With every Android update, there are many changes. However, some of the changes may not be all that useful at all. Because of this, we are going to take a look at the changes from the smart phone update from 2.3 to 4.0.
While the 4.0 update looks great, we found there were many fun but useless things within the update. Because of this, we are labeling below what we found useful and useless in the actual use of the phone. Please keep in mind you may find some of the useful things being useless and vice versa depending on your lifestyle and your job/jobs.
Also, remember this is software. That means things could massively change between when I wrote this and when you read this.
- One of the most useful things on the new ICS update that 2.3 did not have is data control. Being able to see your data usage and even putting limits will keep you from paying overage on your bills. However, this can be 100% useless if you have an unlimited data plan with your provider.
- Gmail and Google calendar has a major update and it feels like your messing with a 3.0 tablet. Both apps are highly organize in the new update and they are easier to navigate. The reason why we see this as a useful update is it will save time and it’s easier for new users.
- The browser has a much-needed update. From the default browser you may use your bookmarks you made on your Google Chrome browser on your computer. This in return saves a huge amount of time searching for websites that you normally go to.
- On of the other much-needed updates on the default browser is tabs. We found the tabs itself would had been better on top of the browser like Dolphin Browser (an Android app) or most any browser on your computer. But, in this case something is at least better than nothing.
One thing we did find useless but cool was swiping the tabs away. It’s useless because you can achieve the same thing with a X but we aren’t complaining because it’s flat-out cool.
- Out through my time helping people with Android’s I found there is 2 questions that is repeatedly asked. The first is why isn’t FaceBook working and the other is how can I take a screen shot without rooting. While the update doesn’t take care of FaceBook constantly messing up, it does allow you to take screen shots without rooting your phone.
- A useful to some update is the speech to text system. The speech to text system now writes things as you say them.
- A most needed update is the notification bar. In 2.3 and earlier updates you had to clear all notifications to remove them. Now in 4.0 you can simply swipe the useless notifications away.
- The camera now takes instant pictures. Before most phones had to render the pictures but now the pictures render almost automatically.
- The widgets in the older Android models were shown on a scroll list. Now the widgets are shown in a preview like layout. But, please note not all the widgets have a preview, in which case, it gives out the outline and an icon in the middle of the outline.
- While the widgets had a much-needed update they have something important taken away. Now you can not press and hold on the screen and get widgets. You must go to the app tray and click widgets on the top to get to the widgets.
- Another thing we found useless is the changes to the contact page. While it’s nice to input your own data, it’s useless to change the UGI.
- Face unlocker is cool but 100% useless. A huge problem to face unlocker is if your inside or its night-time, the camera can’t see you. But one of the worst things about it is it’s not secure. Because all modern front facing cameras only have 1 camera , a 2D image is just as good as a 3D image. This means someone can take a picture of you and unlock it from the picture. (Google even announce this feature is not secure)
- A useless feature but “fun” feature is messing with images as your taking them with your camera. Now you can make a person’s head bigger or smaller or so on. But in all honesty, unless if your that bored, in the movie business, or below the age of 17 this feature is useless.
- Easter egg. If you remember the flying toasters from After Dark Screensavers then you will know where the flying Androids came from. The reason why we are labeling this as useless is you can not use this as a screen saver or for anything else. We will not spoil the fun on finding how to activate it but there is no function to the Easter egg.
- The map has a cool look to it now but it’s actually harmful to new users. The buttons are moved to the bottom with no labels. This means if your late to the Android party then you will have to click on a random button and hope for the best.
- One of the things I’m calling as a harmful update while most of you may love it is the new settings menu. The only reason why I say it’s more of a bad then good is when I try to help others on their pre 4.0 Android device I can’t do a mock on my device to tell them what to do.
For those of you who do not know, all settings menu from the 1.5 to 2.3 is the same but with things added to it with almost each update. On 4.0 on the home screen when you press menu you get “systems settings”. This isn’t to bad because you can figure out where it goes from the name of it. But, it’s starts getting iffy because some of the settings are taken away and some are added.
- UGI changes. Honestly I love them but they are useless. If you already have an Android device and just want them then download a launcher.
Overall I like the 4.0 download but I’m not doing complete back flips for it. The major changes are really in the UGI and everything else besides the screen shot can be achieve by an app or a launcher. If you are getting a new Android phone then we must advice you to pick up a 4.0 Android. But, if your phone is doing what you want it to do then just hold off until you need it.
However, to save everyone money, we have a post with a link to the list of 4.0 ROMS.
(If you think we should add something to this list then please comment below)