Having read a post on Reddit today it got me to thinking deeply about Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) or Google Android 4.x as it’s also known by.
With the release of the first ever ICS based handset (Galaxy Nexus by Samsung) now complete in the UK and scheduled very soon for the US it’s not long before people will start to see what it has to offer and want it as much as we do in our tech circles, however…. and here is where I start to question the latest update on the Android system, will it really be as anticipated by those who have no knowledge of it at all?
OK so imagine switching on your Windows XP machine and being told there is a System Update available then downloading it only to realise you were now using CHROME O/S…. admittedly the concept is impossible however this is essentially what will start to happen to people who have recent handsets and have had no prior interest in or knowledge of ICS.
So, lets look at this closer then, assuming people are using Gingerbread (GB) or at the worst Froyo and have never seen or heard of Honeycomb, the leap to ICS is so substantial that its almost like going out and buying a new phone.
The main differences:
The lock screen on ICS and GB are completely different to those who have never used the new style of unlocks offered by many launcher apps and though very simple to understand it could be confusing at first.
Simple things like adding a widget to your home screen… on Gingerbread / Froyo it’s a simple long press on your screen and a menu appears with the widget section however on ICS its no longer there, its now part of the menu that holds all the apps. A long press on the home screen has a very different effect on ICS to GB
Even things like the menu structure an layout are now completely different. Gingerbread (Stock or Manufacturer Configured) the menu system had just application icons and now it has the applications as well as widgets.
Probably the biggest change is the way that the settings are handled between GB and ICS, in GB the menus look rather straight forward, no categories or toggle bars and setting up WiFi is pretty straight forward however on ICS the icon for WiFi is two fold, click on the toggle to power it on or off and click on the words to get into the settings for WiFi.
This obviously is not where the changes end, Ice Cream Sandwich was built from the ground up where as the other phone ROMs were built on top of each other from the Cupcake original.
Admittedly if people used a tablet with Honeycomb then they might well feel more at home on ICS however the average Joe Android user will have never seen a group up update rolled out to them.
So what are your thoughts? Do you believe that this will cause some issues when phones go to system update or do you feel users will simply embrace the change and it will all come naturally the same way the upgrade from Froyo to Gingerbread went?