The latest version of Google's all-conquering mobile operating system is just around the corner, bringing with it some exciting new changes and tweaks.
Ice Cream Sandwich is set to unify both the tablet and smartphone platforms, so we looked at some of the new additions.
One of the more innovative features making its way into Android 4.0 is the Face Unlock method. As the name implies, the phone will use facial recognition to unlock itself.
While it didn't work as intended during the Ice Cream Sandwich preview event, later demonstrations proved that it can be pretty accurate.
The advent of near-field communications (NFC) has created a lot of noise, but Google is finally showing us what the hype is all about.
Android devices equipped with an NFC chip and Ice Cream Sandwich will be able to exchange websites, YouTube clips, contact information and directions via the technology.
Taking its cue from the stellar People hub used in Windows Phone 7, Google has crafted its own little People application for contacts.
Google's hub will include social integration, status updates and high-resolution photos, taking advantage of Google+.
Another neat yet underappreciated addition in Ice Cream Sandwich is the data usage log, monitoring your bandwidth.
However, the ability to disable your connection when you've exceeded your data limit is another welcome feature, especially in light of hefty out-of-bundle charges.
New camera app
The camera application has also been reworked and tweaked in Ice Cream Sandwich, with a time-lapse mode and panorama setting included by default.
Google has also been trumpeting the zero shutter lag, allowing users to take photos as quickly as possible. Another smart tweak is the ability to take photos while recording video.
Virtual UI buttons
Another big change to Android is the introduction of virtual buttons in place of hardware keys, a feature already included on Honeycomb tablets.
The shift to software buttons means that we will see bigger displays without an accompanying increase in handset size.
One of the more annoying things I experienced with Android was that some widgets took up way too much real estate.
In Ice Cream Sandwich however, users can now change the size of widgets, allowing you to squeeze more of them together on a homescreen.
Taking its cue from iOS 5 (or is it the other way around?), Android 4.0 will also include a variety of actions that can be performed under a lock-screen.
Whether you need to take a photo quickly, want to change music tracks or simply check notifications, it's all possible.
Support for the visually impaired
A new explore-by-touch mode brings the Android platform to the often neglected visually impaired user.
This mode lets users navigate without looking at the screen, with audio feedback being used to identify different user interface elements and more.
An evolved UI
One of the biggest tweaks introduced by Ice Cream Sandwich is the refreshed user interface, arguably the weakest aspect of the platform
Google has adopted the Roboto typeface while also introducing tweaked animations and transitions, giving Android a fresh yet familiar feel.