Nov 08 AT 12:59 PM Clark Wimberly 44 Comments

Topic Tuesday: Which feature are you most looking forward to in Android 4.0?

ice-cream-sandwich-open-green

It’s Tuesday and that means we’re back for another round of no-holds-barred Android discussion with our new Topic Tuesday series. Each week, we’ll ask a new question for our users to answer. In these special threads, points for upvoted comments are multiplied, making Topic Tuesday a great place to sound off and grab some points for your And Me Account. This week’s question?

Refreshed UI

Which feature are you most looking forward to in Android 4.0?

Being the UX nerd in the bunch, I can honestly say I’m pretty stoked for the refreshed user interface. A lot of people cracked on the Tron style interface of the latest crop of Honeycomb tablets, but after months with the devices I feel right at home with the futuristic stylings. And even more recently, the Google+ app was updated with a distinct ice cream flavor, and I’ve been highly enjoying that experience, too. Also, I’ve never really been a widget guy, but lately some of the stuff I’ve been seeing from ICS makes me think they might be finding more space on my homescreens soon.

Edgar Cervantes is jazzed about tighter control over data usage:

Data Usage

“One of the features that I found most exciting in ICS is the network data control app. Tiered data has been making our life a bit more complicated lately. Yes, one can simply keep checking the used data online, but most people have other things to worry about in their everyday routine. This feature would allow you to set warnings after the device uses a certain amount of data (through the network), and even set data limits. It seems like a feature that many of us will be able to take advantage of.”

Nick Gray is most interested in the new gesture controls, which should have you controlling all sorts of new things with just a few swipes:

New Actions

“The one new feature in Android 4.0 which I am looking forward to the most is the gesture/swipe integration throughout the OS which can be used to swipe between screens, contacts, email or SMS conversations. But where the real magic comes in is where you can swipe to close applications from the task manager, swipe to close a browser window or swipe to remove just one notification rather than having to click or use the clear allbutton. ”

So what about you? What feature are you most excited about? If you need help picking one, you can check out the feature list on the official developer.android.com, or you can read our highlights here. And remember! Topic Tuesdays are for registered users only. And we don’t only discuss, we vote on other comments. Now keep it clean, fellas!

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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  • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

    I’m looking forward to the improved browser. Google added support to sync and manage Chrome booksmarks, view full desktop versions of sites, offline reading, and an updated browser tabs menu. It also includes updated versions of the WebKit core and the V8 Crankshaft compilation engine for JavaScript, which should offer a major boost in performance. Google claims that “when run on a Galaxy Nexus device, the Android 4.0 browser showed improvement of nearly 550% in the V8 benchmark and nearly 70% in the SunSpider benchmark.”

  • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

    New camera controls, photo filters, etc.

  • http://muddypa.ws/blog nportelli

    Probably the pen API, I think a tablet is fairly useless without a stylus. And an app like OneNote where you can write notes and have them parsed to text.

  • JPO

    I would say Browser for above reasons and People for better integration of contacts.

  • AceoStar

    Glad to finally get hardware acceleration behind us.

    • mercado79

      +1 brother.

    • mattcoz

      I’m holding my judgement until I see it in action, but this could very easily be my favorite new feature.

  • CodeB

    I like to peel the chocolate off and eat the ice cream

  • jaydeeIL

    definitely the swipe intergration. just being able to leave only the things i want

  • federalreserve

    I’m really excited about the new Gmail app/widget, the ability to sync Chrome bookmarks, and the improved UI. I hope Google brings the Chrome browser to Android soon!

  • WarDrake

    What loved from the presentation was the Contacts manager and it’s easy integration with everything else…

    i love being able to check different profiles for everyone in a simple way in a single place.

  • endone

    The actual release of 4.0… At this point, I’ll take any of the features!

  • Ben Rollier

    Really hard to pick one :P

    Looking forward to the new UI, new camera, new browser and the ability to “disable” apps.

  • Pete Doyle

    1) Hardware acceleration, 2) The long awaited open source release

  • Slith

    Can’t wait to see how well Face Unlock works and widget resizing.

  • http://theandroidappshow.com Lane Montgomery

    No physical buttons required. I dream of a day when the bezel on a phone screen is only thick enough for the front-facing camera lens and various sensors.

    • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

      well put

  • xsynth

    Can I say everything?
    I’d have to go for the UI as well. Absolutely love the G+ refresh and what was shown at keynote looks amazing.
    Oh, and the hardware acceleration too.

  • uknowme

    One of the things I am looking forward to is the quick response. I think it is pretty genius to be able to instantly text someone who is calling. I’m also excited about a new browser and camera features.

  • http://www.focuszonedevelopment.com Homncruse

    Hardware Acceleration +9000

  • http://ArtisticAbode.com Arron with two R’s

    What I am looking forward to the most is the ability to disable the bloatware. I just hope the carriers don’t cripple it…

    • thaghost

      +1

    • dreamdoggy22

      This will be one of my favorite features as well. It would not surprise me one bit if Verizon disables this feature. They install their bloatware for a reason and will not like the idea of virtually everyone turning it off. I hope I’m wrong, but I won’t hold my breath.

      • http://ArtisticAbode.com Arron with two R’s

        It makes me wonder if Verizon gets paid to put the app on the device, if they pay for the app to be placed on the device, and/or if they get paid each time the app is utilized. If it’s the first option, then I don’t see them caring too much if we disable it, as they have already been paid. But if it’s one of the second options, I can see them disabling it with the quickness…which means the updates will take longer as they will have to remove a key component of ICS.

        I have no idea, just speculating here.

  • thaghost

    No longer need hard or soft buttons, Disable bloatware, new animations and widgets

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    The camera by far (as well as the UI/movements/etc).

    But since it seems like keyboards are a dying breed (and by dying I mean almost extinct, let’s say endangered), I welcome the buttonless look going forward. At least the screens will get a little bit bigger to have the softkeys displayed like in Honeycomb. I like the aspet ratio of the Galaxy Nexus.

    • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

      Oh yeah, I forgot to add, with the slightly larger screen to accomodate the softkeys, typing on a touchscreen only device will make it a little bit easier for those that love keyboards.

  • shhon75

    I’m looking forward to a firm release date!

  • Nathan

    I’m looking forward to the new look but I don’t think that a feature so how about new contact hub and all the new goodies in it =)

  • irishrally

    I’ve been using the Nexus S SDK port for a couple of weeks now as my daily driver and I’m really impressed. The new launcher is really really nice and I think more people will be less likely to run off and install the likes of ADW/Go/LPP/Zeam etc. In particular, the folder implementation is great, especially since you can use folders in the dock.

    Aside from all that, I’m looking forward to 2D hardware acceleration and the resulting silky smooth UI. We may finally have the smooth transitions that people tout so highly in iOS.

  • triangle

    I like the new, more elegant look and design. The ability to swipe individual notifications will be cool. The face unlock will be a nice feature to show off, though I’m not sure if I’ll use that in practice. But as mentioned earlier, the hardware acceleration could be the biggest improvement, though that’s under the hood.

  • Dale Bebeau

    I’m liking the stock ability to individually remove certain notifications. The latest “Motoblur” has this feature and others may too but a stock option is great, especially for Nexus users ;)

  • geiko

    I can’t believe no one has said Face Unlock yet. That feature is so cool. I wish they’d release the APK on XDA or something.

  • kazahani

    I’m still stuck on Froyo, so I am actually most looking forward to the extra polish and stability that the 4.0 UI is going to bring. I’m going to relish being able to smoothly scroll throught lists! I will marvel at the dramatically reduced instances of battery pulls and hard resets!

  • Julio Chavez

    I’m loving all the swipe gestures, just flick when you want to get rid of anything.

  • Julio Chavez

    The new browser looks epic too. I just wonder if it has better HTML5 support, an area where the Android browser has been lacking.

  • charliethesuperturtle

    The message when a Call comes a
    soft buttons too

  • Richard Yarrell

    No need for hard or soft buttons, No verizon bloatware thank god, placing application on top of one another to form folders that looks great, Face unlock, and the browser experience with ice cream sandwhich. This is truly going to be the best stock android experience ever.

  • Zhi Hao

    Hardware acceleration!!!

  • The Kevin

    I’m a sucker for packaging, so the overall polish of this update is what has drawn me in more than anything. ICS is the first time vanilla stock actually looks better than any skin or rom I’ve seen.

  • rstat1

    Does the Galaxy Nexus count as a feature? That’s my favorite part, outside of the UI overhaul.

  • ccn_cristi

    New UI and speed!

  • jathak

    I’m looking forward to the new UI revamp. I’ve always found Android better than iOS because of functionality, but with ICS I know also find it better in style.

  • pritams

    now that ICS has f*cked ios..let’s see what apple does..

  1. I’m looking forward to the improved browser. Google added support to sync and manage Chrome booksmarks, view full desktop versions of sites, offline reading, and an updated browser tabs menu. It also includes updated versions of the WebKit core and the V8 Crankshaft compilation engine for JavaScript, which should offer a major boost in performance. Google claims that “when run on a Galaxy Nexus device, the Android 4.0 browser showed improvement of nearly 550% in the V8 benchmark and nearly 70% in the SunSpider benchmark.”

  2. New camera controls, photo filters, etc.

  3. Probably the pen API, I think a tablet is fairly useless without a stylus. And an app like OneNote where you can write notes and have them parsed to text.

  4. I would say Browser for above reasons and People for better integration of contacts.

  5. Glad to finally get hardware acceleration behind us.

  6. I like to peel the chocolate off and eat the ice cream

  7. definitely the swipe intergration. just being able to leave only the things i want

  8. I’m really excited about the new Gmail app/widget, the ability to sync Chrome bookmarks, and the improved UI. I hope Google brings the Chrome browser to Android soon!

  9. What loved from the presentation was the Contacts manager and it’s easy integration with everything else…

    i love being able to check different profiles for everyone in a simple way in a single place.

  10. The actual release of 4.0… At this point, I’ll take any of the features!

  11. Really hard to pick one :P

    Looking forward to the new UI, new camera, new browser and the ability to “disable” apps.

  12. 1) Hardware acceleration, 2) The long awaited open source release

  13. Can’t wait to see how well Face Unlock works and widget resizing.

  14. No physical buttons required. I dream of a day when the bezel on a phone screen is only thick enough for the front-facing camera lens and various sensors.

  15. Can I say everything?
    I’d have to go for the UI as well. Absolutely love the G+ refresh and what was shown at keynote looks amazing.
    Oh, and the hardware acceleration too.

  16. One of the things I am looking forward to is the quick response. I think it is pretty genius to be able to instantly text someone who is calling. I’m also excited about a new browser and camera features.

  17. Hardware Acceleration +9000

  18. What I am looking forward to the most is the ability to disable the bloatware. I just hope the carriers don’t cripple it…

    • This will be one of my favorite features as well. It would not surprise me one bit if Verizon disables this feature. They install their bloatware for a reason and will not like the idea of virtually everyone turning it off. I hope I’m wrong, but I won’t hold my breath.

      • It makes me wonder if Verizon gets paid to put the app on the device, if they pay for the app to be placed on the device, and/or if they get paid each time the app is utilized. If it’s the first option, then I don’t see them caring too much if we disable it, as they have already been paid. But if it’s one of the second options, I can see them disabling it with the quickness…which means the updates will take longer as they will have to remove a key component of ICS.

        I have no idea, just speculating here.

  19. No longer need hard or soft buttons, Disable bloatware, new animations and widgets

  20. The camera by far (as well as the UI/movements/etc).

    But since it seems like keyboards are a dying breed (and by dying I mean almost extinct, let’s say endangered), I welcome the buttonless look going forward. At least the screens will get a little bit bigger to have the softkeys displayed like in Honeycomb. I like the aspet ratio of the Galaxy Nexus.

    • Oh yeah, I forgot to add, with the slightly larger screen to accomodate the softkeys, typing on a touchscreen only device will make it a little bit easier for those that love keyboards.

  21. I’m looking forward to a firm release date!

  22. I’m looking forward to the new look but I don’t think that a feature so how about new contact hub and all the new goodies in it =)

  23. I’ve been using the Nexus S SDK port for a couple of weeks now as my daily driver and I’m really impressed. The new launcher is really really nice and I think more people will be less likely to run off and install the likes of ADW/Go/LPP/Zeam etc. In particular, the folder implementation is great, especially since you can use folders in the dock.

    Aside from all that, I’m looking forward to 2D hardware acceleration and the resulting silky smooth UI. We may finally have the smooth transitions that people tout so highly in iOS.

  24. I like the new, more elegant look and design. The ability to swipe individual notifications will be cool. The face unlock will be a nice feature to show off, though I’m not sure if I’ll use that in practice. But as mentioned earlier, the hardware acceleration could be the biggest improvement, though that’s under the hood.

  25. I’m liking the stock ability to individually remove certain notifications. The latest “Motoblur” has this feature and others may too but a stock option is great, especially for Nexus users ;)

  26. I can’t believe no one has said Face Unlock yet. That feature is so cool. I wish they’d release the APK on XDA or something.

  27. I’m still stuck on Froyo, so I am actually most looking forward to the extra polish and stability that the 4.0 UI is going to bring. I’m going to relish being able to smoothly scroll throught lists! I will marvel at the dramatically reduced instances of battery pulls and hard resets!

  28. I’m loving all the swipe gestures, just flick when you want to get rid of anything.

  29. The new browser looks epic too. I just wonder if it has better HTML5 support, an area where the Android browser has been lacking.

  30. The message when a Call comes a
    soft buttons too

  31. No need for hard or soft buttons, No verizon bloatware thank god, placing application on top of one another to form folders that looks great, Face unlock, and the browser experience with ice cream sandwhich. This is truly going to be the best stock android experience ever.

  32. Hardware acceleration!!!

  33. I’m a sucker for packaging, so the overall polish of this update is what has drawn me in more than anything. ICS is the first time vanilla stock actually looks better than any skin or rom I’ve seen.

  34. Does the Galaxy Nexus count as a feature? That’s my favorite part, outside of the UI overhaul.

  35. New UI and speed!

  36. I’m looking forward to the new UI revamp. I’ve always found Android better than iOS because of functionality, but with ICS I know also find it better in style.

  37. now that ICS has f*cked ios..let’s see what apple does..