICS event, Apple had already sold 4 million iPhone 4S handsets. Apple’s latest iteration of iOS contains 200 new features, including a ground-up redesign of the notifications system, a new iOS-to-iOS messaging service called iMessage, the integration of iCloud (a cloud computing and storage service for iOS), Twitter integration and wireless sync. iOS 5 will be available for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, both versions of the iPad, and the fourth and third generations of iPod Touch.
The smartphone market is highly competitive and a fiercely fought one. Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS are the major players with Microsoft and Research in Motion both trying hard to gain a foothold. For now, the battle is between Ice Cream Sandwich and iOS 5. Who will be crowned the victor?