Google: ICS is first step in Android overhaul

Google: ICS is first step in re-thinking Android
Google planning Android base for next few years

Google will use its newest version of Android, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich or Android 4.0, as the basis for the platform for the next few years.

Hugo Barra, Product Management Director for Android at Google, said during a press briefing that ICS was a huge overhaul of the Android platform, and one that brings new levels of user operability to the OS.

"Even before we finished Honeycomb, which was designed specifically for tablets, we decided to take a step back and find out what users wanted from Android," said Barra.

"We gave both users and non-users a device, asked them what they expected, talked to a number of people around the world - basically finding out what they wanted [in our next OS].

Early steps

"We learned a lot from these interactions and that was the data we used to rethink the face of Android. Ice Cream Sandwich is the first step in rethinking Android for the next two to three years, and it's the biggest release we've done in terms of [new] code."

Ice Cream Sandwich offers a number of new features, including data counters, multi-tasking with an inbuilt task killer and an overhauled contacts system to make it easier to communicate with those around you.

Stay tuned for our in-depth hands on: Ice Cream Sandwich review to see if you should consider upgrading to the new OS in the future.

You can check out our Android ICS: What you need to know video below:

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.