Today is very obviously a significant day in the Android community. Not only will we be welcoming the next in the line of Nexus phones, but we’ll also see the next imagining of Android in Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich.” At 10PM EST, Google and Samsung will be hosting the rescheduled Samsung Mobile Unpacked event live from AsiaD in Hong Kong.
We already know Samsung and Google will be unveiling the Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tonight, but just what might we see out of these announcements?
Galaxy Nexus/Nexus Prime
Samsung and Google are going to announce at least one Nexus phone tonight (possibly two). We’ve seen a few devices rumored to be the next Nexus pass through Bluetooth SIG and WiFi certifications (not to mention the FCC), and we highly anticipate that there will be both a CDMA and GSM version of the next Nexus phone. It’s highly possible we’ll only see the Verizon variant of the Galaxy Nexus tonight, as we feel there will be a small period (1-3 months) of exclusivity for Big Red.
If we were a bettin’ blog (and fortunately for you, we are), we’d expect that Samsung and Galaxy will only unveil the Verizon Galaxy Nexus tonight. Thanks to a leak by NTT Docomo this morning, we’re a bit more clear on what the final specs of the device will be:
- 1.2 GHz dual core TI OMAP 4460 processor
- 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD 720p display
- 1 GB RAM
- 32 GB Internal Storage (no SD slot)
- 5 megapixel camera with 1080p video capture (with amazing sensor for high image quality)
- 1,750-1,800 mAh battery
Aside from the Super Amoled HD 720p display and the fact that it will be the first device to have the latest version of Android, nothing on the spec sheet suggests the device will be as truly revolutionary as the original Nexus One was. Simply put, the Galaxy Nexus will be an incredible device, but it will not be leaps and bounds above the likes of the Galaxy S II or HTC Rezound when it releases next month.
That being said, one thing we at Android and Me can agree on is that we all want this device.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
While we’re not too convinced that the Nexus Prime will be a revolutionary improvement over the current crop of available Android devices, we do believe that Ice Cream Sandwich marks a major and significant improvement to the Android operating system. Ever since Larry Page told us that we “won’t believe what [Google] has managed to do in this release,” we couldn’t help but be a bit giddy with anticipation.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen several hints that Ice Cream Sandwich will be a significant upgrade when it comes to user experience. We’ve been treated to a 2-minute video of Ice Cream Sandwich in action, and it’s very obvious that Google went back to the design drawing board in this release. The result is very easy on the eyes. We know several of the core Android widgets have gotten a significant makeover. The camera application (which will also get a makeover) will finally feature native photo editing, and Google is adding native screenshot support.
On the back-end side, we believe Ice Cream Sandwich will feature better support for dual-core processors and will be able to fully take advantage of the upcoming quad-core processors that should hit the market in November. This should result in better battery life and faster performance on our phones and tablets, once they’re upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich.
Android Update Alliance
Speaking of updates, we have yet to hear anything on the Android Update Alliance since it was announced back in May at Google I/O. Taylor and I are speculating that Google will finally provide some more details on the Android Update Alliance when they’re announcing Ice Cream Sandwich. We think that we will hear something about guaranteed software updates, though we’re not too sure on the details.
It’s likely that new devices will be guaranteed to be updated to the latest version of Android for 18 months after their release date, after which they will fall into the ranks of the legacy devices.
Google’s Version of Siri
One of the cooler developments we’ve been following over the past few weeks has been whether or not Google has been secretly working on their own personal assistant (to compete with Apple’s Siri). Taylor has received a few tips that Google has been hard at work on improving their voice actions application with personal assistant features that will rival – and perhaps surpass – those featured in Siri. Our informant went on to suggest that Google’s personal assistant could be an animated person, animal or paperclip (yes, I want to bring back “Clippy”) that uses advanced artificial intelligence to learn and remember everything you do on your smartphone.
In the meantime, we found another application called Speaktoit Assistant that could provide a glimpse into what Google is hoping to accomplish in its virtual personal assistant. Though Speaktoit Assistant is very much in beta and uses the annoying robotic voice you might know from such applications as Google Navigation, it gives us a glimpse into what our phones may be able to do in just a few short months.
Wrap Up and Event Information
Android lovers have many great reasons to get excited tonight, when Google and Samsung unleash the Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. We at Android and Me are looking forward to what will surely be a true leap forward in the Android operating system and will be glued to our computers all night.
The Samsung Mobile Unpacked event will begin tonight at 10 p.m. EST. You will be able to watch the event live on Android’s Youtube Channel.
A few members of our staff have teamed up with Radio Android to cover the event live starting at 10 p.m. Eastern. We’ll be taking live calls on the air. And we’ll interact with you guys in the chat room, so feel free to hop on in and ask us any questions you want answered. You can tune into our coverage of the event by heading over to the Radio Android site at 10 p.m.