Ice Cream Sandwich Unveiled by Google: SDK Available Now, Facial Recognition Confirmed

Google’s new Ice Cream Sandwich Android OS was unveiled on Wednesday morning at the company’s “Mobile Unpacked” event.

The SDK for the new OS is currently available for download at

Ice Cream Sandwich will include many new features and upgrades, and will be launched on the Galaxy Nexus smartphone which was also unveiled at the event.

Some of its new capabilities include Android Beam which uses NFC to transfer media from smartphone to smartphone by simply touching the devices together.

Ice Cream Sandwich also ushers in significant upgrades to Gmail, Contacts which will now be called People, and sports a new impressive graphic foundation called Roboto.

It will also use facial recognition to unlock the device it is running on.

Samsung and Google originally planned to host their "Mobile Unpacked" media event on Oct. 11, but pushed it back after the death of Steve Jobs on Oct. 5.

Speculation circled around for weeks indicating that the Ice Cream Sandwich OS would be unveiled alongside the latest Android smartphone, Galaxy Nexus.

However, some reports said that the launch of the Galaxy Nexus was going to be delayed and it would not be unveiled at the Mobile Unpacked event which proved to be false.

The Ice Cream Sandwich OS was recently leaked when an eBay shopper allegedly bought a Samsung Nexus S device that was powered by the new OS. The shopper leaked video of the OS to Engadget.

That leak had revealed that the Galaxy Nexus may feature a Facial Recognition Lockscreen and that Ice Cream Sandwich’s other specs may have included a Movie Studio app, an app called "People," which was speculated to be a "Contacts" update, panoramic photo option as well as "Backup" and "Reset" options.

The Galaxy Nexus will be the first smartphone officially powered by the Ice Cream Sandwich OS, despite the phone associated with the leak being a Nexus S.

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