Posted on Monday, December 12, 2011
We’ve been giving the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and its Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS a thorough going over over the past few days, which resulted in our feature on the top 5 major new features. Now it’s the turn of the neat little touches that transform a functional mobile OS to one you can really warm to.
Rightly or wrongly, the Android OS has a bit of a reputation for being the tech nerd’s mobile OS of choice. Some see it as a slightly awkward, overly complicated system that requires a good level of technical expertise to fully grasp. We don’t entirely agree, but it’s good to see Google tackling this perception with Ice Cream Sandwich’s little guide notes when you first start using the OS. Little explanatory annotations pop up the first few times you use many of the features. Almost uniquely for such a feature, they manage to be helpful without being obtrusive, and they don’t outstay their welcome.
We’ve seen this already on iOS, but the addition of drag and drop folders in Ice Cream Sandwich is a helpful little touch nonetheless. It’s handled nicely here too – just drag an app icon over another on the home screen and a new folder will be created, with the primary icon shown at the front. Subsequent additions will visibly stack up behind, while you can name the folder simply by going into it and tapping on the ‘Unnamed Folder’ field. You can discern folders from single apps by the former’s circular background. Like we say, it’s not new, but Google’s implemented folders very well – and unlike iOS there’s no restrictive size limit.
YOU SHOULD READ — Android Ice Cream Sandwich – Top 5 major new features
It’s the littlest of little touches, but we really dig the little animation when Ice Cream Sandwich kicks into sleep mode. It’s like an old-fashioned TV set being turned off, with the formerly bright picture rapidly reducing down to a white line before going black. It’s a subtle reminder that you’re handling a multimedia powerhouse, and it makes you want to ‘tune in’ again straight away.
Settings in notification bar
Back to the small but meaningful touches, and we like how there’s a fixed Settings shortcut in the notification bar. It’s easy to miss, as it’s a subtle little icon with no words to signify what it is, but once you know it’s there it allows you quick access to Android’s immensely powerful Setting menu, and frees up an extra icon space on your main screen – assuming you, like us, tend to add a Settings shortcut as a matter of priority. Again, it’s not that the feature is particularly new, it’s just that Google has implemented it with admirable style and restraint.Louis Vuitton iPhone 4 Case