Sunday, November 27, 2011

Android 4.01 Ice Cream Sandwich, An Early Look

For those of you wondering what an Ice Cream Sandwich looks like, the developers over at Team Hacksung have released an early build of ICS for the Samsung Captivate.
Although there are still a few nagging issues like a lack of full screen previews on the camera (which seems fixed in the 2nd build), and full hardware acceleration (it is there but not fully implemented), the build is very stable. Although it also seems to have trouble with large app installs (i.e. Wind-Up Knight at ~41mb), most apps install and run perfectly. There is also an issue with reading an external sdcard (all media files showed up as double which created issues in playing music as one file was blank and the other was the actual file). I'm in the process of testing various media apps to see if it is a Winamp issue or a ROM issue since Google Music doesn't work or install yet. Doubletwist seems to work right now but we'll see if it runs across the same issue as Winamp. Finally, there is a syncing issue with the calendar and picasa web albums. In reading the forum posts, there is a manual fix for the calendar, but I have not seen anything yet for picasa so I disabled that.

Aside from those issues, everything works very well. I am able to login to my Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, etc. accounts and get sync. General hardware acceleration works well along with full screen change animations. Creating folders is as easy as dropping one app on top of another. Opening the folder allows you to rename it to whatever you desire. In order to uninstall an app, it is now available via going to the app in the app drawer, long pressing on it, then dragging it to the uninstall option at the top left of the screen. In order to take a screenshot, the user simply needs to hold down the down-volume button and press the power button at the same time. It is a bit tricky at first but once you get used to it on your device, it is very simply. The new layout for the gallery is nice in the tiled form but I would have preferred an update to the old look with all folders being alphabetized or some better form of organization. I am still testing battery life since I just installed it but seems ok for the first day or so of use at about 6-8 hours for full discharge. We'll see how that goes over time. Links are included below of screenshots as well as how to install the ROM, if you have a Samsung Captivate.


Screenshots

Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich for the Samsung Captivate