Google Pinning Facial Recognition Hopes On the Galaxy Nexus
Apple gave the world Face Time, and now Google is using Face Unlock as their counter to Apple’s Face Time.
Teaming up with Samsung this past week, Google unveiled the new Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The Galaxy Nexus is a very ambitious phone that the companies are hoping will be able to make a run at Apple’s iPhone. Running the latest version of the Android mobile OS, codename Ice Cream Sandwich, it could do just that.
In the wake of the huge splash the iPhone, released this past Wednesday, the Galaxy Nexus is the initial phone that was specifically designed to run Ice Cream Sandwich, or Android operating system 4.0. Even though pricing is yet to be announced, the current schedule is for the phone to be released for sale in November. In typical Google fashion, the software running on this phone has its own nickname after yet another tasty treat.
Although Google is still maintaining that all of the phone manufacturers will get equal Android release access, it’s fairly clear that Google has a very special place in their heart for the new Galaxy Nexus. It’s also possible that they even have some hopes for a flagship phone that can mount a challenge to the Cupertino crowd.
Andy Rubin, the Senior VP at Google, mentioned that the Galaxy Nexus is beyond just being smart, it’s not just a smartphone. Android Ice Cream Sandwich, or 4.0, gives the user total control over the mobile data amounts they use through helping with better understanding and then managing it.
Of all the new features, one of the fanciest with the new system is the new facial recognition feature, Face Unlock. Thanks to the software for facial recognition, this feature allows the user to unlock their phone through simply showing the phone their face, as an alternative to tapping out their password to unlock their phone all the time.
Furthermore, the phone is also going to have something that’s being referred to as Google Beam. Beam is an application that will allow users to share their applications, contacts, websites and other types of data through simply holding the two Android phones near each other.
If you’re familiar with the Siri option of the iPhone 4S, which is a voice activated ‘personal assistant’, there’s nothing quite as ‘sexy’ as that. However, Galaxy Nexus will give the user the feature of ‘voice typing’. The voice typing feature allows the user to speak in order to create emails, text messaging and more.
Galaxy Nexus features a large display screen of 4.65 inches, a 1.24 GHz dual-core processor and 32GB of storage. In screen size comparison, there is only a 3.5 inch screen on the new iPhone 4S.
Additionally, the Nexus has a camera that’s 5-megapixels. Although it’s on par with the iPhone 4, it does lag behind the 8-megapixel camera on the iPhone 4S. One of the most common complaints that come with the iPhone is shutter lag, and this is something that Samsung and Google claim is non-existent with the Nexus. In addition, it offers photo capabilities for panoramic views and autofocus.
The early responses to the operating system, and the phone itself, have both been very positive.
Google states that Android 4.0 is the first OS that’s optimized for tablets and smartphone alike. The new Ice Cream Sandwich, making a stellar intro on the Nexus has a touchscreen keyboard that’s been improved drastically, more interactive notifications, widgets that are resizable, along with many other upgrades.
All this is awesome obviously, however, there’s a lingering remaining question. Is the Galaxy Nexus truly meant to go head on with the 800# gorilla in the market, the Apple iPhone?
On the whole, the Android operating system has come onto the market in true gangbuster style. The phone that are running Android makeup approximately 43% of the smartphone market, which is a multi-billion dollar industry, in comparison to the 18% market share that the iPhone has. That being said though, Android is spread over many different manufacturers and dozens of phone, ranging from cheap handhelds to offerings that are at the top of the line.
Essentially, Google takes manufacturer bids every year in order to make their Nexus phone. This is something that’s now done ever since the Nexus One, Google’s epic failure of trying to do it themselves. If you don’t remember the Nexus One you’re not along, it fizzled out and died and stunning fashion, and in very short order.
There hasn’t been a single Android phone that’s managed to capture the imagination of the public like the iPhone has. Obviously this is something that Google would be completely in love with changing. Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, is something that could provide a very large leap in the acute push in the race on catching up with Apple. Apple still has the cutting edge on software, however, that’s something that could definitely change.
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