Make no mistakes, Google is using Ice Cream Sandwich to push Android to the next level in several different areas.
Design-wise, Ice Cream Sandwich cranks it up a notch in nearly every way imaginable — down to using custom fonts created just for smartphones. That’s thanks to Matias Duarte, a man whose world renowned passion for design has been discussed here before. But the design behind Ice Cream Sandwich isn’t the only area where Google is trying to improve consumer usability.
Take the recent transition of Google Checkout into Google Wallet. The first time anyone turns on their Galaxy Nexus, they are prompted to get going with Google+, and enter their credit card information for use with the Android Market. Well starting last night, all of Google’s services that previously used Google Checkout, like the Android Market, were transitioned to Google Wallet.
From here on out, any and all purchases made on YouTube, Google+ Games, the Android Market, online retailers that support Checkout and anywhere else that accepts Google Wallet payments in real life will all appear in one app on your Android device. And when you first power up your Galaxy Nexus, you’ll be putting your financial information into that app right from the start.
Theoretically, every financial transaction you make someday may be made through Google Wallet. Unless they’re all rolled into a streamlined, connected service, consumers won’t want to use it.
Now, Google has redesigned Android.com into a user friendly site that highlights information on Android’s latest features by using pictures of Ice Cream Sandwich, videos, developer information and links to apps for phones, tablets and games. It may seem strange, but consumers haven’t always been able to just type Android.com into their browser, and actually learn something about the OS.
Google has needed to make these changes for a long time now. They’ve made Android a popular, marketable brand, but it still lacked that human element. Yet again, Matias put it best when he said,
With Android, people were not responding emotionally, they weren't forming emotional relationships with the product. They needed it, but they didn't necessarily love it.Matias DuarteGoogle
Google is finally doing what it takes to make everyone love Android. Which is exactly what they need to take Android to the next level.