Android Solutions: Xooming 4-ward
When I first read about the upcoming fourth version of Android, I thought two things: I do love ice cream, and OHMYGOD! Spell checker! Squee!!!!! Thus far, I have not been disappointed.
Android 4 (AKA, Ice Cream Sandwich) recently flowed down out of the ether to my Xoom tablet, and I've been shaking it down since. The first thing anyone will notice is the interface. The three main system buttons, Back, Home and App Tray have been slightly redesigned. They are gray now instead of blue, making them more subtle. But they also work faster, as does the whole system, right down to the nicely improved screen rotation. The system menu itself has also been tweaked, making many features more accessible and even adding a much appreciated bandwidth usage tracker. It even breaks it down by app.
Besides the visual, many of the stocks apps have gotten a boost. The browser loads fast, has a smoother interface and has gotten an upgrade to bookmarks. It also now has a nicely accessible check box to get the full version of a site instead of the mobile version, previously a common annoyance. Also improved are the calendar and the camera, which has a trimmed control panel and now comes standard with a panoramic setting.
And on the issue of upgrade compatibility, I haven't run into any problems yet. All my apps work, including mail, word processor, RSS, twitter, etc. And my external bluetooth keyboard works without a hitch, letting me really take advantage of that spell checker I mentioned before. However, this last new feature isn't yet universal. It doesn't appear to function in some word processors like Documents To Go, and in software where it does work, it seems to have a limit on how much text it can process. When opening a large text document, only a certain amount of it is marked for errors. But it is more than enough for general note taking and email, so I still call it a definite plus.
Ice Cream Sandwich is a plus in general. The upgrade was easy and fast and the only changes it has forced to my routine is adding the use of new features. If there's nothing to lose and everything to gain, why say no?
Besides, we all know ice cream is awesome.