Along with the big unveiling of Ice Cream Sandwich, Google has also released the full SDK for Android 4.0. The new SDK will allow developers to get a jump start on the many new APIs and features in the new OS. Developers (and interested Android enthusiasts) can download the new SDK from the Android site.
Below, find a massive gallery of Android 4.0 screenshots from the emulator as well as our favorite new features and APIs, including details like a new unified UI toolkit, improved support for stylus and mouse cursor input, and much more.
- A new unified UI toolkit to help developers match ICS's new look and feel, including a new requirement for hardware-accelerated 2D drawing for UI effects on Android 4.0 devices. That includes a new "Theme.holo" theme that developers can use to guarantee a consistent UI across different devices (in other words, if a developer uses this theme, an OEM can't change the look and feel of the app).
- Massively expanded tools for tracking and managing network usage, letting users disable background data for certain apps and set limits on data usage.
- New social APIs for plugging into ICS's integrated People app. Notably, we didn't see Facebook listed during the Ice Cream Sandwich unveiling, so the ball could be in its court to add integration with ICS.
- Support for integrating Android Beam.
- Support for Wi-Fi Direct for peer-to-peer file sharing, which Google describes as even more robust than the Mac's AirDrop feature.
- Improved support for stylus and mouse/cursor input (including hover events for both!), which could be useful for expanding Android in new form factors.
- A new remote control client to allow for playback controls via the lock screen, including the ability to display album art on the lock screen.
- Full APIs for developers to plug into the new, integrated visual voicemail system.
- New APIs for accessibility, "Explore-by-touch" mode which allows for screen reader support. There is also a full text-to-speech engine.
- Full Calendar APIs to read, add, modify, and delete calendar information.
- APIs for new device sensors: ambient temperature and humidity.
- A built-in spell-checker API.
- APIs for VPN and Keychain management and connections.
- The ability for administrators to disable the camera, as well as new camera feature like image effects, precise metering, and face detection.
- Support for more multimedia, including ADTS raw AAC encoding, WEBP images, Matroska video, streaming VP8.
- Support for connecting to healthcare devices via Bluetooth.