There’s been a lot of talk about new operating systems these days, especially as the world waits to see how Windows 8 tablets will impact the enterprise.
In the meantime, Android tablet users can enjoy enhanced performance with the new version of the Android operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). Here are nine things you can expect from the new OS:
1. Enhanced user interface
Richer, larger icons and functionality shortcuts will make it easier for you to use your tablet. New fonts are clearer and the color palette is more vibrant for a more vivid user experience.
2. More robust Google apps
Calendar, People and other Google apps have all been dramatically improved and optimized for 10-inch tablets. You’ll be able to take advantage of more data fields, for example, to capture more of the information you need. The new People app offers high-resolution display pictures and a button for connecting to integrated social networks.
3. Enhanced camera capability
Image capture hasn’t been a hugely popular tablet feature, but that may change with the enhanced camera and gallery features in ICS. When you’re unlocking your device, for example, you can go directly into camera mode so you won’t miss any magic moments. Zero shutter lag and continuous autofocus with automatic face detection make it faster and easier to take pictures, which can be important for claims adjusters, service technicians and other field service personnel. The gallery app offers a built-in photo editor that lets you add effects, crop and rotate without affecting the original image. Video is also improved, with 1080p capture, continuous autofocus, time-lapse settings and the ability to zoom while recording.
4. Enhanced browser performance
With ICS, you’ll spend a lot less time loading Web pages, and you can toggle back and forth between desktop and mobile mode. You can also save Web pages in a new tab for offline reading, and set preferences for every browser tab. This last feature can come in handy if, for example, you want to visit certain sites with cookies disabled.
5. Enhanced email support
With a more functional email client, it’ll be easier than ever to manage your messages with ICS. You can create quick responses and store them in the application for use when you need them, and you can toggle a message to Reply All and Forward without changing screens. Managing multiple accounts will be easier, and enterprise users will appreciate the support of
6. Exchange ActiveSync version 14.0
An easy way to take screen shots. ICS will make it easy to capture screen shots while you’re surfing the Web, which is great for remembering important statistics, quotes and images for use later on. The process may work differently on different devices, but I know that on the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet you’ll simply have to hold down the power and the volume buttons simultaneously.
7. New application programming interfaces (API)
Android is known for being developer friendly, and ICS makes it even easier for businesses to build their own applications, whether you’re trying to take your business processes mobile or promote your products and services to more customers.
8. Built-in support for Bluetooth Health Device Profile (HDP)
Bolstering the tablet’s effectiveness in health and medical fields, ICS lets you connect to wireless medical devices and sensors in hospitals, fitness centers, homes and other locations with support from third-party apps.
9. Use folders as a widget
Aggregate common tools in a single folder to better manage your experience.
Upload ICS on Your Lenovo ThinkPad Tablets
Coming soon, owners of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet in the U.S. and Europe will be able to make the switch to ICS. Simply go into your settings menu, select About Tablet and then select System Updates. When you see that ICS is available, just select Yes to accept the update.
What do you think? I believe that Android is currently the best tablet OS for business, and the introduction of ICS is poised to make it even better. I’d love to hear about your personal experiences with ICS when you’ve had a chance to work with it, so please let me know what you think.
This buyer's guide is designed to help decision-makers understand the features and functions that a new breed of business-oriented tablets is bringing to the mobile workforce. Use this guide to determine what features are most important for your organization, so you can balance end-user needs with IT requirements for successful mobility deployment.