Difference between Android Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich

Key Difference: Gingerbread was released on December 6, 2010 and was an upgrade of the Android Froyo. Gingerbread was designed specifically for smartphones, while the company introduced another complete version, codenamed Honeycomb for the tablets. Ice Cream Sandwich was publicly released on October 19, 2011, with the source code for the OS becoming public on November 14, 2011. ICS was an upgrade to the leading Gingerbread and offered a variety of brand new features.

Android has become quite synonymous with the smartphone market, with many popular phones now being powered by Google’s operating system. Google has made itself an iconic name in computing and mobile technologies with innovative software. Android is a Linux-based operating system owned and operated by the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 84 leading firms, which includes mobile handset makers, application developers, some mobile carriers and chip makers. The consortium is lead in part by Google, as well as HTC, Sony, Dell, Intel, Motorola, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel, Nvidia, and Wind River Systems.

Android is open source software, which means that it is free of cost and can be used, modified and re-sold. This is one of the reasons for its massive popularity, it allowed users to create and change any and all of Androids codes and settings trying to create the perfect OS. Android also has a large community of developers that constantly write applications and codes for the system. In the beginning stages of development, Android was considered to be a rookie gearing up to fail; however, it has since then proven a leader in the smartphone market. The company has various different versions of its Android operating system and has named each system after a delicious dessert. Android 2.3 is codenamed Gingerbread, while Android 4.0 is Ice Cream Sandwich.

The company launched the Android 1.0 in September 2008 and by update 1.5 the company had decided to codename each of its versions after desserts. The first one was Cupcake, with each one following after it alphabetically. Cupcake was followed by Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and finally Jelly Bean. The latest version the Android 4.2.2 was available in November 2012. Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich are two different operating systems and the ICS was the first real update for smartphone after the launch of Gingerbread These two are different in terms of features, looks, layout and many other things.

Android 2.3, codenamed Gingerbread was released on December 6, 2010 and was an upgrade of the Android v2.2 Froyo. Gingerbread was designed specifically for smartphones, while the company introduced another complete version, codenamed Honeycomb for the tablets. The update was based on Linux kernel 2.6.35. It is considered to still be one of the most popular versions of Android for smartphones. In addition to layout already available on Froyo, the company offered changes such as updated user interface, increased speed and simplicity, support for larger screen and higher resolutions, native support for SIP VOIP telephony, faster and more intuitive virtual keyboard, enhanced copy paste function, support for NFC (however, the phone itself would require a chip to support functions), new audio effects, new download manager, support for multiple cameras, support for WebM/VP8 video playback, and AAC audio encoding, improved power management, switched from YAFFS to ext4 on newer devices, audio, graphical and input enhancements for game developers, concurrent garbage collection and native support for more sensors. The company also shipped a minor updates for Gingerbread under the version 2.3.3-2.3.7. These updates offered new features such as: support for voice or video chat, Open Accessory Library support, improvements to Gmail application, shadow animations for list scrolling, camera software enhancements and improved battery efficiency.

Android 4.0, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich was publicly released on October 19, 2011, with the source code for the OS becoming public on November 14, 2011. Ice Cream Sandwich was an upgrade to the leading Gingerbread and offered a variety of brand new features. Android also had the Honeycomb, which was solely reserved for tablets. This version was basically a combination of Android Gingerbread series and Honeycomb series. The company offered updated features such as: soft buttons, separation of widgets, easy to create new folders, customizable launcher, improved visual voicemail, pinch-to-zoom function, screenshot capture, improved keyboard, ability to access apps from lockscreen, real-time speech diction, Face Unlock feature, tabbed web browser, automatic syncing of browser with Chrome bookmarks, new typeface for the UI, ability to shutdown background apps, improved camera app, built-in photo editor, new gallery layout, new ‘People’ app with social network integration, status updates and hi-res images, NFC compatibility, hardware acceleration, Wi-Fi direct and 1080p video recording.

Gingerbread and ICS are quite different from each other and one glance at the two can show the user that the layout and the user interface has been change. The company has given ICS a much cleaner and crisp look. The version shows slim lines, bigger images and more pronounced contrast between apps and other objects. ICS also more closely resembles the Honeycomb, compared to Gingerbread. The company has also changed the font of the interface and incorporated a new ‘Roboto’ font. The company has also provided more power in the user’s hands allowing them to close applications or delete lists by flicking them off the screen. It also allows users to monitor the data usage of each application and limit or restrict the data used by the applications. This reduces significant costs in extra background data usage. Another prominent feature is developer’s options that allow developers to change and alter data or other software in the system. The company has also incorporated soft keys and discarded the old capacitive keys required in Gingerbread. Ice Cream Sandwich offers new transitions without the need for a third party developer. ICS is also designed to react faster to touch and other features. ICS also allows creating automatics folders on the screen by dragging an app on top of another app, while in Gingerbread the user would be required to manually create a folder and then add apps to it. Ice Cream Sandwich is everything already available in Gingerbread, but much faster and smoother. 

Image Courtesy: talkandroid.com, androiduserarticles.blogspot.com

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simply understood

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