Last October, Google introduced the Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich for Android based smart phones and tablets. The new Android platform from Google has two purposes and these are to improve the tablet user experience and to have unified software for tablet and smart phone devices. Before Android 4.0, majority of Google tablets ran on Honeycomb version (Android 3.0) but Google’s attempts seemed to be hurried and imperfect in their aim to compete with Apple’s iPad.
So the question, is Android 4.0 better than the Honeycomb version? In some aspects, Android 4.0 is way better than the 3.0 version but it does not mean that it does not have its own share of shortcomings. First of all, it will certainly take some time before Android apps will catch up to it and it may be a better idea to rather use a hardware that is designed to provide an optimal user experience with the new Android platform. For Android tablets and smart phones designed to run on Ice Cream Sandwich, there are actually some better advantages not only on user experience but on optimal device performance as well. For example, Galaxy Nexus, which is one of the few smart phones running on Android 4.0 offers a more consistent and responsive user interface compared to previous versions. However, Android 4.0 still shows some inconsistencies on different devices that are not fully prepared to run the new Android OS.
Unifying the software use for Android devices is one thing but making it work like everything else is another. There are devices that while they are running on the same version of operating system, like Ice Cream Sandwich, the user interface and overall performance is very different. Some Android devices run smoothly on 4.0 version but others are either lagging or highly unresponsive. This is an indication that Android 4.0 clearly needs some tweaking to make sure it will perform the same with Android tablets.
Android is one of the fastest growing OS platforms both for tablets and smart phones. But if Google wants to even the competition with Apple, the company needs to introduce some comprehensive performance update for Android 4.0 so it will have a seamless performance when used both for smart phone or tablet devices. Only then will Google be able to say that they have succeed in unifying the platform and Android app developers will also be able to assess the key aspects they need to improve in their app development.