You've taken the plunge and upgraded your mobile phone to the latest version of Android. Or perhaps you've just bought a brand new phone with Ice Cream Sandwich pre-installed? I know what you're thinking… what on earth is this?
One of the major differences between Ice Cream Sandwich and previous versions is the way it looks. It's a lot sleeker than other versions of Android, but now everything you know and loved looks completely different. In fact, Google have stated that this is one of the biggest overhauls of the Android operating system since its creation.
But don't panic - I'll have you sorting through your e-mails and sending texts in no time.
As you'd expect, there are a bundle of new features in Ice Cream Sandwich and it's not just the swanky new user interface that's been given an overhaul. Here are some of the best new features you can find on your upgraded Android device:
- Multitasking - Simply long-press the Home button to be shown a list of all your currently open applications. Scroll through the application screenshots and then tap the one you want to jump to - or swipe them off to the right of the screen to close them.
- Face Unlock - An innovative new solution to unlocking your mobile phone, Ice Cream Sandwich comes with built-in facial recognition software, allowing you to unlock your Android device without entering a password. Simply pick up your mobile phone and hold it up to eye-level - the front-facing camera should recognise your face and unlock the device. Unfortunately, it isn't perfect and a number of factors such as lighting and background can affect whether it recognises you. But at least you can specify a pattern or PIN unlock, should it fail.
- Call Answering Dial - Even the way you answer calls has changed in Ice Cream Sandwich. The traditional 'swipe to answer' system remains in place - swipe left to hang up, or swipe right to answer. But now, there's a third option. Swiping up from the radial menu allows you to cancel the call and reply with a stock text message - perfect for when you're otherwise engaged in a busy meeting.
- New Camera App and Photo Gallery - The sluggish and rather awful-looking photo gallery has been revitalized, offering a dynamic new layout that could easily come from a glossy magazine. With a bundle of new filters and image editing tools, the Camera app is in high demand - even being ported to phones that don't currently support Ice Cream Sandwich.
- Home screen Folders - Following in the footsteps of iOS, now you can add folders to your home screens with ease. Simply long-tap an icon and drag to another icon to create a folder containing both.
- Synched Internet Bookmarks - A handy feature for those who surf the web on the go, now you can synchronise bookmarks between your PC and mobile phone using both Firefox and Google Chrome.
- Drag and drop text - Gone are the days when copy and pasting involved a series of fiddly button presses. Ice Cream Sandwich now supports drag and drop text, allowing greater flexibility when writing notes and text messages.
Of course, that's not all. There's also the addition of Android Beam (a system which allows data exchange by simply touching two devices together) and improved voice input support, paving the way for Android's own version of Siri - Google Now. In fact, there are so many new features, it's difficult to cover them all… so which are your favourites?
Have you upgraded your Android device to Ice Cream Sandwich? What do you think of it so far?