The New Features Of Android 3.1 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

Google’s upcoming Android 3.1 is coming for tablets, of course, but it’s also improving Google TV’s interface. Even better, Google TV gets the Android Market as well.

Here are some of the nicest new features in 3.1:

• Expanding, resizable widgets
• Android devices can be USB hosts, so you can hook up keyboards, mice and game controllers (like the Xbox 360 controller)
• Facial detection with camera, so video chat will automatically focus on the speaker who’s talking (if there are multiple ones)

The 3.1 Ice Cream Sandwich Android release will launch in Q4 2011. Of course “launch” is a relative term for Android releases, since historically, new builds only hit Nexus phones first. But the upside is that Ice Cream Sandwich will put all of Honeycomb’s new features into phones.

Update: It’s unclear whether or not Android 3.1 is Ice Cream Sandwich. They talked about both, and talk about Ice Cream Sandwich being “one version of Android on all devices”, but didn’t mention explicitly that 3.1 is Ice Cream Sandwich. We’ll clarify when we know more.

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