Google promised us to narrow the gap between Android Tablet OS (currently Honeycomb (Android 3.0)) and the Android Phone OS (currently Gingerbread (Android 2.3)) later this year with Ice Cream Sandwich, codename for the up coming version of Android OS.
According to Google, Ice Cream Sandwich will bring some of the user interface concepts now found in Honeycomb and seemed to be loved by everyone. The merges include, the "Action Bar," that brings contextual actions at the top of the screen, varied to suit every application. Ice Cream Sandwich will enable smartphones to have Honeycomb's holographic user interface, more multitasking, the new launcher and richer widgets.
The New Android OS will intelligently adapt itself to the device it's running on, and developers will have the control via APIs and ability to modify elements of the interface as necessary, like make the Action Bar to fith into the available real estate.
The API demo at the Google IO focused on auto focusing of the front facing camera to the current speaker in case there are more than one speaker. The focus will shift to the current speaker as necessary.
According to Android Developer blog, the Android 3.1 will have,
- Open Accessory API. This new API provides a way for Android applications to integrate and interact with a wide range of accessories such as musical equipment, exercise equipment, robotics systems, and many others.
- USB host API. On devices that support USB host mode, applications can now manage connected USB peripherals such as audio devices. input devices, communications devices, and more.
- Input from mice, joysticks, and gamepads. Android 3.1 extends the input event system to support a variety of new input sources and motion events such as from mice, trackballs, joysticks, gamepads, and others.
- Resizable Home screen widgets. Developers can now create Home screen widgets that are resizeable horizontally, vertically, or both.
- Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) Applications can now receive notifications when external cameras are attached and removed, manage files and storage on those devices, and transfer files and metadata to and from them.
- Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) API for audio. Developers can directly manage on-demand or interactive data streaming to enable VOIP, push-to-talk, conferencing, and audio streaming.
I am still drunk by all the information from the Google IO and was excited to tell you about the Android OS. But that is only a tiny part of what was revealed at the Google IO 2011. Follow the link below for Android: momentum, mobile and more at Google I/O