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Google Ice Cream Sandwich: Android 4.0 and Samsung, Motorola Smartphones

SAN FRANCISCO: Google has added an ice cream sandwich sculpture to its dessert-themed Mountainview, CA campus, making no secret of the fact that it is today announcing in Hong Kong its Android 4.0 platform, code-named ice cream sandwich.

The event will be a joint effort between Google and Samsung, the Korean hardware giant. We expect Google/Samsung to today show and soon ship the first Android 4.0 phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus — and we expect Motorola Wireless, at an event in New York just hours before, to announce at least one new phone — the LTE-capable RAZR –on the docket to ship with Android 4.0 soon after. HTC and LG are expected to unveil Android 4.0 devices in time for the holidays, too.

Google will at one or both events demo the next version of Google +, which will be built into Android 4.0, and the next rev of its Google Music cloud service. Motorola certainly will unveil a skinnier version of its Xoom tablet at its event, and more announcements may follow.

We’ll be live blogging both events here at groovyPost and putting all the new announcements in perspective. Our news reporters, analysts and reviewers will be giving Android 4.0 and devices that run it a long hard look. In the meantime, here’s what we expect to see featured in Android 4.0.

– improved performance

– a built-in photo editor

–  Google + 2.0 and the next rev of the Google Music cloud service built-in

– resizable widgets

– facial recognition

– improved integration of email and messaging (to be called “Chords?” We hope not.)

– snappier, more intuitive multitasking

– support for Super AMOLED displays, like the 4.7-inch one expected on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, to be announced with Android 4.0 in Hong Kong today — October 18 in the Western Hemisphere, October 19 in the East.

We are hearing that Samsung will have its Android 4.0 products out by month’s end, with Motorola’s to follow in early November.

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