5 Tips for Android's Ice Cream Sandwich

2 July 2012

Phoenix : Voice Commands - Everyone knows about Siri with Apple, but Android has actually had voice commands for quite awhile. Voice Actions let you call friends, send emails, get directions, set alarms, and perform several other common tasks by simply speaking into your phone. To activate Voice Action commands, tap on the microphone that appears in the search bar on the top of your home screen. Then speak the command into the phone.

Swipe to Close Apps - Android 4.0 offers a new and intuitive way to close apps that are running on your device. Tap on the multi-task button on your device and you will see a list of all running apps. To close an app, simply swipe the icon for that app to the left or right.

Browser Tips - The stock web browser that comes with ICS is actually quite good and is a big improvement over previous stock Android web browsers. With the browser open, long press on the back button to bring up your Bookmarks, History, and Saved Pages. Saved pages are especially convenient because you can view them offline.

Also, add Quick Controls to give you more space for your browser and easy access to your browser controls. Open the default web browser and tap on Menu > Settings > Labs > Quick Controls. Now simply slide your finger from the left or right edge of the screen to bring up a quick control panel. Here you can access the tabs you have open, the URL bar, and menu.

Notification Bar - In ICS, there are a few new features involving the notification bar. First, you are now able to access the notification bar from your lock screen. When you get a notification, you can swipe down on the notification bar without unlocking your phone. This will save you a couple seconds each time.

Also, you now have the ability to dismiss a notification with a swipe of your finger. When a notification appears in the bar, simply swipe your finger left or right to dismiss it.

Take a Screenshot - Unlike with the iPhone, taking a screenshot with an Android phone was not an easy task. Previously with Android, in order to take a screen shot on your phone, you would need to root your phone and then install a separate application in order to capture the screenshot. Now with ICS, you can easily take a screenshot by holding down the Power button and Volume Down button. You can find the screenshots in the gallery on your device.

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