Nothing like an ice cream sandwich that melts in the 100 degree August heat and leaks out of its wrapper all over your pants before you can eat it, huh? Mmm, Summertime.

Lucky for me, August in the Bay Area is more like mid-70s and 80s, and the words “Ice Cream Sandwich” and “Leaks” refer to hot new technology, not sadly melting desserts. Looks like the first screenshots of Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” leaked out to not one, but two sites at the same time, giving us all a taste of what Google’s mobile OS may well look like once it’s hybridized to fit smartphones and tablets.

Android Police and RootzWiki both posted photos and details that could be fake, but are logical and subtle enough to have us fancypants Internet writers thinking they are, in fact, the real Ice Cream deal. Shown on what looks to be a Nexus S running on T-Mobile, the About Phone screen clearly shows Android version “IceCreamSandwich,” Build number IRK36B, along with a revamped UI featuring lots of blue and a new notifications bar.

A few items of interest (click on gallery thumbnails below to see all photos):

  • Google search bar at top of screen, like Honeycomb
  • Multiple-icon button in lower right of home screen looks like Task Switcher?
  • Notifications screen icons are larger
  • Android version does not specifically say ‘4.0’ (or 3.x, for that matter) – Our headline is still, technically, speculation
  • New “Nexus Prime” device still rumored to be first ICS phone, but it apparently will run on Nexus S, as well.
  • Re-themed Gmail and new panorama mode on camera (via Android Police)
  • Google Shopper included for use on NFC-enabled devices (via RootzWiki)

Several sites note, and my eyes confirm, that the UI changes in these photos appear to be on the relatively small side. Chris Velazco over at TechCrunch notes that the interface in general feels just a bit more spacious:

The distances between app icons and their names have increased a bit, and though the change is minor, it makes the whole layout more open. This could be a hint at the hybrid phone/tablet nature that Ice Cream Sandwich is shooting for.

Ooh, subtle! I like it. Chris’ picking up on the “spaciousness,” that is. I’ll reserve judgement on until at least one more screengrab leaks.

Alright, time to stand up and be counted: Is this the real deal? Who says this is our first glimpse at ICS, and who calls fake? And what about the version number – will ICS in fact be Android 4.0? Comments time, people, comments time!

Via: Android Police, RootzWiki, TechCrunch