Oct 19 AT 1:02 AM Taylor Wimberly 44 Comments

Googler tells us about his fave Android 4.0 features not covered in launch demo


Now that the Android 4.0 SDK is available, we’ll have tons of hackers tearing up the latest release searching for even more goodies hidden within the code. You could spend your time installing the emulator and playing with it yourself or you could just turn to Android engineer Dan Morrill for a quick cheat-sheet that he shared on Google+.

Here are some of Dan’s favorite new Android 4.0 features not covered in the launch demo:

  • Updated Settings:  We’ve seriously revamped the Settings screen organization. Items are arranged much better now, and it’s easier and usually requires fewer actions to find what you’re looking for.
  • Disabling Apps:  ICS adds the ability to disable an app outright. Don’t like an app that came preinstalled? Disable it! Its resources never run and its launcher icon is gone until you re-enable it. (This doesn’t free up any space — it can’t, since pre-installed apps are included in the read-only system storage. But it does put them “out of sight, out of mind”).

Android 4.0

  • Camera Controls:  The camera controls have been redesigned and are easier to find and mess around with.
  • Improved Download Manager:  It looks better and is easier to find and use and to see and clear any downloads you might have.
  • Support for Encryption for Phones:  Honeycomb added full-device encryption, but ICS brings it to phones.
  • Audio Effects:  There’s a new audio effects API. Nuff said, really. :)
Find any other cool Android 4.0 features that haven’t been widely reported? Just send us a tip or leave a comment and we can update our list.

Source: Dan Morrill

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Archades

    Do you have any more info about the Audio FX?

  • come on, newbs

    fuckin LOL.this interface has got to be a joke. i dont care what kind of comments you little nerdy android fanboys have, you know it that this looks like those cheesy samsung interfaces from 2006. if you dont see it, then you are either blind, have no very low standards and your girlfriend is really ugly(for that %0.1 chance that you stop jerking on your nes emulator with pirated roms and actually have a girlfriend).

    • B

      Wow you are hero material. Don’t judge the world solely through your own actions and lack of feminine attention. We feel bad for trolls you can’t help it.
      Anyways! ICS is going to rock! When will Sprint get their Motorola 4.0 no blur absolute sweetness & my woman agrees ;)

    • robin

      i think u are using an iphone, right?

    • http://www.clusta.com h0ruza

      Why is it that the angry iPhone users are always watching android blogs to make irrelevant comments like this.?

      It baffles me as I never find myself beating out bitter words at Mac rumours or tipb dot com because I figure those users are happy with there choice and that fine by me.

      What’s the matter dude? We’re you just served mutton dressed as mutton only now you have better notifications based on Androids system? I was hopefull that you would get an iPhone 5 as well but the richest corporation on the planet didn’t think you deserved better but gave you a virual counselor to ease the pain up until next year when they’ve made enough money out of suckers and sheep. I’m guessing that’s what the S stands for and lets face it, it worked for them before so why not do it again.

      We’re here for you angry dude.

      • baba

        He’s mad because ios 5 was a joke

        • http://profiles.google.com/ISantop Ian

          iOS 5 was the only non-joke part of that announcement. The iPhone 4S is a joke.

          That said, iOS 5 pales in comparison to ICS.

      • Jan

        To be honest, there is a lot of Android users bombarding iPhone discussions too. So there are idiots on both sides.
        I do read both Android and iPhone discussions to be well informed.
        If I dont have anything to say I dont.
        I am Android user and do look forward to ICS so much…

      • Adrien C.

        That’s too much free time. As iOS doesn’t have much to tweak and fiddle without jailbreaking, and Angry Birds is not an iOS exclusive anymore, they get bored and come here to see what they are missing and dream about Android.
        Let’s shower them with our love…

    • binary

      Stop posting same message under all ICS posts.
      Get a life!

    • RxS47

      Lol this guy must be copying a pasting his iphag msg on every ICS article. How pathetic

    • Markinct

      Not to feed the troll, but it appears this guy is upset that his Treo isn’t getting updated the way it should…

    • Pratap

      I can clearly see the fear in you, iOS guys. iOS5 was a nothing but looser. I was laughing like anything on the iOs5 features, LOOSER.

      iOs was and never will be a match to Android on technical grounds. You guys need to grow up a lot dude.
      Its only for kids and old farts, no wonder that’s what you show in the ads too.

      Accept it guys, “Apples are rotting” Heeee heeee

    • Swatkins

      As someone who has never owned an android, and had an iPhone until it was stolen a couple months ago ( :’( ) i think ICS and the galaxy nexus look amazing. this will be my new phone.

  • Arnold

    I said to myself, too bad they didn’t add the most important feature for me:
    full device encryption.

    But they did it !

    Google devs, I love you :*

  • Richard Yarrell

    What more can be said….Very solid is ice cream …..

  • Longtime Waiter

    Does this phone have any kind of HDMI hook up or capability? It seems to have everything but that! Thanks!

    • Borring

      I’m thinking that’s how they did the demo. It was capturing the phone’s screen rather than pointing a camera at the phone.

      • http://sean-the-electrofreak.blogspot.com/ Sean the Electrofreak

        Yes, it has HDMI output via MHL.

        • http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/20/behind-the-glass-a-detailed-tour-inside-the-samsung-galaxy-nexu/ Long time waiter

          Thanks Sean and here is the link to backup your comment.

  • R.S

    Wow! Disabling apps sounds like a really great addition.

    It bugged me how Facebook, Friendstream, Genius button, Peep, and all the other BS apps seemed to run in the background on my phone.

    • rovex

      You can ‘freeze’ them with apps from the market now. ICS just has it natively.

  • Christopher

    I was looking at the rezound, but this may sway me. :)

  • greg

    - what about the keyboard? google has acquired Blindtype so far. isnt it implemented yet?
    - isnt there a “find my phone” tracking feature yet? its so bad

    THERE LED notification light!!! nobody is talking about it? it was the most complained thing since nexus s

    • rovex

      Samsung has Dive, which lets you find your phone, lock it, track it etc.

    • Markinct

      I’ve been using a Vibrant for over a year, and I missed the LED waaaaay more than the keyboard my G1 had.

    • Lucian Armasu

      Yes, I think they did. Matias Duarte said he thinks Android 4.0′s keyboard accuracy is the best in the market now, so they must’ve used BlindType’s technology.

    • Gabriel

      Yes it does have a notification light. It is under the screen, at the bottom.

  • muii

    I kind of love it but I have to say facial recognition is a joke (bypass: put the phone in front of a photo…)

  • muii

    I kind of love ICS but I have to say facial recognition is a joke (bypass: put the phone in front of a photo…)

    • rovex

      Its more clever than that.. trust me.

      • muii

        So what? A video will do the trick then, all you just need is another smartphone to fool the camera…

        • cam

          Apparently the camera adjusts it’s focus to determine that the subject has depth, which is not present in a photo. So, no, you can’t beat the lock screen with a picture.

  • muii

    Fun fact: This page is the only on the internet where +1 counts beat fblike’s!

  • olen

    need more info on encryption.
    tracking, phone wipe, encryption etc. need to be basic features, maybe by google (everyone needs a google account to activate a phone, right?)

  • PSP

    Please guys can I find a video of yesterday samsung and android part?

  • fanaticgadget

    Ice cream sandwich is now hardware accelerated =) which would make apps run much better

  • Josh

    Download manager? Seriously? That’s why Ballmer said Android is for computer scientists.

    • http://www.clusta.com h0ruza

      Knowing the reasons why Ballmer is allowed to speak freely to anyone with an ear is a much harder question to answer.

      They should pay Brad Pitt to stand in his place and microsoft would do a whole lot better because no one truely believes Steve Ballmer makes decisions that matter at microsoft.

      That would be like giving the keys of a expensive yacht to a bowl of fruit and telling the bowl of fruit to set sail for Narnia.

  • weed0n

    So, what about the menu button? is that really removed, that would definitely be a dealbreaker for me.

  • Rashad

    Those are some pretty sweet little features! I guess they were just too little to be mentioned in the demo

  • seth

    ICS has hardware accelerated UI right? How much smoother will this look compared to Gingerbread or Honeycomb devices with similar specs without hardware acceleration?

  • xProteus

    I root anyway and do this thing manually, but Ti freeze feature baked right into the phone should be really good news for a lot of people to kill off the bloat, and might even help with the battery… :)