Oct 18 AT 9:43 AM Anthony Domanico 52 Comments

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.

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • Tommy

    RIP Clippy… “it looks like you’re trying to write a letter…”

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

      Haha… I so want them to have Clippy as an option.

  • http://twitter.com/ryocoon Kurtis Whittington

    You know, if you hate the built-in voice systhesis (text-to-speech), there are several replacement engines and voices on the market. I personally enjoy SVox, and I use the British Female voice (I find it more formal, and assuring, sue me), but they have voices for a dozen different languages, including Mandarin chinese (was decently good, which impressed me), Japanese (not bad either, but not Vocaloid), several spanish variants (Portugese included), etc etc etc. I think they even had Farsi in there. I can not recommend these voices enough. Although I’ll be interested to see if el Goog capitalizes on some of their voice company acquisitions and comes out with some better built-in Voice Synth.

    • Andy in Indy

      The quality goes up another notch when you add the free eSpeak extended TTS engine. Very impressive.

      P.S. I use Victoria, the British Female voice, too.

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

        I just downloaded it, and will have to try it out on the way home tonight.

    • Lucian Armasu

      I agree the default speech synthesis engine of Google is very poor indeed. I’ve been wanting them to greatly improve it for a while now, but I don’t thin kit has gotten any improvements over the past 1.5 years or so. I know they bought a text to speech company last year, but I don’t know if they’ve improved it for this version.

  • http://keridel.blogspot.com keridel

    i’m currently drinking large amounts of energy drink to keep me awake until 3:30am when it is broadcast in the UK.

    from what i’ve seen on other sites there does seem to be at least 2 variants which will be done today. your verizon one and the gsm global one that the rest of us will get.

    • nory

      That’s exactly what I am hoping. I’m a T-Mobile user myself, and I can’t stand the thought of Verizon getting an exclusivity contract, be it 1-3 months. Let then have their cdma/LTE variant, and give us our GSM Prime! We all want it the same time

  • TWiT Commander

    The TI OMAP 4460 SoC uses the same GPU as the Hummingbird SoC, although TI may have overclocked it. There were mumblings that Hummingbird ran the SGX540 at 200MHz, while the 4460 ran it at 300MHz.

    I hope it is powerful enough to keep the UI chugging along smoothly at 720p, not to mention games as well. The Honeycomb UI was hardware-accelerated, and I would bet the same for Ice-Cream Sandwich, unless Google made a fail-safe fallback option.

    • TWiT Commander

      For the uninformed, Hummingbird is the Samsung-fabbed SoC used in the original Galaxy S series and the Nexus S.

    • hector

      IOW, an epic FAIL.

    • 666

      It’s all up to the software. The iPhone 4 could manage some impressive performance with a SGX535 which is about half the power of the 540 in the hummingbird and at a pretty high resolution. This upclocked 540 is a bit better than the Tegra 2 and maybe 3 times more powerful than the 535. Android has never really impressed with software performance though.

    • Lucian Armasu

      That was TI OMAP 4430. Omap 4460 runs it at 384 Mhz.

      • itguy

        This was my comment a few times today is the GPU. Yes it is clocked at 384 as Lucian said but that doesn’t mean a whole lot. That is like taking a radeon 4350 and over clocking it and then running it against a radeon 5770. One is quite a bit better and performs much better. Why would you want old tech in a brand new state of the art phone.

        • Ken Masters

          Yep EPIC fail.. so close to being the perfect phone.

          Why not even your Exynos.. you know.. that chip you make Samsung???

          rikey and even that is HALF the performance of the A5.

          Seriously Samsung.. you manaufacture all these damn chips.. and you go with TI weak sauce SGX 540 from my Nexus S??? Arrgh sooooooooooooo retarded.

          Android is NOT for gaming.. its official.

          • CTown

            Maybe it has to do with OMAP4 being a better choice for LTE, as a lot of LTE Droids use it. I know Samsung is working on a GSII LTE but perhaps it wasn’t ready in time.

  • Dee

    I guess everyone is just going to pretend they dont see
    “no SD slot.”
    So all my music and pix need to be transferred to the internal…. Oh joy.

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

      Yeah, but with things moving to the cloud, who needs more than 32 GB?

      • Dragonithe

        for those times your traveling outside your country and when you reach your data cap.

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

          yeah, but at that point, do you really NEED 32GB of music? That’s more hours of music than most people are traveling.

          • Dragonithe

            Why just only music?
            If I got a beautiful 4.7 HD screen, I might also want some nice HD movies on my phone.

    • http://keridel.blogspot.com keridel

      the no sd slot annoys me actually. it’s always been a plus in googles column.

      on the plus ics should have usb host support so expandable memory should be available in that way.

      • Inquizitor

        Exactly. I know, it isn’t really NECESSARY, but it’s always been a nice feather in Android’s cap. Can’t see a reason not to include it, really.

        • PGrGr

          My current Android phone has always had problems surrounding widgets of apps installed on the SD card. Thinking back to earlier versions, the idea of putting apps on the sd card was an afterthought at best. Google have never been a fan.

  • E

    I only hope these spec are just for verizon’s version and the name as well I really hope its called the nexus prime sounds more catching than galaxy nexus ….can’t wait for tonight and see it in action finally

    • Nexus Prime

      I would hope that these specs are not for Verizon. I would think these would be for the other carriers. Because if the nexus got the Exynos then it would not be running on T-Mobile. They had to get a different processor in their version of the SGS2 because it couldn’t run on their network with that processor.

  • Telos104

    All in all, I think the event will be a bit underwhelming, comparitively speaking. I have a hunch the specs will not be top-notch and coupled with the facts that some carriers will not have the phone on the 10th and ICS will be more about looks than function, I don’t know if this will be an all-out win for Google; I doubt they can close the fragmentation gap in one swoop.

    • Lucian Armasu

      You don’t think a native 1280×720 HD resolution on a 4.65″ display is top-notch?

  • Slith

    Is Asus involved in this AsiaD show? I assume they are. I want Transformer 2 news!

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

      Asus will be at the AsiaD show, though we’re not expecting them to launch the TF2 just yet. We’re thinking the 11/7 date is 1-2 weeks earlier than when it will actually launch.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Let’s just get the information concerning updates that is the most important information we all need. My Evo 3D with Ice Cream Sandwich will be more than able to compete against any Nexus device on Verizon. Let’s get it on google the updates to ice cream sandwich for current dualcore devices is all that matters to current dualcore owners.

    • squiddy20

      What a moronic troll…

      • Richard Yarrell

        Same old troll….stinking bum…

        • squiddy20

          FYI, one of the definitions of “bum” is “a lazy or worthless person” and the slang is usually used to indicate a homeless person. Weren’t you homeless 3 or 4 years ago? Weren’t you the one who was too lazy to find out the correct information on just about all of your statements, and so usually spew nothing but flat out lies? Yeah, I’d stop being a hypocrite if I were you. What a joke.

          • nerd

            he called YOU a bum squiddy so he called you homeless smart one

          • squiddy20

            I know he was calling me “homeless”. My point was, you shouldn’t insult someone about being a “bum” or “homeless” if you yourself were once one. Not only do you come off as a hypocrite, you show you have absolutely no humility smart one.


    the more leaks i see the more depressed i get

    Great article Anthony !

  • http://None CaribGrackle

    The Nexus is going to be a good phone, if not revolutionary to the current times. Is ICS what should we all expect, this is whats going to really mark a difference, and that’s what the Big G is hoping to accomplish, make us all go “wow” with it.

  • 666

    Why is the N1 revolutionary? The HD2 was everything it was plus a 4.3″ display.

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

      The HD2 was a Windows Phone. Yes, I know people hacked it to run Android, but that doesn’t make it an “Android” phone.

  • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

    I am kind of doubtful about the personal assistant prediction. Put it simply, until Siri was announced with the launch of the iPhone 4S, talks about that feature was next to nothing. It may just be wishful thinking from our fellow Android users.

    Don’t get me wrong, it would be great if we also has something to show off to the Apple fanboy, but I am not so sure it’s an important feature. If we do get it tonight, given the strong background of voice recognition from Google Translate, Android’s personal assistant probably would understand more languages than Siri does.

  • peter

    No SD card???? why do they keep doing it, clowns

  • Rashad

    The lack of physical back/home buttons along with no sd card makes the new Nexus a no-go for me.

  • Tico4674

    This unveiling is starting to smell like the iphone 4s disappointment for the fanboys. The omap 4460 with it’s inferior gpu is a huge letdown. Say it aint so Joe, say it aint so! Google did the same thing last year when the nexus s came out with a single core processor. SGS2 here I come?

  • Nathan

    Can’t wait to see it live!

  • kwills88

    Google should pay respect to Steve jobs and say “one more thing” then surprise us…but that would be like beating a dead horse (no pun intended) I feel like sleeping all day just for this event.

  • themanwithsauce

    Why are people quoting these rumors as if they are gospel? The “leaked” ad from japan looks like a bad photochop job using existing pictures. Stop with the hate before you see it.

    A few things I need to dispel with common sense and logic (I’m aware no one listens on the internet but I’ll try anyways)

    1) Google HAS to recognize that with the HTC Vigor and Moto Razr, verizon has two killer phones lined up and ready to go. From what I’ve seen on this spec sheet, it’s a galaxy S II with a different processor. Guess what? The hardware casing was probably tested on verizon’s potential GSII hardware that was scrapped in favor of unique nexus internals. You see this all the time in the automotive world. You put the new body on the older car to see how the shape is going to be in motion and the like. You already know what’s underneath s finalize design elements you need to put it on an actual car.

    2) The leaks do seem to be agreeing with each other, I iwll admit to that. But how much of it is actual leaks and how much of it is one person parroting someone else? I still have yet to see anything even remotely official looking about the specs so unless a document pops up between now and the nexus event, no one here knows.

    3) It won’t be VZW exclusive for more than a month or so if at all. I still see rumors that it is only for verizon and as I’ve been saying all along they CAN’T do it this time around. But for those of you on T-mo/AT&T/Sprint whining about how its not fair that we get it exclusively for even a little while? Shut up. I had to deal with both the nexus one and nexus S passing up VZW completely. As in never available. There is a GSM version coming. You will get yours

    4) I believe some of the reviewers on this site pointed out that the nexus phones always seemed faster than their spec sheets would lead you to believe. Similar to how the iphone is much faster than the paper specs say, optimizations let you do some amazing things. Hell my old laptop has more power than my PS3 both for games and processor yet the PS3 will blow my laptop out of the water for graphics in upcoming games. Why? The hardware is identical to every other PS3. Developers can easily optimize for that. Google uses these nexus devices as their development phone so essentially, google will be designing the 4.x versions of android on this phone. No matter what it has, it will be fast.

  • Andres

    Expectations are so high, I can’t help but think people will be underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong, the phone/ICS will probably be awesome, I just can’t see being enough for some people. I too am afraid of feeling let down with all the hype, the leaks, etc. But I’ll probably end up buying this phone. Love my N1, but it’s struggling in some departments (mostly internal memory, can’t have enough apps at once!)

    Looking forward to tonight!

  • Chris

    If it is being released on NTT Docomo in November, how will it have Verizon exclusivity?? Why is everyone talking about carrier exclusivity, it goes against the values of the Nexus brand that Google created with the Nexus One!

    Also the leak yesterday CLEARLY states there will be several versions of the Nexus Prime/Galaxy Nexus. It lists 5 models:

    GT-I9250: Global GSM/UMTS
    GT-I9250T: T-Mobile GSM/UMTS
    GT-I9250M: Probably some other GSM/UMTS configuration
    SC-04D: NTT Docomo GSM/UMTS
    SCH-I515: Verizon CDMA/LTE

    It also states there WILL be an microSD slot

    You guys linked this source in the NTT Docomo leak, but did you even read it?


  • Coop

    I think the thing a lot of people are forgetting is that the Nexus line is also Google’s development platform. Why would they choose an Exynos processor that is only sold in Samsung phones. If I remember correctly, someone from Google once said that the Nexus line would never be “top of the line” for this reason, you have to be able to develop apps for all levels of hardware.

  • brian

    How the heell is there no sd card slot? All google and Samsung phones had them! The best phone to watch hd movies and doesn’t have sd slot. WTF are u thinking Samsung! Jewing us so we can pay another 100 for a 32gb is very apple of u. All your previous phones made me decide to buy a sd card and now ur pretty much saying F me spend more money. Us variants better have it or im out.