Today we are announcing Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich — a new version of the platform that brings a refined, unified user experience for phones, tablets, and more.
Android 4.0 builds on the things people love most about Android — efficient multitasking, rich notifications, customizable home screens, resizable widgets, and deep interactivity — and adds powerful new ways of communicating and sharing. It includes many great features for users, including social and sharing integration, network data usage control, innovative connectivity and camera options, and an updated set of standard apps.
For developers, Android 4.0 introduces many new capabilities and APIs. Here are some highlights:
Unified UI toolkit: A single set of UI components, styles, and capabilities for phones, tablets, and other devices.
Rich communication and sharing: New social and calendar APIs, Android Beam for NFC-based instant sharing, Wi-Fi Direct support, Bluetooth Health Device Profile support.
Deep interactivity and customization: Improved notifications, lockscreen with camera and music controls, and improved app management in the launcher.
New graphics, camera, and media capabilities: Image and video effects, precise camera metering and face detection, new media codecs and containers.
Interface and input: Hardware-accelerated 2D drawing, new grid-based layout, improved soft keyboard, spell-checker API, stylus input support, and better mouse support.
Improved accessibility: New accessibility APIs and text-to-speech APIs for writing new engines.
Enhancements for enterprise: Keychain and VPN APIs for managing credentials and connections, a new administrator policy for disabling the camera.
For a complete overview of what’s new for users and developers, please read the Android 4.0 Platform Highlights.
Alongside the new Android platform, we are releasing new versions of the SDK Tools (r14) and ADT Plugin (14.0) for Eclipse. Among the highlights are:
- Improved build performance in Ant and Eclipse
- Improved layout and XML editors
If you have already developed and published apps, we encourage you to download the Android 4.0 platform now, to begin testing your app before devices arrive in stores.
Check out the video below for a closer look at Android 4.0 in action.