Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean – Android Operating Systems

I’ve had an Android mobile phone for several years and have upgraded to  Motorola Droid Razr Max and like it. Just recently Verizon upgraded my operating system to Ice Cream Sandwich. If you have an Android tablet or phone, you know the terminology – Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean – all names of Android operating systems. Sounds yummy, but for users can sometimes be confusing.

With Apple’s lawsuits and push to strangle Android, I feel that Ice Cream Sandwich was a push to differentiate the Android platform from Apple’s. Case in point is the screen opening action that Ice Cream Sandwich now requires. No more slide – that’s Apples’ now you have a circle and click options in a circle. There are other changes that Ice Cream Sandwich has brought about as well such as new app and interface actions and new ways to customize your phone. If you want to get the most from your Android phone Motorola has a nice tutorial on Ice Cream Sandwich so you can check to make sure you are up to speed.

Here are a few nuggets:

  1. Widgets have really changed some of the ones you may have loved like the separate icons for GPS and Airplane mode are gone and are now combined into one power widget.
  2. There are many more options for customization and improved ability to manage and remove apps.
  3. Social widgets have changed and now are found in apps that you can drag to your three home screens. In fact you’ll have fewer home screens than Gingerbread so use the apps screen more frequently.
  4. You have more control over the four spots in your favorites tray at the bottom of all screens.
  5. Updates now show ads. Sigh, I hate this one, but clearly with Google’s big push to mobile advertising this must have been a must have for them in creating the Android up grade. It’s the carrot and stick – woo you in with candy and then hit you on the head with advertising.

Overall, it took me a bit to get used to and I am not sure I like the operating system any better than Gingerbread but you do have some nice new options. Plus it sure looks like Google is trying to differentiate the Android operating system to prevent potential legal problems with Apple.