Ice Cream Sandwich is the dessert-themed Android codename for version 4.0 of the open source Android mobile operating system. Ice Cream made its debut in October 2011 as Google s everywhere operating system for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.
With Ice Cream Sandwich Google worked to unify the v2.x/v3.x forks of Android development while also adapting the Android framework and adding new APIs to help put an end to the issue of Android fragmentation. Ice Cream Sandwich also brought many of the tablet-centric features in Honeycomb (Android v3.0) to smartphones, including video chat support based on Google Talk protocols, a new System Bar for global status and notifications and an Action Bar for application control, tabbed Web browsing support, an optimized soft keyboard and a new email interface.
Ice Cream follows a number of earlier updates for Android, including Cupcake (v1.5), Donut (v1.6), Eclair (v2.0), FroYo (v2.2), Gingerbread (v2.3) and Honeycomb (v3.0). The successor to Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean (v5.0) is expected to become available in late 2012.