Ice cream sandwich. Delicious on a warm summer day, but a bit of a silly name for a mobile phone OS. Android 4 sounds much better.
I am currently waiting for the new update on my Sony Experia, but many people have already had the update and I have read many good reports about it, but how will affect us at Coreware? Possibly the biggest difference is the upgrade from the standard Android Web Browser to Google Chrome.
There were problems with the old Android Web Browser due to its poor support for the latest web standards and it struggled with intensive web applications, which is the bulk of the work we do here at Coreware. Hopefully, the introduction of Chrome will help to alleviate some of these problems. However, it will be a long time before the new Google Chrome completely replaces the old Android Browser and at present only 1.5% of Android users have the latest ICS upgrade and the new Chrome browser. This actually creates more problems for us than it solves because all of our work has to be backwards compatible so we now have to cater for yet another browser on yet another platform.
For some of our clients we are still building Web Sites and Web Applications that are IE6 compliant. So now we have to ensure that our work is compatible with all browsers on Windows, Mac and Linux and also mobile OS such as Android, iOS and Blackberry. However, with good prior planning, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem and will just require the odd JS or CSS tweak here and there.
Google have announced that the new Google Chrome browser on Android 4 will not be supporting Adobe Flash. With iOS not supporting Flash either I can imagine it being phased out all together which is a shame for designers like myself who enjoy the fun, playful side of Flash, but a lot of what Flash used to do can now be done using a combination of Jquery and CSS. The biggest problem that I have run into with Flash is scalability. We are now regularly using Responsive CSS techniques to ensure that our sites work within all screen sizes and Flash can only be reduced and enlarged which sometimes results in text sizes so small they are unreadable.
I’m looking forward to getting my Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade on my phone and looking forward to the exciting possibilities and challenges that a new OS will bring to our work at Coreware. I just hope they think of a better name for future upgrades!