Alright, now we’re talking. After months and months of wondering what Ice Cream Sandwich (the next version of Android) will look like, we finally have some pictures to keep us going until Google takes the wraps off the delicious update. The images come to us via a member of RootzWiki, who claims that the photos are 100% authentic and come from a very reliable source. As always, we ask you to keep the salt shaker at arm’s length just in case this is just somebody with way too much time on their hands.
Without further ado, I give you Ice Cream Sandwich. Well, hidden somewhere underneath that sea of black bars is Ice Cream Sandwich. All tasty, beautiful and ready to be bitten. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s break down each photo and talk about what’s different.
As we can see above, not a lot has changed on the home screen. We still have widgets, the notification bar and the launcher. However, the notification icons have gotten a bit of a blue paint, replacing the previous green tone we all know and love. The battery icon looks quite the same as on Gingerbread, but the old horizontal connection signal icon has been replaced by a vertical one.
Moving down the picture, we can see the good ol’ Power Control widget is back with a vengeance. However, we can expect it to go through a pretty heavy redesign before Ice Cream Sandwich is released. And now onto the good part. As you can see, the launcher on Ice Cream Sandwich will be quite different from the one found on Gingerbread. Is it just me, or does it look a little bit like the one WebOS has?
There’s a new icon on this launcher that I’ve never seen before. At first I thought it was the new app tray icon, but then I saw the regular app tray icon sitting almost next to it. So what could it be? Well, it has app icons laid on top of each other. What other button in Android has icons laid on top of each other? Oh, I know. The multitasking button on Honeycomb. That’s it. This is what we’ll use to multitask in Ice Cream Sandwich. No more long pressing the Home button. I love it already.
The second picture shows either the app tray or the menu from which you drop stuff into the home screen. There’s nothing new to see here; it looks a lot like Honeycomb. Like it should. Although, it looks like you’ll be able to launch the Market app right from this menu.
Finally, the last two pictures show us the About page and the new notification bar in dragged down mode. The “IceCreamSandwich” Android version lead us to believe that Google hasn’t settled on a number version for Ice Cream Sandwich just yet. Again, the new notification bar looks a lot like the one on Honeycomb, with Tron-like lines and everything.
Oh there’s one more thing. Or rather a bunch of one more things. The person who leaked these images says that Ice Cream Sandwich will include a new Panorama mode in the Camera app. When talking about the UI, this person also claims that apps and widgets will look a lot like they do on Honeycomb. The Gmail app will get a brand new user interface a la Honeycomb, and the Google Search widget will be embedded at the top of the screen–again, like on Honeycomb.
As for when or if the update will roll out to all of us, this person says that this “release is still very early.” In other words, it’s not coming anytime soon. But when it does, you can expect Nexus S users to get it first. But fear not, everyone else. Supposedly there won’t be any hardware requirements for you to get Ice Cream Sandwich.
With the first pictures of Ice Cream Sandwich now in the wild, we hope others will be encouraged to do the same thing. Let’s keep them coming until Google decides to release this creamy goodness. And how about a video of some cool animations, pretty please?