We’re still here at Google’s Android-specific keynote at Google I/O and they have announced a lot of exciting new things within the 55 minutes we’ve sat here, but one of the things most folks were waiting to hear about was Ice Cream Sandewich. As we’ve heard before, the new version of Android is bringing features from Honeycomb (the ones that make sense, anyway) over to phones. One OS for all devices is Google’s goal.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to see how this would turn out on phones but we can’t imagine it’ll look bad. They confirmed that the holographic UI and the widgets that come with it from Honeycomb would eventually make their way over to phones but also mentioned a lot of other cool things. For starters, more advanced application frameworks will allow developers to create more unique applications for both phones and tablets.
They also made it a point to say that Ice Cream Sandwich will definitely be open-sourced. That had me wondering, though – does that mean Honeycomb won’t be open-sourced? It sounded to me like they wanted to wait for this fusion before revealing the inner workings. We should know more following the Q&A session.
They showed off a very cool feature during the demos that allowed your Android tablet to track your face. It goes deeper than just tracking where you move your head, though. It knows where your eyes, nose and mouth are. The demo app they showed allowed you to warp those parts of your body without you needing to define where they were. Novelty stuff, really, but still cool and it really shows off the power of Android.
Another cool thing they showed off with the camera was its ability to recognize separate callers’ voices in a video call. When one person talks, the camera will zoom in on their face and will zoom back out once that person is done talking. (Or if both are talking at once.) That’s more useful than novelty, though, and I’m excited to see stuff like this and a lot more making their way to Android in the coming months.
There isn’t much else to say about Ice Cream Sandwich except the stuff we reported on separately – Google Music, Google Movies and a lot more. Check out our quick roundup of the keynote’s best announcements and demos. (Some of this applies to those of you already on Android 2.2 and higher!) We’ll continue our Google I/O coverage here at Phandroid.com so stay tuned!