Android ICS finally

14 Oct

Just a few days I finally got to upgrade my Sony Xperia U to Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich or just ICS as it is popularly known. I was a bit worried whether the phone will slow down after the upgrade. I had feedback coming from a few friends that the upgrade is a disaster for lower end phones with 512 MB RAM. One of them who was using a Sony Xperia NEO L got the phone downgraded after being fed up with the phone became irritatingly slow! But I had to check out ICS hands-on and it was also recommended by Sony, so I went for it.

The upgrade is quite swift and straight-forward. The phone needs to be connected using USB cable with your PC installed with Sony PC Companion. The software download takes some time depending on the internet connection speed. Right before the upgrade, a warning popups that ICS may be slowing down your phone as it demands a higher resources than your current Android version, but I chose to ignore it as I had already taken the plunge. The actual upgrade takes only a few minutes. The best part is no personal data or settings are lost and you also dont need to re-install any apps.

Now, into the first look of Android ICS. There is little changer in the UI and I am not going much deep into a total review of it. Only the color scheme and the fonts seem to be much smoother. I read that ICS is using a new font called Roboto but the difference is not much visible in smaller screen-size phones.

One of the first features that attracted me, was the option to reject a call with a message. When a incoming call comes in, there is a small line in the bottom of the screen which whether I want to reject a call with a message. That is extremely handy during meetings or at other times when you cant accept calls and there are people who find it rude or even go on calling back continuously.

The Recent Apps List is also helpful. When you love multi-tasking or have accidently switched on to another app, it is easy to switch back to the recent apps.

The phone now has the Face Unlock feature in Security Settings. But I found it not much helpful. I tried it, but it took a moment or two to start-up and then it did not work due to low light or failed to recognize my face (or my face keeps morphing). There is option to train the phone further to recognize your face faster though. The Pin Lock or Pattern Lock options are much faster to use.

ICS has a few other interesting new features has well. The option to re-size widgets on the home screen was not much helpful due to the small screen size and also because only a few widgets allowed it. I will check out the Screenshot option soon and add few of them to this post. I also plan to check out Wifi direct as it surely will be the fastest way to transfer files to another  compatible phone.

Overall, the phone has not slowed down much (or at all). I feel that the battery stand-by time has improved a bit also. So, there is no reason why anyone should avoid the upgrade.


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