Google officially unveils Android 4.0 (aka Ice Cream Sandwich) at a Hong Kong Samsung event, where Samsung announces the first smartphone running on the OS-- the Galaxy Nexus.
Ice Cream Sandwich offers a gelataria of improvements on previous Android iterations-- unifying the Google platform as it merges the smartphone (Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread) and tablet (Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb) versions of the OS.
The UI gets a complete makeover, thanks to tweaks ranging from a new font ("Roboto") adorning the menus, refined animations and the elimination of physical navigation buttons via virtual buttons in the system bar.
Security gets something of an improvement-- facial recognition. Google calls the feature "Face Unlock," and... it failed to work as planned during the on-stage demo.
The OS also supports Near Field Communications (NFC) with "Android Beam," allowing content sharing between NFC-enabled handsets through tapping devices together.
As is typical (so far, at least) with new Android iterations, Samsung unveils a flagship handset-- the Galaxy Nexus, carrying a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a 4.65", 1280x720 super AMOLED Samsung touchscreen.
The Android 4.0 SDK is already available for developers, while customers will get to taste the OS once the Galaxy Nexus launches in Europe this November.