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Google launches Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”

Major new release unifies smartphone and tablet operating systems


There’s a new Favourites tray at the bottom of every home screen, where you can pin your most-used apps. Apps that you no longer want can be disabled, so they don’t appear in the tray or load any resources – this is excellent news for those whose phones come with pre-installed apps loaded into the phone’s read-only memory.

The home screens now include a new favourites bar
The home screens now include a new favourites bar

If you don’t want to take a call, a new option lets you quickly fire off a pre-defined text message, such as “Sorry, I’m busy at the moment, can I call you back later?” There are a few template messages included, but you can customise your own too.

Not to be outdone by the iPhone 4S’s Siri, the new Android has voice input built into the messaging app. You no longer have to press a button to start speaking – simply start dictating a message and the app will start transcribing it. Spelling and grammar correction has been beefed up, with new dictionaries and a new heuristics engine. Suspect words are now underlined, and you can tap them to correct them or add them to the dictionary.

Spell check
Spell-checking can now be done after you’ve written an email

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