Samsung and Google's Ice Cream Sandwich event liveblog!
byTim Stevens||October 18th 2011 at 9:45pmOctober 18th 2011 9:45 pm
There ain't no party like a Google and Samsung party because a Google and Samsung party comes with ice cream. Or, at least, this one does. We're glad you're going to join us for the first proper tasting of Google's next mobile operating system, because it's going to be big. Bookmark this page right here and sit tight for all the sweet action at the times below!
Psst... and toss your own time zone / day in comments below!
04:00PM - Hawaii (October 18th) 07:00PM - Pacific (October 18th) 08:00PM - Mountain (October 18th) 09:00PM - Central (October 18th) 10:00PM - Eastern (October 18th) 03:00AM - London (October 19th) 04:00AM - Paris (October 19th) 06:00AM - Moscow (October 19th) 11:00AM - Tokyo (October 19th)
10:58PM Thanks for joining us! We had fun bringing it to you all the way from Hong Kong.
10:58PM And that's it! Hands-on time!
10:58PM "Thank you for all of you who came here today.
10:58PM Feels like we're winding down. A lot of thank yous being doled out.
10:57PM Hugo is off, Kim from Samsung is coming back up.
10:57PM SDK is available right now. developer.android.com
10:57PM Android Beam will be exposed through APIs, which are shipping soon for developers.
10:56PM You can download it then -- shame it doesn't exchange the APK and save on the bandwidth usage. Maybe in 5.0?
10:56PM We're seeing Minecraft played on one phone. Touch the phones together and, bam, it brings it right up in Android Market.
10:55PM You can share YouTube, people cards, and "a bunch of other things."
10:55PM We just saw a webpage exchanged, they just exchanged directions from one to another as well.
10:55PM You can use it to share contact information, share webpages -- feels like the touch functionality in webOS for the TouchPad and the Pre 3.
10:54PM It's called Android Beam. NFC-based, just touch the two phones and, bam, exchange of information.
10:54PM Okay, final thing, "A brand new approach to sharint."
10:54PM When you get a call you can choose to decline the call, or just swipe up to automatically respond with one of a few pre-defined messages -- polite screening, as it were.
10:53PM Playing a voicemail lets you speed up and slow it down, in case you happen to get a long voicemail from a fast talker and you can't quite keep up.
10:52PM There's a new phone app too. Swipe right and you'll see the same list of favorites as in the people app. Visual voicemail is integrated right in the call log. Tap one to play it.
10:52PM You can also scroll quickly through contact options, letting you choose whether to call or text or email or... whatever. Again, that'll be open and extensible.
10:51PM All this is provided through the Android API, meaning any other app can link into this and get listed.
10:51PM We're looking at Matias's page. Apparently he's not on Facebook.
10:50PM You get a simple list (with you at the top), but swipe to the side and you get a photo grid. Tap on any of them and you can get all the details for that person, including all the various social connections including Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
10:49PM "We put people at the heart of Ice Cream Sandwich." That starts with a new People app.
10:49PM Using manual exposure for these timelapse clips results in some amazing footage. It looks very good indeed.
10:48PM We're looking at some gorgeous timelapse footage, with a Galaxy Nexus panning slowly.
10:48PM Good luck doing that without making a noticeable shake in the footage, though.
10:48PM Talking video now, 1080p recording. There's continuous focus and digital zoom while recording. Time lapse support is included, and you can tap on the screen while recording to capture an image.
10:47PM There's a definitely noticeable seam in there -- very noticeable. But, still, it was easy enough.
10:47PM There's a panorama feature too. Just hit the button and start sweeping from side to side. The software then stitches the results together.
10:46PM There's a new gallery layout, organized by album of course, but also organized by location (when geotagged) and by person (when manually tagged). Doesn't look like advanced facial recognition just yet.
10:46PM You can crop and tweak pictures quickly and easily on the device.
10:45PM Sure enough, we're getting photo editing, including "hipster filters." Pretty sure that was a knock against Instagram.
10:45PM We're seeing how fast the camera is, demonstrating the "zero shutter lag." This thing looks like it will definitely give the iPhone 4S a run for its money, when it comes to speed at least. Quality? That remains to be seen.
10:44PM There's a digital zoom slider, you can tap anywhere to set focus and exposure, and there's of course realtime face detection for real people -- not toys.
10:43PM From the homescreen you scroll to the left and it immediately brings up the camera app. Take a picture and you can of course instantly share it through a variety of sources.
10:43PM "The best camera is the one you have with you right now... with Ice Cream Sandwich it's never been easier and faster."
10:43PM Now time for the new photos app.
10:42PM You can even cut off background data for apps, hopefully killing off data vampires.
10:42PM You can zoom in at any section and view the apps that used the most data during that period.
10:42PM You can set a limit for a warning, and then you can tell your phone to have a hard limit, disabling data when you go over.
10:41PM In settings, you can view a Data Usage section. There's a chart for overall usage so far, along with a prediction of what you'll use before the end of your billing cycle.
10:41PM Hugo's now talking about data usage. There will be data usage tracking built into the OS!
10:40PM We're told that YouTube and Maps, etc. are also updated to match.
10:40PM Calendar now offers pinch-to-zoom to get a closer look. A few "oohs" and "aahs" actually. Yes, for a calendar app.
10:40PM New calendar, now with easy swiping to go from one day to the next.
10:39PM Yes, ICS is getting offline search. You set the time window, it builds an offline cash. We sigh contentedly.
10:39PM "Email is about communicating with people -- not email addresses, but people." People are represented by "chips" with pictures. Tap on the picture to select the appropriate address.
10:39PM Once we hopped into a conversation those icons change, so now we're looking at options to archive, delete, and mark unread. Swipe from left to right to go from one conversation to the next. "It's a pleasure to use."
10:38PM This is called a new design pattern, icons on the bottom. Hopefully it's consistent.
10:37PM Redesigned Gmail inbox, now with two line previews -- and the new font, of course. There's a new action bar at the bottom that lets you compose a message, search, and access labels.
10:37PM "Let's talk about Gmail. People love Gmail." We sure do.
10:37PM You can now save pages for offline with just one tap, which sounds nice for a boarding pass. A certain blogger had a certain issue at a certain flight where a certain boarding pass was on a phone with a certain battery life issue... that's another story for another liveblog...
10:36PM There's a new option called "request desktop site" that will immediately pop you over to the full site. And the browser now syncs with your Chrome bookmarks!
10:36PM We're looking at the new broser. There's a new tab browser, which shows a live preview of each one. Up to 16 tabs is allowed, and you can just drag and toss anything aside that you don't want.
10:35PM Hugo Barra is up on stage now to keep talking about ICS, specifically core apps, photos, and people.
10:35PM "I guess this makeup was a little stronger than I expected."
10:34PM Oops. Demo fail.
10:34PM It didn't work for Matias's helper... and it's not working for Matias either.
10:34PM Ice Cream Sandwich includes "Face Unlock" -- "Ice Cream Sandwich literally knows your face."
10:33PM It also then said "Yahoo" for some reason. Oops.
10:33PM We're doing some live speech recognition. Matias just sent off a message by voice. It didn't quite get it right (it said "Map" and not "man") but he was even able to say "question mark" and "smiley face" and it put in "? :-)"
10:32PM Consistency is a definite theme here, and that's been one of the biggest issues in Android thus far. Everything here looks smooth and intuitive, integrated.
10:32PM Cut, copy, and paste is improved and made consistent across the OS.
10:32PM "We gave the keyboard a lot of love in Ice Cream Sandwich." There's improved error correction and an inline spell-checker. Just tap the word and, bam, suggestions.
10:31PM You can get to notifications from the lock screen too and jump right where you want. You still need to pull it down from the top, though.
10:31PM Talking notifications now too, easily brought down from the top. You can drag these to the side to get rid of 'em as you like, and keep those that you want.
10:30PM Indulge us, people, we spend a lot of time capturing Android screenshots.
10:30PM Ahh, yes, there's integrated screenshot capture now. Just hold down power and volume down. You guys probably don't care, but that'll make review writing a lot easier.
10:30PM Now, you can flick any of those apps off to the side to free up memory -- yes, it's a task manager, but it looks nice. They didn't blow it.
10:29PM There's a recent apps icon, just like on Honeycomb, allowing you to switch from one to another.
10:29PM You can customize the launcher too, dragging apps or folders down there.
10:29PM "Folders are for more than just apps." You can add contacts into a folder for a speed dial.
10:28PM Folders are now "dead simple to make." Now you just drop one icon onto another and it makes a folder. You can then rename it and re-order the icons however you like.
10:28PM They're resizeable, too.
10:28PM Widgets are now listed in a similar list as the apps. It's a new tab, just hit that and you can page through your widgets. Just drag it onto the homescreen and, bam, you've got clutter.
10:27PM You can swipe left and right to go through home screens, just like before. "Android's home screen is more than just a place to launch applications -- it's a home for widgets." No shocker there.
10:26PM "We took all of the actions that you do every day and brought them front and center."
10:26PM "We spent just as much time on how everything works -- we wanted to make everything simple, consistent, and fast."
10:26PM They rotate and hide when not needed, just like Honeycomb.
10:26PM "Galaxy Nexus has no buttons" -- it's part of the UI. He's saying "virtual buttons are more useful."
10:25PM The unlock button itself is emitting beams of... well, beams. Inviting you to swipe it aside.
10:25PM We're starting with the new lock screen. Roboto font on the clock and there's live wallpaper with some "really rich, gorgeous, subtle animations."
10:24PM He's talking about elimintating unnecessary UI, but also making Android "come alive" with more animations.
10:24PM "We started by looking at every screen and thinking about it like a magazine layout."
10:24PM "We wanted something relevant, emotional, and we looked to the latest trends in graphics design to insprie us."
10:23PM "Meet Robato. It's a totally new typeface for Android -- modern yet approachable. It was built from scratch for high-definition paper density displays."
10:23PM Yes, awesome. "These are pretty aspirational goals." Wearing a suit like that, though, gets you a long, long way toward that third goal.
10:23PM That led to three design principles: enchant me, simplify my life, and make me awesome.
10:22PM They went out and talked to users, got some feedback, and basically found out that people didn't "love" Android.
10:21PM Deep, man, deep.
10:21PM "We asked ourselves for the first time: what is the soul of Android."
10:21PM "It's hard to believe, but Android was born only three years ago. In that time it has been evolving in an amazingly fast and furious rate."
10:21PM Matias Duarte is up on stage in a smashing white and blue suit.
10:20PM Okay, time to look at Ice Cream Sandwich.
10:20PM No mention of US carrier but, well, it's Verizon.
10:20PM Launching in November. In Japan, it's NTT DoCoMo.
10:20PM NFC as well, which will allow for a "broad selection of mobile payment options." No mention of Google Wallet yet, but we're hoping.
10:19PM Someone used that 1080p to capture a picture of a parrot. It's not talking, sadly.
10:19PM Five megapixel camera on the back. It'll do 1080p and has "zero shutter lag" -- less than a second.
10:18PM The back is called "hyperskin" -- a soft grip texture. It looks like the backing on the T-Mo GS II.
10:18PM "We've made the screen wider, but the phone won't feel any bigger in your hand."
10:17PM Bezel is just 4.29mm. That is, for the record, .01mm thinner than a 4.3mm bezel.
10:17PM Time to talk about the design, and we're looking at the curved design. HSPA+ model is 8.94mm thick. No word about LTE -- presumably thicker.
10:16PM "That's what we call an optimized display. It's what people want."
10:16PM "We believe that when you compare it with any other device with a 4-inch screen or greater, you won't find anything as vivid." .01ms respone time, too. No blur for gaming.
10:15PM It's 720p, that's 1,280 x 720 at a 16:9 aspect ratio. "It's like having a movie theater in your hands." Or, you know, a canvas, maybe.
10:15PM 4.65-inch is confirmed, HD Super AMOLED "giving people an even bigger canvas." That's a big canvas -- for your pocket.
10:14PM This is "the most colorful display on the market" and has the "highest contrast ratio." That's 100,000:1, if you're looking for numbers.
10:13PM Time to talk about the screen. "The screen is critical, because the experience begins and ends with the display."
10:13PM He's saying again that the hardware and software were designed together.
10:13PM "When Samsung says fast we don't just mean fast compared to last year's versions." It's a 1.2GHz processor "that flies" and "ultra-smooth" multi-tasking.
10:12PM Nobody wants to wait for Keyboard Cat. Nobody.
10:12PM "It's no secret that we all want a faster smartphone... when people watch video, they don't want buffering. They just want it to work."
10:12PM So, that should obviate any doubts about which variety we'll be getting.
10:12PM Okay, this will be actually launching with both LTE and HSPA+, but which model each market gets depends on local demand. "In the US, Samsung is the leader in LTE."
10:11PM Speed is up first, predictably.
10:11PM There are "several unique aspects" of this device, categorized into speed, screen, design, and OS.
10:11PM He's reiterating Samsung's leading position for Android sales.
10:11PM He's talking about the Galaxy S last year, S II this year, and of course all the tabs.
10:10PM Kevin Packingham, SVP from Samsung is now on stage.
10:10PM "And now that you've all seen the device for the first time..." a few chuckles from that line.
10:09PM "We are proud to announce the Galaxy Nexus." JK and Andy up on stage holding their phones and smiling politely.
10:09PM And there it is, the Galaxy Nexus! It looks... like the pictures we saw earlier.
10:09PM Whoa, they're spinning, swirling. Things are getting crazy.
10:08PM Video time again, we're seeing a blue square and green ball gently flowing toward each other.
10:08PM He's saying that the hardware and software teams are "just one big team."
10:08PM Finally, they want to go "beyond smart" to make everything available in the cloud available from your phone. "That is the essence of what we do with Android."
10:07PM He's talking about three defining characteristics of Android. First is ease of use. Second is beauty -- "we want the user to feel good about using their smartphone."
10:07PM "I'm very excited to be announcing our next-generation Android phone with Samsung as well as with Android 4.0 -- Ice Cream Sandwich."
10:07PM Andy Rubin from Google is up on stage!
10:06PM "We are defining a premium user experience for both smartphones and tablets."
10:06PM HSPA+ might be coming too, depending on demand.
10:05PM It's built on Super AMOLED, a dual-core processor with "unmached perfmrance" and a "unique" curved design. And, yes, LTE.
10:05PM "Today, Samsung and Google unveil the world's first Ice Cream Sandwich phone." Yes!
10:05PM "We are constantly moving forward, and that is why we are all here today."
10:05PM JK's talking up his company's partnership with Google, talking about how that's enabled Samsung to become the #1 Android provider. Together they create "the most compelling consumer experience in the mobile world."
10:04PM "The Android platform is the most popular mobile platform in the world."
10:03PM "We appreciate everyone's patience and understanding."
10:03PM JK Shin from Samsung is up, head of Mobile Communications.
10:03PM We're going to get insight into why these two came together to create "a truly inspirational product."
10:03PM "Take a moment to imagine a collaboration, where Samsung and Google join forces to form a creation that capitalizes on the strengths of both companies."
10:02PM "I want to thank you for coming today, and I also would like to welcome those who are joining us around the world via webcast."
10:02PM Kim Titus, Director from Samsung PR is on stage.
10:02PM Could it be... ice cream and sandwiches?
10:02PM "Be ready for another perfect combination."
10:02PM Watching a decidedly catchy video here "Somethings just go better together."
10:01PM Lights are down, here we go!
10:01PM Screen says "Calling all possibilities." Lots of options to be presented here today.
10:00PM Ya'll don't have to, though. We know how much you love your standing desks.
10:00PM "Please take your seats."
10:00PM Flashes are popping, seats are filling.
9:58PM Who's excited? This guy is excited. We already know what we're going to get, but we're still excited to see it in the flesh.
9:58PM "Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats. Our program will begin in two minutes."
9:57PM Music is still staying decidedly ambient. Normally we like to give a rolling commentary of the tunes playing but here... well... hop in your closest elevator and you can approxmiate this ambiance for yourself.
9:56PM T-5 minutes and the cameramen are still swarming.
9:53PM Or, maybe there's just not much going on and the guys with the cameras are getting a little desperate.
9:53PM We seem to be having our pictures taken quite a bit here. Maybe we're famous in Hong Kong?
9:52PM A few people actually laughed at the very suggestion.
9:51PM "Ladies and gentlemen, our program will begin in 10 minutes." We've been asked to turn off our "pocket WiFi devices."
9:51PM Of course, if you've been watching the news today, you probably have a good idea of what to expect today. Samsung actually handed us the Galaxy Nexus press release when we walked in the door -- letting that particular cat a little further out of its particular bag.
9:50PM We have Darren Murph rocking the D3S for pictures today, and our Engadget Chinese EiC Richard Lai is here providing much-needed moral support.
9:49PM Hopefully you'll keep the textual commentary rolling too.
9:49PM We're of course glad to have you with us, but if you'd like to watch along with the video, you can do that over here: http://www.youtube.com/android
9:46PM We're in our seats! There's some crummy ambient trance playing, and a lot of green and blue lights shining about.