When I saw the headlines this week about an ice cream sandwich, I was intrigued to find out what all the fuss was about. It was a wee bit disappointing to find out that it was not in fact something scrumptious to eat that was causing such a stir but the new software that has been released for Android smartphones – disappointing to say the very least!
Apparently, Ice Cream Sandwich adds a range of new features and a redesigned interface and has been launched in partnership with Samsung, whose Galaxy Nexus handset will be the first to use it.
Ice Cream Sandwich – also known as Android 4.0 – follows the tradition of naming versions after cakes, confectionery or frozen desserts – Previous releases have been codenamed Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo and Gingerbread.
Android’s main rival, Apple, released an update to its iOS software last week, although many owners were unable to download it immediately due to overwhelming demand. As an aside, I did manage to download the update to my iPhone but it seems to have lost a lot of the features and apps that I had previously – not great!
Android – which is owned by Google – and Apple are continually leap-frogging each other in terms of design and functions, as both compete for customers in the fast-growing global smartphone market.
According to figures published in August, Android handsets accounted for 48% of smartphones shipped to retailers, compared with 19% for Apple devices. However, many more Android models are available, from manufacturers such as HTC, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.
The fierce competition has, on occasion, brought the two sides into direct conflict and Apple and Samsung are currently engaged in a number of legal battles, around the world, some of which involve claims of patent infringement and “copying” of device look and feel.
To date, Apple has obtained injunctions on Samsung Galaxy tablets being sold in Germany and Australia, with a ban on some smartphones due to come into effect in the Netherlands.
And, in the news today, we hear that Steve Jobs had said he wanted to destroy Android and would spend all of Apple’s money and his dying breath if that is what it took to do so! The full extent of his animosity towards Google’s mobile operating system is revealed in a forthcoming authorised biography where Mr Jobs told author Walter Isaacson that he viewed Android’s similarity to iOS as “grand theft”.
All this mobile phone technology is clearly a very serious matter, which is why I feel the need to share this clip with you to put things back into perspective – enjoy!