Google launches new Android OS – making NFC more intuitive
Google just released its new OS called the Icecream Sandwich along with the Galaxy Nexus phone. The interesting part is that it will be open sourced unlike the last released Honeycomb OS which means all OEMs and not just Google partners will be able to offer it across their devices. It is the first time some one has used face recognition on a device to unlock it for its user. The video camera also allows users to save photos while recording with just a tap on the screen again something which I thought is a good utility for photo enthusiasts. It also features a better voice input system that takes continuous dictations and converts it to text simultaneously. Yes, this release has been packed with some good features but the one that stood out for me is “Google Beam”.
Google Beam is the Google version of near field communications which allows information sharing between two apps. In a scenario where you would like to transfer some information to your friend who also has a Galaxy Nexus phone, you just tap the two and watch the information flow. If you are playing a game and would like to share it with your friend, just tap the phone again and it invokes the Android market where your friend could download the game. It would be interesting to see it being used for transfer of information from one phone to another, replacing bluetooth. Google plans to open up the API for developers to use, and this phone could help NFC go mainstream outside of Japan. It would be interesting to see how mobile payment companies leverage this integration – perhaps enabling P2P payments with just a tap of two phones?