Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is the latest Android version that is available for phones. Its source code was released on 14 November, and Google debuted it in Hong Kong. Google’s goal is unifying the smartphone and the tablet, and this update offers a massive redesign to the user interface and also adds a lot of new features.

An entirely new typeface optimised for high-resolution screens improves readability and brings a polished, modern feel to the user interface. Some of the highlights include an NFC-enabled feature called Android Beam, offline search in Gmail, new lock screen features and a fancy unlocking method called “Face Unlock,” which uses facial recognition to ensure strangers can’t use your phone without permission.

You can insert live application content directly from the home screens through interactive widgets, which let you check email, flip through a calendar, play music and check social streams. Widgets are resizable, so you can expand them to show more content or shrink them to save space. The Settings app has colourful charts which show the total data usage on each network type (mobile or Wi-Fi), as well as the amount of data used by each running application.

Another interesting new feature is the People app, which offers richer profile information, including a large profile picture, phone numbers, addresses and accounts, status updates, events and a new button for connecting on integrated social networks. Today, thanks to mobile technologies, keeping in touch is very easy, both for business and in private life.