The announcement of the Galaxy Nexus smartphone also brings with itself the much awaited Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

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Following are some of the features of the newly announced Android operation system that were highlighted during its launch today.

Basic Updates

Ice Cream Sandwich or simply ICS has been changed a lot to make it look more like a mobile OS. The use of Gestures has been introduced to operate a large number of things. You can take a look at your notifications, open and close different applications in a more efficient way. The lock screen has also been changed and so has been the typeface. The new typeface is called “Roboto” which promises a whole new experience.

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Notifications will now be visible on the lock screen as well. The copy, cut and paste features have also been revamped and made better. The native screen capture feature has also been included in the new OS; you just have to hold the power key and the volume down key to capture anything that is present on the screen.

New and Improved Apps

Almost every old application has been given attention in the Icecream Sandwich OS. The Gmail service now has a new action bar which will make tasks like archiving and batch deleting a whole lot easier and efficient. The action bar varies throughout the OS with app specific functions. The camera has also been improved and will allow faster image taking capability. The Gallery will allow better tagging, sorting and editing tools. The editing tools have been improved so much that we hear that you would not need to go to a computer for picture editing purposes. The maps and Google’s social networking website are not left behind in this updating and they have also been improved in the upcoming OS.

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The New

Google has added some rich features into the OS. These features include better data handling, better security and a much better voice commanding software. The new security feature will allow the user to set his/her picture as the code for unlocking the phone and then the phone will recognize the owner through the front camera(face recognition unlocking). Data Management will allow the user to check on current usage as well as the projected usage so that the user can specify data usage for different applications. The multitasking feature has also been enhanced with the OS showing the recently used applications as cards.

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The Final Verdict

Well the Android 4.0 Icecream Sandwich looks good from here but is it enough to beat its rivals? The answer to that question will only be found when we get our hands on this new thing.

Meanwhile, both Galaxy Nexus and the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich are slated to be released next month.