Android

Android 4.0: Eight new features that actually matter

Google unveiled Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" on Wednesday and showed off lots of eye candy. Here's a look at the useful stuff.

Google and Samsung teamed up for a joint announcement on Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Samsung was involved because it's manufacturing the first Android 4.0 device, the Galaxy Nexus, which becomes the latest "Google phone," following in the footsteps of the Nexus One and the Nexus S.

Thankfully, the announcement was dominated by updates about Android 4.0, which reunites the platform around one OS for both smartphones and tablets. On Wednesday, Google was mostly talking about Android 4.0's smartphone features and there were a lot to like.

While Google showed off plenty of the improvements were just eye candy, here's my list of eight new features in Ice Cream Sandwich that will actually be quite useful:

1. Android Beam

This is a secure peer-to-peer sharing mechanism using NFC that lets you quickly send content or information from one Android device to another. My colleague Larry Dignan said it reminds him of using IR to beam a digital business card on the old Palm devices.  Hopefully, Beam will prove to be more versatile and reliable.

2. Data usage tools

Android 4.0 integrates its own built-in tools for tracking and controlling your data usage so that you don't go over your data plan cap and owe your carrier extra money at the end of the month. This is more important than ever with the inevitable advent of usage caps in 4G.

3. Voice typing

There's a new "voice input engine" in Ice Cream Sandwich that allows you to dictate an extended message like an email or a text message. Don't confuse this with the iPhone's new Siri digital assistant, but it could be a very useful feature for when you're in the car.

4. Face unlock

Google has introduced facial recognition to its unlock screen. Instead of using a PIN or pattern recognition, you can now choose facial recognition as your login/unlock method. In the demo at the announcement, the feature failed, so this could need a couple iterations before it works smoothly.

5. Universal copy-and-paste

Android already has copy-and-paste but the various Android skins from the OEMs (and even some apps) implement it differently. In Android 4.0, Google has improved the feature and made it universal.

6. Quick responses to calls

When you receive a call but choose to send it to voicemail, you can now select from a series of canned messages (like "Sorry, in a meeting" or "Call me back in 20 min") and an automatic text message will be sent to the caller.

7. Screenshots

You can now take screenshots in Android by holding down the power and volume-down buttons. Thank you! This is especially helpful for us journalists, but it's also useful for IT and business pros who need to put together documentation or show an employee how to do something in Android. No longer do we have to install the whole SDK just to take a simple screenshot.

8. Camera improvements

The camera app has gotten a big upgrade. Google promises "continuous focus, zero shutter lag exposure, and decreased shot-to-shot speed." I have my doubts about zero shutter lag, but if they've improved significantly on the laggy camera app in most Android phones then it will be a welcome upgrade.

Video demo

The Galaxy Nexus

The first Android 4.0 device, the Galaxy Nexus, will arrive in November. Here's what the details look like:

  • Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich"
  • 1.2GHz dual-core CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 16GB or 32GB internal memory
  • 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 HD Super AMOLED display
  • 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash
  • 1.3 megpaixel front-facing camera
  • 1080p HD video capture and playback
  • 1750mAh battery
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • NFC support
  • Barometer
  • 8.94mm thick
  • 135g (weight)
  • Pentaband HSPA+
  • LTE available by region
See: Photos: Savoring the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Also read

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

60 comments
chdchan
chdchan

Nowadays many use more than one phones and there should be higher interoperability among different models or even brands. Can something like a cloud phone book be achieved with apps?

daviddag
daviddag

After my experience with the HTC Wildfire, I had my doubts about Android. Since switching to Samsung Ace I am getting to appreciate Android more, even if there are still some issues. My main issue with the Wildfire was the battery lasted less than 2 days, even with managing the background apps - and no Spitfire_Sysop I did not install the apps, they came preloaded. I never wanted stock market updates, yet there they were, constantly running in the background. The Ace both manages my apps better, but still needs improvement, (clicked on Chat once and now it keeps popping up in the background from time to time) and a stronger battery. Most of my power is still used by Cell Standby and Phone Idle. Android needs to allow users to be able to be able to uninstall certain preloaded apps that are not needed without having to root the phone and possibly void the warranty. Often there are better apps on the Market than the preloaded ones, and this will also free up space on the phone if needed. How much power will processor use? As the Nexus comes with Android 4.0 and has a 1750mAh battery and better app management, then bring it on and lets see it in action.

DT2
DT2

I had an Android phone - Motorola Droid-X for about six months. Not so much an issue with the OS as with the manufacturer and carrier. Lots of stuff that I didn't need and didn't want on the phone and no way to remove them short of rooting the phone. All that crapware would start up every few minutes and I would have to kill them to conserve battery. And, I have a holster with a magnetic flap - the phone would sense the magnet and automatically assume that I wanted to connect to some sort of home base system and turn on whenever I put it in the holster. Next thing I knew - dead battery. No way to deactivate the "feature". It had an 8-megapixel camera that took really crappy photos. I'm not really an Apple fanboi, would never own one of their computers, but some of their stuff is nice. Better camera, even at 5Mp. Liked the larger screen on the Droid better, though. Even with some of the shortcomings of the iPhone-4, I believe it is a better phone than the Android that I had. I might feel differently with some of the recent changes to Android. Will do some in-depth comparisons when my contract is up next year.

Ken
Ken

The beauty about Android is there will be an APP for most of these things you want to do, you have a choice. I like Android Assistant (probably one of many) it shows you whats running and gives you the option of closing it. Brilliant little app, I can recommend it

GovRon
GovRon

I'm excited that the new OS will somehow feature the lightcycles from TRON.

dcolbert
dcolbert

Sounds suspiciously like BUMP to me, except for limited to being only available between Android devices. Is the only significant difference that BUMP requires data to send through the cloud where Beam allows peer-to-peer ad hoc connections between devices? I mean, I can already do this, between Android and iOS devices, through Bump. What is the value add that Beam is bringing to my Android handset?

mrAverage
mrAverage

second look at something and sign in again FU techrepublic. Oh this artical is so PHONE related your opinion is worthless. I QUIT this crap site after 5 years FU and you software idiots who dwell on bits and bites of worthless drivel.................................. goood fing by software 2nd raters

wpaez
wpaez

c'mon they haven't address the main things missing on android like IPSEC VPN support!

kschlotthauer
kschlotthauer

I liked the article a lot, but the thing is, we have most those now with GB. 1. Android Beam = BUMP which I have on my iTouch and my Android. You can transfer many things. (Photos, Contacts, Apps etc). 2. Data usage tools: There are tools available on the MARKET already. I am with Verizon and you can log onto your account and get a break down of your usage. I have unlimited, so it is a moot point. 3. Voice typing: Again, this is something I use all the time. Albeit short messages, but I can still say what I want and it transcribes. 4. Face unlock: I have seen some apps for this also. 7. Screenshots: I have a custom ROM (das BAMF Forever 1.0.8) and when I press the power button, that is a choice....works perfectly! 8. Camera improvements: With the custom ROM....amazingly fast...I can take a picture and not have to wait 3 seconds for it to save. Bottom line, most of the items mentioned in the article are available now. Maybe with ICS it will be slicker and integrated better....but for now, I am happy with my custom Thunderbolt!

chris.reynolds
chris.reynolds

The device in the picture is just pasted over another picture of a hand, and that makes it look very cheap. Just saying...

daboochmeister
daboochmeister

I noticed from the presentation that they adopted an object-oriented contact list approach, akin to what's on WP7. With how much attention this got in the WP7 discussions, I was surprised this wasn't listed as an important feature (seems much more fundamental than, e.g., "quick response to calls"). I'm also surprised there hasn't been a "you stole from MS" sturm und drang on these forums yet (though I don't believe WP7 invented the idea). But without (hopefully) the fanboi-ism, it would be interesting to see a comparison of the implementations for strengths/weaknesses.

Ajax4Hire
Ajax4Hire

Camera on my Droid is a step back from my previous cellphone (Razr). The Camera "app" seemed to be an afterthought, not well organized and not easy to use. Before, I could take a picture and send to an email in a three-button press on my Razr; I could do the button press by touch, sending while still paying attention to the outside world. The Camera "app" needs a quick destination button, not everyone, no one has the time to surf thru the menus to simply forward a picture.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

"Because apps are allowed to sit in the background running up massive bills (as well as draining battery, sucking down RAM, and hogging CPU)." Those who encounter this problem, there are already apps to fix this problem. There are also various alternative solutions if you are smart enough to use them. My favorite is to block ad sites via "Hosts" file.

mark
mark

I have Android 2.3.3 and the screenshot feature is already there.

stephanisat_z
stephanisat_z

Am I just missing something new with this feature, because I already have the ability to select from a list of excuse messages when I receive a call I can't or don't want to take. I also can make custom messages as well.

rhonin
rhonin

Downloaded the SDK for ICS and have to say I am impressed. Jason, you picked a good 8. I'm sure others could pick another and another 8. I particularly like the new functionality for mail and calendar, not to leave out the app review. My single biggest hope is that the OEMs and Carriers get this out to existing compatible phones ASAP. Would luv to see it on my SGS2.

Justin James
Justin James

Those are all interesting, nice upgrades. But they don't address the fundamental problems of the Android platform. Why do users need better data usage tools? Because apps are allowed to sit in the background running up massive bills (as well as draining battery, sucking down RAM, and hogging CPU). Where are things like better application sandboxing and other important security items? J.Ja

rAllcorn
rAllcorn

You said in your post: "BUMP requires data to send through the cloud" but bump uses the Bluetooth and sends phone-to-phone, short range. No "cloud" is needed. Disclaimer: of course, nobody really knows what "the cloud" is, because the cloud itself is indefined. That's what we've been using in IT for years to represent "the unknown" portion of a network, or the area we don't really care to document because it's outside of our scope.

ejoeplumber
ejoeplumber

security. the only point of beam is security. much much much much much better security. that is all.

wdewey@cityofsalem.net
wdewey@cityofsalem.net

Bump requires network connectivity so if you are in a building it may not work for you. Beem does not require network connectivity just proximity. Bill

nepper
nepper

The last message has a point - you can do most of this already with third party apps. There is merit, though, in having them in the OS. For example, I have yet to make the equivalent of a "Facetime" video call because it is not standard like it isn in iPhones. I need to find a third party app (I have installed one), but then I need to pre-plan with other parties that I will be calling and have them install the same third party app to do it. And because there are no standards it has to be the same third party app (I think). And I need to register. It would be good if it could interface with the Apple Facetime app too, then its a more universal standard.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

You saw no comments because these features are not a new invention.

ejoeplumber
ejoeplumber

That is what android is for. If you don't like the way something acts, Change it!!! That is it. Make it exactly what you want. If you dont want to think, use an iphone and live with what they give you. If you care what you get? choose an android and make it what you want. If you want control? then take it!

ejoeplumber
ejoeplumber

the point originally made was that it should be native.

Justin James
Justin James

Why should anyone have to play sys admin games and download third party apps to make their phone work? Why should someone need to be "smart enough to use" those third party solutions at all? By those standards, only 5% of the phone market should go to Android, the rest should be split by RIM, iOS, and WP7, phone OS's that "dumb" users can handle. J.Ja

ejoeplumber
ejoeplumber

added by the carrier to your phone prior to sale???

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

Are you sure it's not a third party app? I'm using 2.3.5 btw. MiUi custom ROM on HTC Desire.

ejoeplumber
ejoeplumber

this is a new feature for android. before this it was only a feature that some carriers added to some android phones. my google Nexux S does not do this but my sprint Epic did.

aflynnhpg
aflynnhpg

I'm confused, with IOS5, Windows 7 Mobile and other device OS's your saying that they don't have apps running in the background with internet connections? This is a problem specific to the Andriod Platform, and a fundamental problem at that???

KBabcock75
KBabcock75

I agree totally, I love new tools but fix the foundation first. Also don't forget that this upgrade will most likely be offered to less then 40% of the Android phones out there.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop

There is a new task manager that quickly and easily shows you what is running. Users need to assert better control over what they run. If you don't want an app always running in the background then why did you install it? Many apps try to give you live data. People want them to be recieving the new information. Running in the background is sometimes the whole point of widgets. "In the first of many tricks borrowed from Android Honeycomb (Google???s tablet OS), Ice Cream Sandwich contains a revamped Task Manager that makes multitasking far less of a clunky chore. By touching the dedicated virtual button at the bottom of the screen, you???ll be able to bring up a list of thumbnails of recently accessed apps, frozen at the exit point. You can then jump back into them at a touch." http://www.fonehome.co.uk/2011/10/19/android-4-0-ice-cream-sandwich-top-10-new-features/

seanferd
seanferd

Michael Kassner has covered issues with the privileges apps have in the Android system. This was supposed to be fixed with a patch, but was not in all cases. It seems like a more fundamental architectural problem. edit: To add MK's surname. Not everyone would know to whom I was referring. Duh.

A Black Dude
A Black Dude

you sound retarded. if thats the case, why not get an iphone do the same thing (i.e. jailbreak it)?

tkejlboom
tkejlboom

As of iOS 5, I believe only RIM won't allow background multitasking, so you're suggesting everyone else should be using a blackberry?

ejoeplumber
ejoeplumber

Android is made for those of us who do want to do more with our phones. Why are you on this forum? I am not trying to be rude. I am being serious.

mark
mark

No app, just press the buttons as stated in the post. I took a snapshot of a running video. Can send you that if you want me to, but of course, I need your email ID! My phone is SGS2, BTW.

kschlotthauer
kschlotthauer

I have das BAMF Forever 1.0.8 custom ROM and it has the SCREENSHOT feature already. Hold the power button and that is one of the options.

tkejlboom
tkejlboom

No, WP7 will let apps run in the background. iOS 5 finally has real multitasking, and will now allow apps to keep running in the background. So, A. It's not restricted to Android, and B. Lots, if not most of us, want the multitasking running. For instance, some of us leave WiFi and GPS on all the time ON PURPOSE, not because we're constantly lost, but because when we want to get unlost, we want to have a GPS lock as soon as the app opens, not after reinitializing and re-locking.

ejoeplumber
ejoeplumber

if I dont want an app running in the background then why did I install it? I make coffee with a auto maker that is ready when I wake, but I do not want the coffee maker running after my last cup that may be at 9 am or maybe 11 am.

dcolbert
dcolbert

This is a Linux 101 shift-the-responsibility-from-the-OS-to-the-user textbook excuse. And I'm thinking you and I have had the same discussion in a blog I posted that was negative of Android, Spitfire - but maybe it was someone else. In either case - the response here should make it clear - people want their platform to intelligently manage rogue apps, and Android gives developers far too much power to circumvent the OS settings in order to "behave as intended". Frequently this means consuming battery and hogging the connection, preventing sleep, turning on disabled services indiscriminately, and otherwise putting the performance and function of an APP at a higher priority than they should be. Google needs to step on this and make Android much more intelligent about automatically managing applications, identifying those that do not co-exist well with phones and tablets, and having proactive routines to prevent this kind of app from having a negative impact on the phone. Barring that, they need to screen apps in a manner more like the Apple app store. I'd rather see the former solution than the latter.

scottcp36
scottcp36

Man they just can't get this right... I don't care about recently accessed apps.. I want to know what's running right NOW! At the tap of an icon! And I should be able to easily close apps, while inside them (Like that nice X at the top of a MS Windows window!) Why should I have to hit back a few times or home to close an app, and then not even be sure it's closed! And it should be easier to "Minimize" an app to the background, too! This is my biggest pet peeve with Android.

Justin James
Justin James

We hated that when it was Windows 95 and 3.1, and screamed, "just make it work!" Windows Mobile was a flop in no small part because the experience was simply too much like dealing with a computer. Few people want to play sys admin with their phone, they want to play games and use apps and make calls. J.Ja

KBabcock75
KBabcock75

I should not have to manage my tasks, Android needs to follow iOS's lead here and start managing the tasks so the user does not have to. In this day and time it is ridiculous that you have to hand hold the Android OS.

Grantmasterflash
Grantmasterflash

"If you don't want an app always running in the background then why did you install it? " You are are not serious are you? That's the lamest answer I've ever heard. That's like the OpenOffice developers taking away the close button then when users complain that it's running all the time you telling them to not download it. Maybe they WANT OpenOffice, they just don't want it to run all the time. Maemo had this right, Google just needs to copy it.

A Black Dude
A Black Dude

i was gonna comment but i see you have everything under control. you can obviously tell people here have not heavily tested other mobile platforms or they would know that other os handles multitasking totally different than the current android os's. apple has what only 3 multitasking api's? everything else is just a saved state that is resumed upon relaunch ( i.e what android is now trying to implement with 4.0)

Justin James
Justin James

I'm not sure if you have a development background or not, but if you do, I highly encourage you to read the documentation for WP7 around background stuff. An app put in the background does indeed consume RAM, but it is halted with the exception of specific "background tasks" that it can create. And those are designed to not consume massive amounts of CPU. Furthermore, when RAM gets tight, WP7 performs a "tombstoning" of the application anyways (shutting it down, but giving it a chance to save its state or otherwise wrap up), and when the user returns, the app is notified that it is coming back from tombstoning, not starting fresh, so it can choose to reload its previous state. This is a massive difference from Android, which, like I said, just puts stuff in the background like a PC. That model is fine for aPC with many GB of RAM, lots of CPU power to spare, a high speed, unlimited Internet connection, and is either plugged into a wall outlet or running on a big battery. But for a phone or tablet, it is deadly. J.Ja

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

No, a program running in the background is still doing everything that it would be doing if it had the screen up. A program hibernating is just sitting back there and doing nothing except for the memory it takes up. They are different things. I believe that you will find that iOS and Win7 both have the same features, which means that they will have the same problems if you lose track of what you asked the program to do.

Justin James
Justin James

If you read the dev docs you'll see it. Lots of details to go into, let's just say that on WP7 and iOS, things aren't sitting in the background chewing battery and data. They are designed for having apps idle and doing minimal work in the background, and the APIs and docs really encourage that. Android is like a PC's multitasking model, whatever you do in the foreground can be done in the background... and for the most part, putting the app in the background doesn't signal to the app that it should scale back or force a reduction in resource usage. J.Ja

Justin James
Justin James

"Android is made for those of us who do want to do more with our phones. Why are you on this forum?" That makes no sense at all. Android is being pushed to everyone by the carriers, the sales numbers have made it clear that it is being used by many many times more users than just those who "want to do more with our phones". I am on this forum because I like to discuss things. Should I stop posting because I don't think that Android is the bee's knees? J.Ja

tkejlboom
tkejlboom

How is the phone supposed to know when you're going to want GPS tags on your photo or not before you open the camera app? I turned this off by default on my friend's phone, and then he complained about how long it took to take a pic with the tags. When the phone knows what you want to take a picture of from where before the user does, we don't need the user anymore. Easier management tools are essential. Users shouldn't need to run top and then kill based on PID, but they should have the intellect and power to choose what they want running.

rAllcorn
rAllcorn

My Droid Bionic is "great"! It's truly what an Android should be! All I have to do is to his the MENU button, SETTINGS, and MANAGE MY APPS. It's built into the OS! I can choose from RUNNING APPS, or ALL APPS, or the MEDIA AREA (what's using that area), etc. I can tap on one, stop it, clear it's cache, or uninstall it altogether! There's also an app called "Task Manager" that reports the % CPU being used, and how much memory is being utilized for it. And if I add an app in the "Auto-end list" then 2 minutes after my screen-lock kicks in, the app is terminated. Now I didn't have all of this cool stuff with my HTC Thunderbolt. I really like that phone, but it fell so, so short of what I was hoping for. When I traded it out for a Droid Bionic, everything got "wonderful"! It's like I took a "happy pill". All of what I wanted, "worked" and worked well! So, don't lose hope! It's "out there"! *NOTE: This "task manager" seems to have come with the OS (or the Bionic) ... couldn't find a link to send you for it in Market. Sorry.

Txtraveler
Txtraveler

Actually, I've been able to tweak my android phone (Nexus One) for greatly improved battery life. I leave GPS and Wifi on, and the smart manager minimizes their use of battery. The only feature I disable is the 3G by limiting the phone to 2G speeds when apps are accessing data in the background, but when I want to use 3G I can re-enable it with two taps. If I don't make calls or turn on the display (like overnight for example), my battery usage is LESS THAN 1% an hour. With moderate usage I can easily get two days on a charge, with the GPS and other features left on continuously. It's a matter of fully understanding and working with the features that are available in an open-source phone. Now I am the first to admit that Apple makes some of the coolest gadgets in the world, but I have to agree with ejoeplumber about Apple users accepting the choices Steve Jobs limited them to, while Android users prefer not to accept those limitations and enjoy the variety of devices the OS lends itself to. It took a lot of learning and work on my part, but the result is that now I have a phone that serves my purposes far better than an iPhone ever could. That's what *I* wanted, and it's what I have. For those who don't want to learn what I did to get a phone like I have, an iPhone is a very good idea...but the Android OS in a good piece of hardware has far greater potential because it doesn't have the limitations Apple imposes. I could never personally understand why people made such a fuss over iPods that didn't have FM or voice recording capability, or iPads that couldn't play Flash or connect to a simple thumbdrive. No Apple device allows the owner to change the battery, or expand the memory, for example. That didn't make sense to me, but it doesn't seem to bother the Apple product owners at all. I guess it takes all kinds..

rAllcorn
rAllcorn

I can't believe you think the Android takes 2nd place to the iPhone! Android has over 50% of the marketshare, Apple's iPhone has 25%, and the rest is divided up amongst the various other carriers/vendors. Android (a good one), and iPhone are both good phones - Android is for those who want the "freedom" to think Open Source, and use what they want, tweak the sounds with what they want,etc. iPhone on the other hand is for folks that just want the phone to work. They don't want the choices if it means it's going to take more than 5 minutes of their time. So, Apple's iPhone "works" for those folks. But I really just about fell out of my chair laughing when I read your line ... wait - let me quote it: "I may not be near a charger and I may still want to use my phone some more. I want my battery to stay charged for the next day or 2." Nobody, and I mean "nobody" who has ever used a smartphone expects to get 2-3 days out of their phone, especially if they've used the GPS features, or something similar! It just won't happen ... That's why the Androids have "extended life" batteries you can move to, and the iPhone's have these little "battery charger" deals you plug into the bottom to buy you some more precious time to finish out the day. (notice I said, "finish out the day", not "the week") As a treat for my son this Spring Break, we (my family and our iPhones) took the Commuter Train to downtown Austin and spent the day touring. It's funny how you seldom tour your own area. Anyway, we were on foot, so we used our GPS to help us find stuff and save blocks and blocks of wandering. By lunchtime, we looked like drug addicts! We were frantically looking for some public place where we could plug in our phones and charge them!! It was just plain rediculous!! So, if you're planning to get 2-3 days out of your phone, Android or iPhone, I'd suggest you turn off "everything", and I mean "EVERYTHTING" including the brightness, screen-lock timer, etc. and also turn the phone totally and completely "OFF" at night, if you want 2-3 days out of it. If you are lucky, you might just make it. But I seriously doubt it. You'll be hungrily seeking somebody - ANYBODY with an electrical plug so you can "plug in"!! As far as the background apps, the Android has a "background" ON/OFF switch that can shut these babies off when you're desperate to save your power. And eventually, iPhone will have it too! They both copy from one another. But it'd be nice if say the GPS app had an option where you could turn it off and it only came on when needed.

A Black Dude
A Black Dude

That's only because people like you are wrongly comparing the sells of company's phone to the distribution of an os. now if you compare either the sells of google branded phones to apple branded phones, or the sells of android devices to ios devices (iphones, ipods, ipads, apple tvs) apple trumps...you wouldn't make a dumb statement like omg microsoft sold a million pc's last week

rAllcorn
rAllcorn

If you want the OS to do everything for you, with canned decisions on how it is done, then the iPhone is your baby - NOT the Android. Android is all about freedom ... freedom of choice. This reminds me of the children of Israel. For 400 years they cried and moaned to God, "Rescue us! Get us out of here!" and when He did (it took a lot of work to orchestrate that big move, you know!) then all they did was whine and moan to God about how they "had it better back in Egypt"! iPhone: it just "works"! Everything is pat, set, and running. It's a great phone! And you don't have to worry about stuff not working together. BUT, you have to give up a few freedoms for this. Android: you have to "work it" to get everything the way you want it. That's because you now have "freedom" to do it, how you want it, when you want it, and "if" you want it! But, there's a drawback. You can't just get it and use it. You have to figure out what apps you want to use to do what ... how are you going to play and sync your music? your movies? your podcasts? ebooks? With the iPhone it was all one application, one choice, and it all "worked". With Android, there is a LOT of ways to do it, but you - have - the - freedom - of - choice here! You have to make up your mind what you want! iPhone - works, limited choices, ready-to-go! Android - works with "tweaking", all kinds of wonderful choices, not quite ready to go (you get to do it) My only complaint, as an Android user? Why, when they develop an "app", can't they develop it for both? It shouldn't be that hard! Then, we would "all" have freedom of choice, in our software! I left Apple's iPhone 3GS recently (the lock button stopped working - still had time on the 2yr clock) and had a few apps on the iPhone that I really miss! (MotionX GPS, a wireless analysis app I used, my Guitar tuner, etc.) These apps are not only not available on the Android, but when you search for them, something else comes up, and it's usually not as good. So "freedom of choice" has it's price! *Adam & Eve found that out in the Garden of Eden ...

tkejlboom
tkejlboom

iPhone has been playing second fiddle to Android for the better part of a year.

tkejlboom
tkejlboom

iOS 5 has gone to multitasking and allows apps to continue running in the background. You have to actually be smarter than your phone. Imagine that. Gosh, I'm sorry that's so hard for you.

ejoeplumber
ejoeplumber

The reason android plays second fiddle to iphone is that people do no research phones and services. If they did then they would not believe that android does not manage apps. we just want better control than the designers want to force us into with the automatic app management. Unlike iphone users, android users think about how we as individual users, are using our phones and are asking for suitable control rather than accepting the predetermined controls set up for the non thinking masses. ("I dont want to have to") You dont have to! Just let the software do its thing. You dont have to think. But those of us who do think want BETTER management. I want to use my gps to get me there and I want to take some picks along the way and post them on a social space as I go. but once I get done using all the fancy stuff that day, I may not be near a charger and I may still want to use my phone some more. I want my battery to stay charged for the next day or 2. Some of us dont use our phone the same way ever day. lots of us use actually use our phones for real things and have to make decisions and sacrifices throughout the day like turning off GPS and some useful background notifications when they are not any longer that important to my task at hand. or turning off sync or other features that we no longer NEED today but would rather not just do totally without. Doing without seams to be apples way of granting stability and battery life. just convince the people to do without and convince them to just be OK with that and batteries will last. Really? just dont install an app in the first place to save battery life? Really???

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