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Two months with Android 4 (ICS) on Nexus S

February 10, 2012

I bought Nexus S one year ago, at that time it was the first phone to have the new Gingerbread (Android 2.3) OS, that update wasn’t major. Coming from 2.2, I noticed that it’s faster and more stable but not that much of changes in terms of usability. Many updates were released for 2.3, and the latest official update was 2.3.6 . Last December  Nexus S got the official new Ice Cream Sandwich OS ( 4.0.3 ) and hence it’s the first old phone to get this OS. The target of this new OS is to make Android more user-friendly so that more and more basic and ordinary users can enjoy and use Android without that much complexity.

I actully started writing this post in December but failed to complete it, which is a good thing because I now had more to use ICS. This is not a review for the OS since many good reviews are already out but I  just wanted to share my personal experience about the OS

The major update for our region is that ICS supports Arabic out of the box, displaying connected Arabic characters, finally! . It offers a good Arabic keyboard and also Arabic voice typing  with localization. For voice dictation you will have many choices of Arabic dialects and one of them is Jordanian, you can use your voice to search (was introduced earlier for 2.3)  or write in Arabic. I didn’t use the voice feature that much, but I was impressed by the searching accuracy, for example voice searching for ” جريدة الغد” will get you directly to Google search results page and the first link will be the Jordanian Alghad.

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Writing wasn’t always accurate, and as I understand by using it more it should get more and more accurate. What I really liked that they worked on localization for example, saying ” كنت بدي” will be detected. You can see from the above screen shot that it almost got the full sentence correctly and the only word that was misspelled was ” تيجي” but actully it suggested the right word as the first correction.

In general, ICS is pretty good in terms of usability and being fast. The browser is much easier to use and even the new keyboard is smarter. But from my experience with Android, you will usually get some bugs in the first releases and I had two major bugs with ICS. One is the usual random reboot and the second is the awful battery life, I used to get not more than 5-6 hours which is ridiculously bad. I tried so many customized ROMS and I can say that they reduced the effect of such bugs.

To sum things up, I can say that ICS is till now the best Android version that I used and I think with some minor updates it will be stable and reliable as it should be, I hope 😀

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