Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (API 14-15)

Version 4.0

Release date October 18, 2011


Major refinements to the “Holo” interface with new Roboto font family
Soft buttons from Android 3.x are now available for use on phones
Separation of widgets in a new tab, listed in a similar manner to applications
Easier-to-create folders, with a drag-and-drop style
Improved visual voicemail with the ability to speed up or slow down voicemail messages
Pinch-to-zoom functionality in the calendar
Integrated screenshot capture (accomplished by holding down the Power and Volume-Down buttons)
Improved error correction on the keyboard
Ability to access applications directly from lock screen
Improved copy and paste functionality
Better voice integration and continuous, real-time speech to text dictation
Face Unlock, a feature that allows users to unlock handsets using facial recognition software
Automatic syncing of browser with users’ Chrome bookmarks
Data Usage section in settings that lets users set warnings when they approach a certain usage limit, and disable data use when the limit is exceeded
Ability to shut down applications from the recent apps list with a swipe
Improved camera application with zero shutter lag, time lapse settings, panorama mode, and the ability to zoom while recording
Built-in photo editor
New gallery layout, organized by location and person
Refreshed “People” application with social network integration, status updates and hi-res images
Android Beam, a near-field communication feature allowing the rapid short-range exchange of web bookmarks, contact info, directions, YouTube videos and other data
Support for the WebP image format
Hardware acceleration of the UI
Wi-Fi Direct
1080p video recording for stock Android devices
Android VPN Framework (AVF), and TUN (but not TAP) kernel module. Prior to 4.0, VPN software required rooted Android.

Numerous bugfixes and optimizations
Improvements to graphics, databases, spell-checking and Bluetooth functionality
New APIs for developers, including a social stream API in the Contacts provider
Calendar provider enhancements
New camera applications enhancing video stabilization and QVGA resolution
Accessibility refinements such as improved content access for screen readers