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Android Ice Cream Sandwich SDK Released

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the symbian-did-it-ten-years-ago dept.

Android 309

Hitting the front page for the first time, ttong writes "The highly anticipated Android 4.0 (codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich) has been released and finally brings the features of 3.x Honeycomb to smaller devices. Some of the highlights include: a revamped UI, a much faster browser, face unlock, a vastly improved camera app, improved task switching, streaming voice recognition, Wi-Fi Direct, and Bluetooth Health Device Profile. ... The API level is 14, download the new SDK here." calc noted that the source code has yet to be released (Google account required) except to legally required GPL components. Supposedly progress is being made toward getting AOSP back online: "We're working on it and we're making good progress, but we're not ready to announce any additional details yet." How many of the new features will remain proprietary and tied to Google services remains to be seen.

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309 comments

Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1, Interesting)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761038)

I heard my bother talking on the phone about this awhile ago... It seems like one of the most weird and random names to call something. I get it, code names are cool, and people readily recognize them. But you sound absolutely silly for doing so. Who wants to go to a meeting and tell their bosses that they're thinking of: "Replacing Honeycomb with Ice Cream Sandwich on all our android devices"?

Use the damn version numbers, PLEASE.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

Tukz (664339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761116)

Google have used types of desserts as naming scheme for Android since 1.5 (April 2009), and I can't see a problem with it.

No one is forcing you to use the names, however.
If you need to have a meeting with your bosses, feel free to use the actual version number, which is 4.0 for Ice cream Sandwich.

A lot of software use naming schemes, it's very common in OSS community.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761302)

At least naming them after deserts is better than the vulgar and juvenile sexual terms many FOSS projects use (gimp, kuntlik, fetchmail, jizm, I'm looking at you!)

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761416)

What's wrong with fetchmail?

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761498)

he confused it with feltchmale. Common problem amongst those who are obsessed with sucking cum out of a man's ass.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761880)

he confused it with feltchmale. Common problem amongst those who are obsessed with sucking cum out of a man's ass.

Ahem, the proper term is "santorum"...

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762008)

he confused it with feltchmale. Common problem amongst those who are obsessed with sucking cum out of a man's ass.

Ahem, the proper term is "santorum"...

Only in a "sanitorium" is it so.

*choke*

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (4, Informative)

TimeOut42 (314783) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761154)

They do use version numbers; Gingerbread = Android 2.x, Honeycomb = Android 3.x and Ice Cream Sandwich = 4.x This way satisfy the enthusiasts craving for a sweet desert and the professional's need to not sound like an enthusiast.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (5, Informative)

TarMil (1623915) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761220)

Gingerbread = 2.3 more precisely. 2.1 is Eclair and 2.2 is Froyo.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761514)

And they're working through the alphabet, which is another way to tell versions without numbers.

Cupcake
Donut
Eclair
Froyo
Gingerbread
Honeycomb
Ice Cream Sandwich

I wonder what dessert starts with J?

I'm more of an iOS fan myself, but it's a fun and cute naming convention. Pity most Android devices can't be easily upgraded. :-)

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761584)

Jello of course !

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761636)

Jellybean actually. Jello is trademarked, obviously.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

ttong (2459466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762190)

You mean Jell-O. Jello is a german band with hits such as The race [youtube.com] and Oh Yeah [youtube.com] .

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

dswskinner (630472) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762304)

Not sure if i am expecting a whoosh or not, but the group is called Yello.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762350)

There was an awesome speed metal band that went by the name of Green Jello, but they were forced to change it to Green Jelly after Kraft foods the maker of Jell-O complained.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Jell%C3%BF [wikipedia.org]

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761704)

Jam RollyPolly

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (2)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761156)

wow you're boring.

I just finished the cassowary version and now I'm working on the dingo version. Yes we use those terms in meetings, with bosses, and it gets a good chuckle. It's far more entertaining than version numbers.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (3, Interesting)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761354)

I worked on a project with another Doctor Who fan and we were perfectly fine with upgrading Jon Pertwee to Tom Baker.

I'm glad I got laid off before I had to go from Sylvester McCoy to Paul McGann. Although if we made it to version 10, we had the idea of naming 10.5 "Handy."

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761448)

Read her sig, and wonder how you fell for the troll.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761232)

Yes. They should use serious code names like Gutsy Gibbon, Intrepid Ibex, etc.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (0)

grommit (97148) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761248)

Who wants to go to a meeting and tell their bosses that they're thinking of: "Replacing Honeycomb with Ice Cream Sandwich on all our android devices"?

Just about anybody that isn't a complete and total prude.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761286)

I told my wife that Google names all their operating systems after desserts in order of the alphabet. She seriously thought I was kidding and was trying to make her sound gullible. For the record she does use a Droid Eris. She just doesn't really care what operating system is on it.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761368)

Because it's easier to refer to a name than a version number.
Primarily these code names are used only internally but as companies have become more public about internal ongoings, so have the code names.
To the public it's still 4.0. I've never seen any non-developer-targetted ad mention anything besides "Android X.Y" for the Android OS.
Not to mention having an excuse for themed release parties.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761808)

Because it's easier to refer to a name than a version number.
Primarily these code names are used only internally but as companies have become more public about internal ongoings, so have the code names.
To the public it's still 4.0. I've never seen any non-developer-targetted ad mention anything besides "Android X.Y" for the Android OS.
Not to mention having an excuse for themed release parties.

Ah, this makes a lot of sense. I'll have to defer to non-developer targetted ads, since I haven't really looked at Android except through enthusiast who use the code names.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761370)

You can say 'upgrading from version 2.3 to 4.0' in that meeting with your boss if you prefer. People often prefer the code-names as they're easier to remember the distinguishing features; gingerbread and froyo mean more to me than 2.3.4 and 2.2.1, but whatever works for you.

Personally, I was really looking forward to the nexus prime as the 'flagship' for ice cream sandwich (or 4.0!) - but the hardware looks pretty unimpressive compared to the galaxy S II, the new Razr or even something older like the optimus 3D.

Hopefully it goes AOSP soon so it can get back-ported by cyanogenmod to existing phones in something like a reasonable time frame - if we wait for the OEMs and then the carriers, it'll be many months if it happens at all.

Though I'm keeping my eye on the LG LU6400 - could be a good phone, and may launch with ice cream sandwich.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761400)

Oops, that should be the LG LU6200 [talkandroid.com] .

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761838)

gingerbread and froyo mean more to me than 2.3.4 and 2.2.1

Except as a non-enthusiast, I don't know which comes first. "The first initial of the code name tells you which order they came in, A-Z." Huh, I hadn't noticed that at all, and no one else is likely to notice without being told, excepting of course for the random insights that people make from time to time.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761564)

As usual, I blame Microsoft.

Chicago, Memphis, Whistler, Longhorn...

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761582)

They're just using a letter sequence, the same as Ubuntu does.

Eclair
Froyo
Gingerbread
Honeycomb
Ice cream sandwich

I agree that "Ice cream sandwich" is a bit of a silly name, but it is part of a logical sequence.

And kinda like Ubuntu, everyone will now start second-guessing what the next code name will be.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761860)

They're just using a letter sequence, the same as Ubuntu does.

Eclair
Froyo
Gingerbread
Honeycomb
Ice cream sandwich

I agree that "Ice cream sandwich" is a bit of a silly name, but it is part of a logical sequence.

And kinda like Ubuntu, everyone will now start second-guessing what the next code name will be.

I noticed this once I was clued in above. I don't really think Ubuntu code names are any better (or worse), honestly...

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761634)

Using an ice cream sandwich as a phone is still less ridiculous than side talking on an NGage.

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (3, Informative)

voss (52565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761844)

Actually its not random. The Android releases are being done in alphabetical order.

2.2 Froyo
2.3 Gingerbread
3.0 Honeycomb
4.0 Ice cream sandwich

get it?

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761872)

But not matching sequential versions. i.e. F=2, G=3, H=4

But it's so much fun (1)

RussellSHarris (1385323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762052)

What would you do for an Android SDK?

Re:Ice Cream Sandwich? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762156)

Every software company uses names like this - internal names for Windows follow (or used to anyway) city names, Apple uses cats as the naming convention for releases of OSX and Ubuntu uses a two name convention of Adjective-Animal for their releases. Personally I find it more fun...

That's cool, but my one grip still (0)

skeletor935 (790212) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761056)

is the miserable battery life. My droid Incredible goes barely a day and a half with little to no good smartphone usage. If I use the internet or video at all the battery is gone in less than a day. I even have all the default auto-running programs deleted. I will probably go back to iphone after this just because of its incredible battery life. I had the 3g and it was amazing.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

daid303 (843777) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761088)

Might be related to your droid, my HTC Legend gets about a week of "idle" time. A bit less with CyanogenMod instead of the stock firmware (not sure why...)

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761108)

sure, mr.fanboy. because iphone does more than one day of heavy usage now. probably in your magic iphony land.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (4, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761134)

is the miserable battery life. My droid Incredible goes barely a day and a half with little to no good smartphone usage. If I use the internet or video at all the battery is gone in less than a day. I even have all the default auto-running programs deleted. I will probably go back to iphone after this just because of its incredible battery life. I had the 3g and it was amazing.

I hear that complaint a lot, and even made it myself when I had an Evo4G. However, I found that if you disable all the features that are not present in the iPhone, like 4G, live wallpaper, widgets, flash, live weather, etc, I think you'll find the battery life to be comparable to what you had on your iPhone. My Evo3D is as good or better than my buddy's iPhone4 by simply turning off live wallpaper and 4G.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

lunatic1969 (1010175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761336)

My reasoning has always been, if you have to turn off all the features to make the phone usable, why have the features at all? And turning them on only when I want to use them is too much hassle if I have to do it manually. I'm an American, I want it now and I want someone else to do it for me, damnit. Fortunately I found a workable solution (battery saving application).

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761588)

So you would rather not have them at all?

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

lunatic1969 (1010175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761656)

So you would rather not have them at all?

The device has to be usable. If the battery consumption is such that I have to be within reach of a power supply every few hours, then no - I don't want the features. I'd rather have the battery life.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

danabnormal (1945354) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761734)

Do you really need Bluetooth on all the time? How about a data connection? I tend not to look at the web in my sleep or if I'm gonna be in a long meeting, so I turn that radio off. Its a swipe and a press to turn them back on, it really isn't a hassle at all and the difference it makes isn't small.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

lunatic1969 (1010175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761790)

I don't need it on all the time. I also know that realistically there's no way I'm going to remember to turn things on and off on my phone when I need them. My brain doesn't work that way at this stage of the game. That's why I'm glad there's an app for that.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762404)

My reasoning has always been, if you have to turn off all the features to make the phone usable, why have the features at all? And turning them on only when I want to use them is too much hassle if I have to do it manually. I'm an American, I want it now and I want someone else to do it for me, damnit. Fortunately I found a workable solution (battery saving application).

My reasoning has always been: "reading, it's fundamental!"'

However, I found that if you disable all the features that are not present in the iPhone

In other words, if you make it feature-comparable with an iPhone it will also be battery life comparable with an iPhone. This has been my experience with battery life as well. If you turn off the cool but unnecessary features (Google Latitude is one example) and still retain its smartphone-ness (email, web, social media, etc) you will get plenty of life out of your Android phone.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

lunatic1969 (1010175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762482)

You're looking for a fight where there isn't any and I have no idea why. My recommendation is decaff. While you're looking for the coffeepot, you might re-read my message and try to figure out where I had misunderstood anything I read.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761238)

What apps you have installed, running, and their configuration as well as things like WiFi & 4G settings all affect battery life when idle. Something as simple as checking for new email less frequently can have a big impact on battery life.

And don't forget to turn of GPS & Bluetooth when you don't need them!

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (2)

lunatic1969 (1010175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761308)

That's been a huge issue for me too. I went and got the extended battery for the Evo 4G which worked wonderfully, although it made the phone heavy as a brick. I've found a surprising solution though. Recently upgraded to the Galaxy S2 (Or whatever the hell you call the thing) and there wasn't an extended battery available yet that I could find. So, against my better judgement I tried JuiceDefender. It works. It works *well*. Basically it shuts down the sensors when they aren't in use, and turns them on when you unlock your phone to use it. Worried about email? No problem, it turns on the data every so often to allow apps to synch that need to synch. I'm actually not sure why a similar strategy isn't just a default part of the operating system.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761442)

ICS should improve battery-life quite a bit. As it says in the TFA they're now requiring all devices with ICS to do hardware-accelerated graphics, and as you likely know a GPU is a lot better at handling such tasks and at shifting around large amounts of data in memory than a regular CPU is, so the more you actually use the device the larger the difference in battery-life should be. Obviously it won't affect idle standby-life, but from your comment I understood that that wasn't the problem anyways.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761738)

ICS still doesn't improve lagginess.

http://flyosity.com/iphone/androids-touch-responsiveness-is-terrible.php [flyosity.com]

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761830)

ICS still doesn't improve lagginess.

http://flyosity.com/iphone/androids-touch-responsiveness-is-terrible.php [flyosity.com]

That may be, but after having owned a 10-inch Honeycomb tablet for several months I just personally don't share his opinion on it. I don't find it "totally unacceptable" or anything like that and can perfectly fine live with it, I care a lot more about all the new features and improvements ICS brings to the table.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762018)

So you don't deny his facts. There is a lag.
It's just your opinion that lag features.

I get that, I just think the lag would drive me nuts after a while. Especially after having used an iPad for a bit.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762220)

So you don't deny his facts. There is a lag.

No, I don't deny that. I just see very little lag, so little that it doesn't bother me in the least, whereas the guy makes it sound like you see one frame every 5 seconds and that it takes 10 seconds for anything you type to appear. And that obviously ain't true.

I get that, I just think the lag would drive me nuts after a while. Especially after having used an iPad for a bit.

Indeed. That's called "differing tastes"; I have used an iPad and I just didn't find it any better than my tablet, a little smoother animations but lacking features.

Re:That's cool, but my one grip still (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762458)

Truth be told, I think 98% of Android's "lagginess" problem is due to CPU scaling and power management. A few weeks ago, I was using my old Hero (overclocked to 711MHz, CPU scaling & power management disabled, CM7 installed, running balls-to-the-wall full speed), and it was actually smoother than my dualcore Motorola Photon. Graffiti input was absolutely flawless (on the Photon, it's mostly accurate, but has its moments when I'm left wondering WTF the phone's power management is trying to do because it starts making weird recognition errors). On my Xoom, Graffiti is fucking unusable. It lags worse than my Hero did at 508MHz with stock HTC kernel and 1.5. I suspect Motorola did the same thing HTC originally did -- said, "Hey, we're displaying a soft input area, which is just sitting there idle with a bitmap waiting for a blunt keypress, so let's drop the speed down to something absurd like 200MHz" -- totally ignoring the fact that somebody might be using an input method that depends upon frequent sampling at close intervals.

It's sad when a tablet with 1GHz dualcore CPU can't accurately do something a 16MHz glorified 680x0 could almost do in its sleep with 99.999% lag-free accuracy.

We don't need more aggressive power management, we need 4800mAH batteries so we can enjoy our phones and have them last all day. The problem is that manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, and Motorola are all afraid to release a phone that's thicker than last year's iPhone, so they all ship with anemic & undersized batteries. Take a phone with a 4.25+ inch display, make it a millimeter thicker, and redistribute the innards to make full use of every cubic millimeter of interior space for either electronics or battery (the Evo 4G, for instance, wasted nearly 25% of its internal volume on an empty orange plastic frame, and most new phones are no different). Maybe ship the phones with TWO batteries -- a custom, non-(easily)-replaceable battery that takes those space-filling frames and fills them with 1800-2400mAH worth of Lithium gel, and a second ~1700mAH battery that's replaceable and gets used first and recharged last. If you add the volume of the space-wasting frame with another ~3.5" x 5.5" x 1mm of lithium gel spread out across the entire area of the phone, it would be no big deal to make phones with 4,000+ mAH batteries.

first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761060)

my first post!

Re:first (1, Offtopic)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761234)

my first post!

Oh come on Anonymous Coward. You've been posting for as long as I've been on Slashdot. Nobody believes this is your first post.

Ice Cream Sandwich (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761086)

Do you get wafers with it?
What flavours are available?

Continuous Voice Input (1, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761140)

It says there on the website that "The new voice input engine lets users dictate the text they want, for as long as they want, using the language they want.", but... well, is it really true? Can I just start blabbing out in Finnish, or does that actually mean "using the language they want as long as it's one of the few select languages"? If it's the latter then it's obviously not all that useful or wonderful as they make it out to be.

Re:Continuous Voice Input (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761426)

If Google had invented the universal translator, they might have made a slightly bigger deal out of it.
So my guess is that it's limited to the languages you specify, just like the keyboard.

Re:Continuous Voice Input (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762318)

You kinds of missed my point. My point was that they're just outright lying if they claim you can use whatever language you wish if that ain't true, and that it's simply nothing new then; everyone does that nowadays.

Re:Continuous Voice Input (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762334)

A marketing company lying? Say it isn't so!

So because of that asshole... (0)

dev897 (2487290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761142)

The asshole that hacked kernel.org?
Because of him we don't yet see source of 4.0?
Or its just Google trying to feed us bullshit again?

Re:So because of that asshole... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761786)

Shut up, stupid.

Re:So because of that asshole... (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761834)

I'm pretty sure we'll see the source of 4.0. Generally Google doesn't release the source immediately, it makes a source code drop a little after the OS is announced and released.

Re:So because of that asshole... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762340)

Yeah, 2 years after we see Honeycomb.
Coming real soon now.

Seriously? (2, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761160)

face unlock

Does that mean if someone steals my phone and my wallet, all they have to do is hold the drivers license up to the cam to unlock? Sounds like a very bad idea.

Re:Seriously? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761246)

And do you really think that you won't have the option to turn this off?

Re:Seriously? (1, Insightful)

Slyfox696 (2432554) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761288)

face unlock

Does that mean if someone steals my phone and my wallet, all they have to do is hold the drivers license up to the cam to unlock? Sounds like a very bad idea.

Then, perhaps, you might not want to use the facial recognition feature, and instead go with one of the other lockscreens. It's not a bad idea, just one you won't use.

Re:Seriously? (1)

grommit (97148) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761298)

Quick, you need to tell Google because there is no doubt that they didn't think about this workaround already!

Of course, that'll be one of the first things that I test out when I get ICS. :)

Re:Seriously? (1)

ttong (2459466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761374)

You can still set a password, pin code or pattern to lock the screen. 3rd Party apps also allow for other unlocking methods such as a gesture.

Re:Seriously? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761470)

face unlock

Does that mean if someone steals my phone and my wallet, all they have to do is hold the drivers license up to the cam to unlock? Sounds like a very bad idea.

When I first read the term "face unlock", I thought it was that system where they put up a grid of random faces and you pick the one that you recognize. I'd much rather see that in effect than this facial recognition system.

Mind you, if it could recognize my ear instead of my face...

Re:Seriously? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761478)

Recognizing a face is probably a lot harder than distinguishing whether whatever is on the camera is dead or alive, so my guess is that it won't work.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761538)

Well it's more secure then just "slide to unlock" and it's not as inconvenient as a more secure screen lock.

Secure screen locks are a bit of a problem with smart phones, since (in order to save battery) the lock engages so often. It would be nice if there was an option to have different locks - just a slide if you haven't used the phone for a minute, and e.g. a PIN if you haven't used it in 15 mins or so.

Re:Seriously? (1)

f0rk (1328921) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761990)

Dont take my word for it, but i think this is already the case. It might be a feature of CyanogenMod and not AOSP.

Re:Seriously? (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761548)

It might still be an improvement over "run your finger along the visible smearmarks on the screen" method of unlocking.

Re:Seriously? (1)

blizz017 (1617063) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762252)

which really only works if the only thing the person did was unlock the phone.. if the phone was actually used, you'd have indistinguishable smear marks all over the screen.

Re:Seriously? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762360)

From the video face unlock is enough of a pain that most people will probably turn it off after showing it to all their friends anyway.

Andriod app development (0, Troll)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761292)

Have they fixed the appalling development platform for programming Android apps? I've some experience of programming for the iPhone, and as I can already program in Java I thought I'd give Android programming a try late last year. The API is horrible - standard Java classes replaced by poorly designed alternatives for no apparent reason, those horrible XML files as the preferred way of designing a UI, and unavoidable casts all over the place. When I got to the bit in the tutorials about apps being forcibly restarted when the orientation changes I cried with laughter. It feels a proof of concept rather than a polished development platform, as though Google bought a work in progress and couldn't be arsed to finish it because they needed to get it out quick in order to compete with iOS. Compared to the best practices with regular Java programming, it's as though the Android SDK ignores all the lessons of the last twenty or more years of object oriented programming ...

Re:Andriod app development (5, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761680)

The API is horrible - standard Java classes replaced by poorly designed alternatives for no apparent reason

So your rationale is that the API is horrible because they added in some bespoke classes? In the platform developer's opinion, those classes are better suited to mobile devices. But, guess what, you don't even have to use them. What Java classes did they "replace" that aren't still there? I haven't found anything in particular that has been replaced, they just gave you the option of using the newer stuff. The analagous Java class is still there. And how are the new classes poorly designed?

those horrible XML files as the preferred way of designing a UI

Er, if you don't want to use XML files to do your UI, you don't have to. You can use pure Java all day long. Besides, the XML files are exploded into Java on the device anyway. You use the XML to quickly design the static elements of your UI and use Java code to do the interactive stuff. What is there to bitch about?

When I got to the bit in the tutorials about apps being forcibly restarted when the orientation changes I cried with laughter.

This is not even true. The activity does not "restart", the ui reinitializes to use the layout prescribed for that particular orientation. You don't want a long list of single column buttons in landscape, you want them more logically laid out so the UI for the activity restarts. It is trivially easy to keep all of the ui data like form contents, etc. and reinsert it into the layout when the screen rotates and it happens instantly so the user isn't even remotely aware. Poor app developers that don't take the very small amount of time to make this happen is what gives it a bad rep.

It feels a proof of concept rather than a polished development platform

Nothing you've said supports this conclusion. The points you make are what I would expect from someone that is looking for a reason to hate before he's even given the platform a chance.

Re:Andriod app development (0, Flamebait)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761850)

So your rationale is that the API is horrible because they added in some bespoke classes?

I looked at the implementations of the alternative to many of the Collections classes in particular, and they had nothing in them that suggested they were "better suited to mobile devices". And I'm not going to dig through the API docs, but they were certainly no improvement on the equivalent Java classes, and I recall them often being less intuitive.

Er, if you don't want to use XML files to do your UI, you don't have to.

I know you can construct your UI directly in code, but virtually all the documentation I have seen assumes you'd never want to do that and omits coverage of it. Hence why I said the XML format was presented as "the preferred way".

This is not even true. The activity does not "restart"

The process is exactly the same as when the app is explicitly shutdown by the user or the app developers code, so it is true. That's why you have to store the current state of the application, as you allude to in your comment.

Nothing you've said supports this conclusion [that the development platform feels like a proof of concept]

Well, if you feel it's more than just adequate then I dread to think what your own code looks like. While I dislike the walled garden approach of Apple, from a purely technical point of view I love the iOS as a platform to develop for. I had high hopes that the Android SDK would be as pleasant to develop for, since it is a much more open platform, but I'm left hoping instead that someone comes up with an alternative.

Re:Andriod app development (3, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762192)

I looked at the implementations of the alternative to many of the Collections classes in particular, and they had nothing in them that suggested they were "better suited to mobile devices". And I'm not going to dig through the API docs, but they were certainly no improvement on the equivalent Java classes, and I recall them often being less intuitive.

The use the Java classes. Why complain about choice?

I know you can construct your UI directly in code, but virtually all the documentation I have seen assumes you'd never want to do that and omits coverage of it. Hence why I said the XML format was presented as "the preferred way".

Yes, because the XML way is going to be easier and more intuitive for many people. For the hardcore olde thymers such as yourself, you can use Java. Again, the choice is yours.

The process is exactly the same as when the app is explicitly shutdown by the user or the app developers code, so it is true. That's why you have to store the current state of the application, as you allude to in your comment.

No, it most assuredly is not. Android apps are not like desktop apps. The lifecycle is totally different and more suited to an "on-the-go"/everything runs fullscreen device. onCreate initializes the logic of your activity and it is called once when that activity is first run. When you shut down an app explicitely, it calls onCreate when you go back to it. When you rotate the screen, it calls onPause and onResume so that your portrait layout (for example) isn't just jumbled together and resized for landscape. You can have a completely different layout for the two modes. Or you can just use onPause and onResume to fill form data back in and to hell with having multiple layouts. When the screen is rotated, everything done in onCreate is maintained that includes all variables, etc. You save form data with onPause and refill it with onResume. It's trivially easy and in the context of the system makes sense. I'm not a teacher, I'm a programmer so my explanation likely sucks. My suggestion is you read this [android.com] .

Well, if you feel it's more than just adequate then I dread to think what your own code looks like.

Because I disagree with you and think Android is an elegant system to develop for, that means my code sucks? I'm sorry, who are you and what are your credentials again that I should just slavishly follow what you say? When you can give me compelling reasons for why Android supposedly sucks (and you haven't), I'll believe it. So far, you've just given biased opinions based on your impressions of a platform that you don't code for and obviously don't have any real intentions of even giving a fair chance. With that attitude of inflexibility, I'd really hate to see your code.

Re:Andriod app development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762264)

I have no idea who keeps modding you up as you haven't the slightest fucking clue what you are talking about. This is why I spend more and more time on Hacker News.

Re:Andriod app development (2)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761810)

those horrible XML files as the preferred way of designing a UI

Hmm...separating the UI description out in xml files is a good thing. In fact, it's a standard thing across all platforms. Android has those xml files, Windows has xaml, and iOS has .xib files.

Sure, interface builder abstracts you from the .xib files, and you never have to look inside it, but you can do xaml and android xml via their respective design interfaces too. The fact that you can also edit the xml manually is a feature, not a bug.

Re:Andriod app development (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762070)

I am an android developer fulltime. The UI builder in Eclipse (which is the one that comes with the SDK) is crap. Just plain crap.
So what you end up having to do, is, to edit the XML manually, which is cumbersome and unintuitive.

No, I have never laid eyes on the development platform for Apple devices, but I do know that the one for Android does feel entirely immature. It's everything I have come to expect from open source projects.

But to be fair, Google also have another problem that Apple just doesn't have and which has always been Apple's strength: A small set of known hardware to support. I mean, the rate at which they cancel support for old devices should prove that this is part of their success. The main gripe with Windows has always been "this doesn't work. that old graphics card crashes" aso. Everything that crashes on a platform reflects on that platform. So a stable known environment is a huge advantage.

Re:Andriod app development (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761902)

When I got to the bit in the tutorials about apps being forcibly restarted when the orientation changes I cried with laughter

Err.....lolwut? Was it perhaps a how-to-spread-FUD - tutorial?

Re:Andriod app development (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762094)

I think some specifics might make this a more useful post. I've not come across the issues you describe.

As far as the "XML files (being) the preferred way of designing a UI", that's kinda dubious at best. Generally most of the specifics are coded in Java, with only basic metadata about the app being specified in XML. True, there's more metadata than there is in a desktop Java application, but it's not a lot.

I should state here I hate XML with a passion, so if I thought Android development burdened people with large amounts of entirely unnecessary and pointless XML coding, I'd be the first to be screaming from the hilltops. I just don't see that as being the case, however.

Updates to phones (4, Insightful)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761462)

I just hope that my phone gets updated to this. I'm still stuck with Froyo and my phone just came out in July. That's one of the most frustrating aspects of Android phones - the manufacturers do not upgrade the phones. With the quick turnover in phone OSes, it's inexcusable for manufacturers to stick with old OSes. I can understand if the phone hardware cannot handle the upgrade but I know that many phone manufacturers simply do not want to support their devices. Instead, to get updates we have to turn to CyanogenMod. This is one reason iPhones are so popular (yes, I know Android is overtaking iOS but the iPhone is the most popular smartphone model), at least Apple does a good job of updating iOS and getting it to as many iPhones as possible.

All this being said, Android 4.0 looks great.

Re:Updates to phones (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761528)

Assuming the driver model is compatible, upgrading Android really shouldn't be as troublesome as it is.
It's a good point where iOS wins (though still by far not enough for me to even consider an iPhone).

Re:Updates to phones (1)

spacepimp (664856) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761904)

I think the biggest issue here is that the manufacturers and wireless carriers are responsible for the updates to the OS. Leaving this to them means that they incur development costs, strain their networks with downloadable updates, and then support costs for failed upgrades or confused consumers. Then they consider that if they do nothing they save those headaches and people will upgrade their phones/tablets sooner. Then they choose the latter. This is an awful precedent to set for the post PC PC's. We have lost control and the legal right to upgrade our OS on the smartphone and tablet hardware we purchased, at least in the Android ecosystem. Apple doesn't have this issue as they forced the carriers hand to prevent this and it results in an improved customer experience. This is something that I sincerely hope Google/Android resolves in the near future. It is hard to defend Google/Android when forced obsolescence is part of your purchase agreement. There are time when there are security updates that take months to reach these devices. Is the manufacturer or carrier legally liable for failing to address these vulnerabilities in a timely manner? Perhaps when lawsuits start landing on their doorstep they will streamline or get out of the way of updates altogether.

Re:Updates to phones (1)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762416)

I think the biggest issue here is that the manufacturers and wireless carriers are responsible for the updates to the OS.

Wireless carriers _want_ to be responsible so they can force their custom OS and bloatware on customers. Indeed, there are costs to do this, but ultimately, it's about control. It really ought to be like a PC where the Android phone calls home to Google and asks for daily updates and bug fixes.

This fragmentation everyone talks about isn't a problem of hardware diversity, it is really a consequence of allowing wireless carriers to control Android updates.

Re:Updates to phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37761916)

I'm still stuck with Froyo and my phone just came out in July.

I'm assuming your phone met your needs when you bought it because if it didn't, you should have got something else. I'm also assuming your phone still does everything it did when it came out in July. That's correct, right? If that is true, why mess with it? It's a smartphone, not a computer. I didn't get this nerd obsession with constantly changing a phone's interface every couple of months. If it meets your needs, you'd be a fool to fuck with the underlying system. My girlfriend has an Epic 4G from Sprint with Froyo. I mentioned to her a while back that Gingerbread should be coming out for it and the look of horror was priceless. She finally got a great phone and she's starting to feel sure of herself and "cool" that she's learned how to work it and you want the rug pulled out from beneath her one morning when she wakes up to realize that the damn thing has up and changed? Icons look different, settings are moved around... Yeah, right. A phone is an appliance. When's the last time you changed the OS on your microwave?

Re:Updates to phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762024)

That's on the manufactures who layer on MotoBlur and other such garbage.

Stock Android is a much easier upgrade as Google demonstrates with their Nexus phones.

I would imagine as Android fills out and the costs associated with maintaining things like Blur are clear most will revert to stock android.

People buy phones for the design, not the little tweaks you made to the stock OS.

Re:Updates to phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762138)

Not going to happen. They want to to replace your device. That's how the market works. Cyano now works for Samsung, coinciding with their more rooting friendly attitude. Stick to Apple, but don't forget how new iOS updates kill old iphone performance and you cannot roll back.

Compatibility (1)

theswimmingbird (1746180) | more than 2 years ago | (#37761744)

I've really been thinking about purchasing the Samsung Galaxy Player 5. I don't have a need for a smartphone as I find wifi + Google Voice to be more than adequate to meet my needs since I shut down my Verizon account and kept my Droid. It's like having a portable landline; I can go to the park without being tied into an endless stream of information.

Are these PMP devices rootable? And will custom ICS ROMs support them?

Roboto (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762042)

Man Google the ripoff company cannot come up with proper name either. They wanted something to end with "o" as in Metro. ICS is just ripoff of other OSs innovative approaches. There is nothing that they have done is original. People Hub from WP7, App Switching from Web OS (similar to how WP7 copied from it). It also now features Windows Phone like switching conversation between SMS, IM, etc.. You can now group contacts similar to Windows Phones.

(Google account required) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37762224)

The link to that thread seems to work fine for me without a Google account. Is there more that I'm missing?

Ultimate Yawnsauce. (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762294)

Where's the full disk encryption? I shouldn't have to rely on a 3rd party app like that Whisper Systems product to provide some fundamental data security for the device.

Considering what these devices are connected to (social networking, email, contacts, pictures etc) you'd think that this was a higher priority than a new font for the clock.

Re:Ultimate Yawnsauce. (2)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762352)

Honeycomb does provide that, so I would also imagine ICS providing that. Perhaps someone just forgot to mention it?

Re:Ultimate Yawnsauce. (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37762470)

Pretty big thing to fail to mention! It's fundamental to Android being a contender to Blackberry in the corporate world.
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