An Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Stephen Yagielowicz

Google recently released its highly anticipated and extensively revamped Android 4.0 mobile operating system (OS), codenamed “Ice Cream Sandwich,” much to the delight of users of phones, tablets and other devices powered by the updated Open Source software.

According to the Android Developers Blog, Android 4.0 delivers a refined, unified user interface (UI) for phones and tablets and introduces innovative features for users and developers that make it “simple, beautiful, and beyond smart.”

Android 4.0 delivers a refined, unified user interface (UI) for phones and tablets and introduces innovative features for users and developers that make it “simple, beautiful, and beyond smart.”

“Android 4.0 builds on the things people love most about Android,” the blog states. “Easy 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,” Xavier Ducrohet, Android SDK Tech Lead, wrote. “Including social and sharing integration, network data usage control, innovative connectivity and camera options, and an updated set of standard apps.”

Since our industry is based on “communicating and sharing,” XBIZ wanted to see if the new OS version offers any features of special interest to adult content producers and consumers, beside allowing users to access the camera without first unlocking the device.

Here’s what we found:

Android 4.0 eases app development (adult or otherwise) through its introduction of numerous new capabilities and APIs, including the highly touted Unified UI toolkit that provides “a single set of UI components, styles, and capabilities for phones, tablets and other devices,” paving the way for more consistent delivery of graphically rich content.

Content richness may be more than graphical, however, and here Android 4.0 shines, with new social and calendar APIs, plus Wi-Fi Direct support for better streaming and the intriguing Android Beam which enables NFC-based instant sharing; creating interesting opportunities for urban hook-up and other adult social sites.

On the content production front, Ducrohet notes that the already impressive hardware capabilities of higher-end Smartphones are further enhanced by the new graphics, camera control and other media capabilities that Android 4.0 offers, such as improved image and video effects, precise camera metering and face detection, new codecs and more.

Robust customization options, such as improved notification and app management tools make interacting with apps and dismissing untimely notifications fast and easy.

Ducrohet highlights improvements to the interface and input features of Android 4.0, including hardware-accelerated 2D drawing, a new grid-based layout and soft keyboard, plus a spell-checker API, stylus input support, and better mouse support. Accessibility is also enhanced through new APIs like text-to-speech.

While some of this screams “great for mobile porn,” Android 4.0 and the devices that it powers provide a platform for all savvy developers to exploit; delivering a cutting-edge entertainment experience to consumers on the go — a group with a sizeable market share.

The Android OS reportedly enjoys around 44 percent of the U.S. Smartphone market, although tablets running this operating system trail considerably behind Apple’s iPad, with a respective worldwide market share of approximately 27 versus 68 percent.

Google released a new version of its SDK Tools and ADT Plugin for Eclipse to help complement the new features available to developers in Android 4.0.

A complete feature set and links to further resources can be found online by visiting