Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) vs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) | Android 2.3 vs Android 4.0 | Gingerbread vs Ice Cream Sandwich | Android 2.3 vs 4.0 Features and Performance | Android 2.3.1, 2.3.2, 2.3.3, 2.3.4, 2.3.5, 2.3.6, 2.3.7 vs Adroid 4.0
Google announced its new version of the Android platform (Android 4.0) at the Google’s I/O 2011 Keynote on 10th May 2011. Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) was officially released on 18 October 2011, along with the announcement of Galaxy Nexus by Samsung; the first Ice Cream Sandwich phone. Android 4.0 is a major release, which will be compatible with all Android devices and it is an open source operating system. It will be an universal operating system like Apple’s iOS.
Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
The Android version designed to be used on both phones and tables was officially released in October 2011 alongside the announcement of Galaxy Nexus. Android 4.0 also known as “Ice cream sandwich” combines the features of both Android 2.3(Gingerbread) and Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).
The biggest improvement of Android 4.0 is the user interface enhancement. Further confirming the commitment to more user friendly mobile operating system, Android 4.0 comes with a new typeface called ‘Roboto’ which is more suitable for high resolution screens. The virtual buttons in the Systems bar (Similar to Honeycomb) allow users to navigate back, to Home and to recent applications. The folders in the home screen allow users to organize applications by category simply by drag and drop. The widgets have been designed to be re sizable and allow users to view content using the widget without launching the application.
Multitasking is one of the strong features in Android. In Android 4.0 (Ice cream Sandwich), the recent apps button allows users switch between recent applications easily. The systems bar shows a list of recent applications and has thumbnails of applications; users may instantly access an application by tapping the thumbnail. The notifications are also enhanced in Android 4.0 (Ice cream Sandwich). In smaller screens, notifications will appear at the top of the screen, and in bigger screens, notifications will appear in the System bar. Users can also dismiss individual notifications.
Voice input has also been improved in Android 4.0 (Ice cream Sandwich). The new voice input engine gives an ‘open microphone’ experience and allows users to give voice commands any time. It allows users to compose messages by dictation. Users may dictate the message continuously and if any errors are available they will be highlighted in gray.
The lock screen comes packed with improvements and innovation. On Android 4.0, users can do many actions while the screen is locked. It is possible to answer a call, see notifications and browse through music if the user is listening to music. The innovative feature added to the lock screen would be ‘Face Unlock’. With Android 4.0, users can now keep their face in front of the screen and unlock their phones adding an even more personalized experience.
The new People application on Android 4.0 (Ice cream Sandwich) allows users to search for contacts, their images across multiple social networking platforms. Users own contact details can be stored as ‘Me’ so that information can be shared easily.
The camera capabilities are another area much enhanced in Android 4.0. Image capturing is enhanced with continuous focus, zero shutter lag exposure and decreased shot-to-shot speed. After capturing the images, users can edit those images on the phone itself, using the image editing software. While recording video users can take full HD images simply by tapping the screen, as well. Another introducing feature on the camera application is the single-motion panorama mode for larger screens. Features such as face detection, tap to focus are also onboard Android 4.0. With “Live Effects”, users can add interesting changes to captured video and video chat. Live Effects enable changing the background to any available or custom images for captured video and video chat.
Android 4.0 is the mobile operating system, which takes Android platform into the future. There for it is no surprise that the new operating system has focused on the NFC capabilities of future Android smart phones and tablets. “Android Beam” is a NFC based sharing application, which allows two NFC enabled devices to share images, contacts, music, video and applications.
Android 4.0, also known as Ice cream Sandwich comes to the market with many interesting innovative features packed. However, the most important and noteworthy enhancement would be the upgrade the user interface has received to give it a much needed finishing touch. With fast passed release cycles, many previous Android versions seemed a little rough around the edges.
Introducing Android 4.0 on Galaxy Nexus
Courtesy: Android Developers
Android 2.3.x (Gingerbread)
Android 2.3 is a version of the much famed open source mobile platform Android. This version is optimized for smart phones, but few tablets are available in the market with Android 2.3. This major version is available in two sub versions with few upgrades between them. Namely, they are Android 2.3.3 and Android 2.3.4. Android 2.3 was officially released in December 2010. Android 2.3 has included many user oriented and developer oriented features.
In comparison to previous versions, Android 2.3 has received an upgrade to the user interface. The user interface of Android evolved with each new release. New color schemes and widgets have been introduced to make the interface more intuitive and easy to learn. However, many would agree that even at the release of Android 2.3 the mobile operating system didn’t appear quite polished and finished in comparison to its other competitors in the market.
The virtual keyboard has also been improved in comparison to the previous version. The keyboard can now handle faster input. With many users still migrating to the keyboard on the touch screen, the keys on Android 2.3 keyboard has been re shaped and repositioned, to allow faster typing. Additional to typing users can give input using voice commands, as well.
Word selection and copy paste is another improved function on Android 2.3. Users can select a word easily by press-hold and then copy to clipboard. The users can change the selection area by dragging the bounding arrows.
Another notable improvement on Android 2.3 is the power management. Those who have used Android 2.2 and upgraded to Android 2.3 will experience the improvement more clearly. In Android 2.3, the power consumption is more productive, and applications, which run in the background unnecessarily, are closed in order to save power. Unlike previous versions, Android 2.3 gives more information about the power consumption to the user. Despite the many comments on not needing to close applications on Android platform, Android 2.3 introduces the ability to kill applications that are not necessary.
One important aspect in Android 2.3 was providing users many innovative channels to communicate. Being true the objectives of the version, Android 2.3 come with voice over IP directly integrated to the platform. Voice over IP is also known as internet calls. Near field communication was also initially introduced to Android platform with Android 2.3. It allows reading information from NFC tags embedded in stickers, advertisements, etc. In Countries like Japan, Near Field Communication is heavily used.
With Android 2.3, users can access multiple cameras on the device if available. The camera application is designed accordingly. Android 2.3 has added support for VP8/WebM video, plus AAC and AMR wideband encoding allowing developers to including rich audio effects to music players.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
Last Released Version 2.3.7
Android 2.3 New Features
1. New user interface has a simple and attractive theme in black background, which is designed to give a vivid look while being power efficient too. Menu and settings are changed for ease of navigation.
2. Redesigned soft keyboard is optimized for quicker and accurate text input and editing. And the word being edited and dictionary suggestion is vivid and easy to read.
3. Multi touch key cording to input number and symbols without changing input mode.
4. Selection of word and copy/paste made easy.
5. Improved power management through application control.
6. Provide user awareness on power consumption. Users can view how the battery is used and which consume more.
7. Internet calling – supports SIP calls to other users with SIP account
8. Support Near-field communication (NFC) – high frequency high speech data transfer within a short range (10 cm). This will be useful feature in m commerce.
9. A new download manager facility that supports easy storage and retrieval of downloads.
10. Support for multiple cameras
1. Concurrent garbage collector to minimize application pauses and support increased responsiveness game like applications.
2. Touch and keyboard events handled better which minimizes the CPU utilization and Improve responsiveness, this feature is beneficial for 3D games and CPU intensive applications.
3. Use updated third party video drivers for faster 3D graphic performance
4. Native input and sensor events
5. New sensors including gyroscope is added for improved 3D motion processing
6. Provide Open API for audio controls and effects from native code.
7. Interface to manage graphic context.
8. Native access to activity lifecycle and window management.
9. Native access to assets and storage
10. Android NDk provide robust native development environment.
11. Near Field Communication
12. SIP based internet calling
13. New audio effects API to create rich audio environment by adding reverb, equalization, headphone virtualization, and bass boost
14. Built in support for video formats VP8, WebM, and audio formats AAC, AMR-WB
15. Support multiple camera
16. Support for extra large screen
Android 2.3.1 & 2.3.2 Upgrades
1. Supports Google map 5.0
2. Bug fixes on SMS application
Android 2.3.3 Upgrades
1. Improved and extended support for NFC – this allows applications to interact with more types of tags and access them in new ways. The new APIs have included wider range of tag technologies and allow limited peer to peer communication.
Also it has a feature for developers to request Android Market to not to show their applications to users if the device does not support NFC. In Android 2.3 when an application is called by a user and if the device does not support NFC it returns a null object.
2. Support for Bluetooth non-secure socket connections – this allows applications to communicate even with devices that is not having UI for authentication.
3. New bitmap region decoder added for applications to clip part of an image and features.
4. Unified interface for media – to retrieve frame and metadata from input media file.
5. New fields for specifying AMR-WB and ACC formats.
6. New constants added for speech recognition API – this supports developers to show in their application a different view for voice search results.
Android 2.3.4 Upgrades
1. Support voice and video chat using Google Talk
Android 2.3.5 Upgrades
1. Improved Gmail application.
2. Network performance improvement for Nexus S 4G.
3. Bug fixes and improvements
4. Fixed Bluetooth bug on Galaxy S
Android 2.3.6 Upgrades
1. Fixed Voice Search bug
Android 2.3.7 Upgrades
1. Support Google Wallet (Nexus S 4G)
What is the difference between Android 4.0 and Android 2.3?
Android 4.0 was officially released in October 2011 with the release of Galaxy Nexus. Android 4.0, code named “Ice cream sandwich” is the first version of the popular android mobile operating system designed for both tablet and smart phones. Android 2.3 was officially released in December 2011 and it was optimized for use on smart phones. Android 2.3 is code named “Gingerbread”. However, soon after the release of Android 2.3 tablets with Android 2.3 was available in the market. Between Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and Android 4.0(Ice cream sandwich), Android 2.3 is the more stable and old version. It is also important to note that Android 4.0 was not immediately released after Android 2.3. A tablet optimized Android 3.0 was released in between the Android 2.3 and Android 4.0, and it was code named “Honeycomb”.
The user interface of both Android 2.3 and Android 4.0 has been improved and enhanced than their predecessors. However, among the versions of Android mobile operating systems released Android 4.0 is more refined and styled than Android 2.3. The navigation buttons such as back, home are available as soft keys on Android 4.0 where as Android 2.3 doesn’t have soft keys for similar navigation. In devices with Android 2.3, hardware keys are available for back, home and settings. Both, Android 2.3 and Android 4.0 have widgets that allow users to view information without opening the application. Android 4.0 is optimized for high resolution screens, but Android 2.3 is suitable for screens with less resolution.
Switching between applications is more convenient in Android 4.0 (Ice cream sandwich). The systems bar shows a list of recent applications and has thumbnails of applications; users may instantly access an application by tapping the thumbnail. Switching between applications in Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) is somewhat different. Users can touch and hold the home icon, and it will bring forward the applications running at the moment. By touching the icon of already running applications, users can start using the application again. Though the feature on Android 4.0 appears more appealing, I feel the Android 2.3 variant is ideal for smaller screens it is intended for. Another important enhancement in Android 4.0 is the ability to dismiss individual notifications. This feature is not available in Android 2.3, and the user can only clear all notifications.
Voice input and voice activated commands are available in both Android 2.3 and Android 4.0. But in Android 4.0 the ability is further improved. The new voice input engine gives an ‘open microphone’ experience and allows users to give voice commands any time. Android 2.3 allows composing text messages using voice input and allows search, as well. However, the device has to be notified of voice input before hand and doesn’t facilitate an ‘open microphone’ experience like in Android 4.0.
On Android 4.0, users can do many actions while the screen is locked. It is possible to answer a call, see notifications and browse through music if the user is listening to music. Android 2.3 doesn’t facilitate doing actions other than answering a phone call while the screen is locked. The innovative feature added to the lock screen would be ‘Face Unlock’. With Android 4.0, users can now keep their face in front of the screen and unlock their phones adding an even more personalized experience. A similar feature is not available in Android 2.3.
The camera application on Android 4.0 has been improved, and many useful features are added. In Android 4.0 image capturing is enhanced with continuous focus, zero shutter lag exposure and decreased shot-to-shot speed. After capturing images, they can be edited on the phone using the image editing software. Such enhancements are not available on Android 2.3 and don’t include an image editing software.
Near Field Communication (NFC) is supported by both Android 2.3 and 4.0. Only Android 4.0 includes ‘Android Beem’. “Android Beem” is a NFC based sharing application which allows two NFC enabled devices to share images, contacts, music, video and applications. A similar application is not available on Android 2.3.
Considering applications for both versions of Android operating systems, Android 2.3 has many applications in the Android market than for the newly released Android 4.0. In terms of the market share also Android 2.3 beats Android 4.0 easily with more devices in the market with Android 2.3 installed.
A brief Comparison of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) vs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
• Android 2.3 and Android 4.0 are two versions of the popular Android mobile operating system
• Android 3.0 was released in between Android 2.3 and Android 4.0
• Android 4.0 was officially released in October 2011, and it’s code named “Ice cream sandwich” while Android 2.3 was officially released in December 2011, and was code named “Gingerbread”
• Android 4.0 is the first Android version optimized for both tablets and smart phones while Android 2.3 is more suitable for smart phones
• Android 2.3 is the more stable and old version
• The user interface of both Android 2.3 and Android 4.0 has been improved and enhanced than their predecessors
• Android 4.0 is more refined and styled than Android 2.3
• The navigation buttons such as back, home are available as soft keys on Android 4.0 where as Android 2.3 doesn’t have soft keys for similar navigation. In devices with Android 2.3, hardware keys are available for back, home and settings
• Both, Android 2.3 and Android 4.0 have widgets that allow users to view information without opening the application
• Switching between applications is more convenient in Android 4.0
• Only Android 4.0 has the ability to dismiss individual notifications. This feature is not available in Android 2.3, and the user can only clear all notifications.
• Voice input and voice activated commands are available in both Android 2.3 and Android 4.0
• The new voice input engine on Android 4.0 gives an ‘open microphone’ experience and allows users to give voice commands any time, while a similar capability is not available with Android 2.3
• On Android 4.0, users can do many actions (On Android 4.0 users can do many actions while the screen is locked) while the screen is locked, Android 2.3 only allows to answer a phone call while the screen is locked
• ‘Face Unlock’ feature, allowing users to unlock the home screen by face recognition is only available in Android 4.0
• Android 4.0 image capturing is enhanced with continuous focus, zero shutter lag exposure and decreased shot-to-shot speed
• Between Android 2.3 and Android 4.0, an image editing software is only available in Android 4.0
• Both Android 2.3 and Android 4.0 supports Near Field communication if the device has the capability
• Android Beem is only available in Android 4.0
• Android 2.3 has many applications in the Android market than for the newly released Android 4.0
• In terms of the market share also Android 2.3 beats Android 4.0 easily with more devices in the market with Android 2.3 installed.
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