An expert says the Samsung Galaxy Nexus could stimulate the creation of apps for Android tablets, after becoming the first smartphone to launch with Google’s Android 4.0 software.
While the Galaxy Nexus features a high-definition screen and a fast processor, it is the software that will generate the most interest.
The Android 4.0 operating system, known as Ice Cream Sandwich, includes a feature called Android Beam, which allows contacts, maps and other content to be shared simply by holding two of the phones close to each other.
Meanwhile, voice typing lets users compose an email or text message without using the keypad.
There have also been significant improvements to the camera software, which makes it easier to share photos on apps such as Facebook or Twitter.
Consecutive shots can be taken without delay, thanks to improved response times, and a panoramic feature enables widescreen shots by clicking and dragging the phone across a scene.
Nick Dillon, an analyst at research firm Ovum, says with the launch of Android 4.0, Google has brought together the phone and tablet strands of Android into a single version.
“This is perhaps the more important aspect of the update. One of the issues which has so far limited sales of Android tablets is the relatively small number of apps which are available for them,” Dillon says.
“By creating a single version of Android, Google is making it easier for developers to modify their apps and take advantage of the larger screens of tablets, which should stimulate the creation of apps designed for Android tablets.”
Technology analyst firm Telsyte predicts there will be 1.5 million new Android users in Australia by the end of 2012, confirming the market is ripe with opportunity for app developers.
In comparison, Apple sold 17.1 million iPhones in its final quarter, up 21% from a year earlier, but below analysts’ expectations of 20 million as fans waited for the new model.
The Galaxy Nexus will go on sale in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia in November. Australian details have yet to be announced.
The device will run on high-speed, next-generation networks. Telstra is yet to confirm whether it will be selling the device or if it will use the telco’s 4G network.
Telstra has, however, confirmed it will begin selling Apple’s iPad 2 after ditching its own tablet, the T-Touch Tab, which launched a year ago.
It’s believed disappointing sales was the reason for the withdrawal, as consumers continue to gravitate towards bigger brands.