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Android 3.0 Honeycomb Walkthrough

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You’d think that there would be something completely new with the calendar with Honeycomb, but in all honesty, it’s basically nothing we haven't seen before. Granted that you can sync calendars from multiple accounts, which is then colored coded, but it’s basically the same old functioning calendar app we’ve been using. In the Action Bar, we have the option to display the calendar in month, week, or day view, and we also find some additional functions like doing a search and creating a new appointment.

When you’re in the month view, the layout is typical since it’ll place the entire month’s calendar on-screen with appointments listed on their specific days. However, when you select day or week view, it’s transformed into the familiar two paned layout that displays your appointments on one side, while the other pops up a mini month calendar with the color coded labels of your accounts nearby.

Adding an appointment is easily accomplished by simply tapping on the associated icon in the Action Bar or performing a long press in any spot in your calendar. Once you’ve got it up, there is an abundant set of information that you can set that range from things like reminders, to the actual start and end times of the event.

Sadly, the Clock App with Honeycomb is downright prehistoric compared to the offerings we’re so used to seeing. That’s because it’ll only display a supersized version of the digital clock found in the Notifications Panel, and from here, you can set up multiple alarms. Yup, that’s pretty much the extent of its functionality as it lacks items like a stopwatch, timer, or world clock.

The Calendar app
The Calendar app
The Calendar app
The Clock app - The Calendar app
   

The Clock app

The Calendar app


Furthermore, the Calculator App doesn’t make any headway with Honeycomb since we’re once again greeted with a giant sized version of the traditional one found with Android. Aside from its palm friendly sized buttons, we have access simultaneously to both the basic and advanced functions.

The Calculator App is a giant sized version of the traditional one found with Android
The Calculator App is a giant sized version of the traditional one found with Android

The Calculator App is a giant sized version of the traditional one found with Android


Yeah it’s missing some organizer functions, but that’s where the Android Market comes to mind as we’re sure there are plenty of third party offerings available to fill in the gap.


Exploring the Internet:

When running the Android browser, its presentation is almost similar to what’s found with the Google Chrome browser on a desktop computer. Satisfying indeed, we’re presented with the conventional set of features like pinch gestures for zooming, smooth kinetic scrolling, double tap to zoom in/out, and long pressing for additional functions.

However, support for Flash 10.1 is uncharacteristically absent with the web browser – for now though. But don’t fret because it seems that a software update is going to be made available in the near future that will bring it along; thus completing its transformation in offering a true desktop like experience.

The Android Honeycomb browser lacks support for Flash 10.1
The Android Honeycomb browser lacks support for Flash 10.1
The Android Honeycomb browser lacks support for Flash 10.1
The Android Honeycomb browser lacks support for Flash 10.1
The Android Honeycomb browser lacks support for Flash 10.1
The Android Honeycomb browser lacks support for Flash 10.1
The Android Honeycomb browser lacks support for Flash 10.1
The Android Honeycomb browser lacks support for Flash 10.1

The Android Honeycomb browser lacks support for Flash 10.1


In the Action Bar, we have access to the navigation controls, address bar, opening a new tab, Google Search, and bookmarks – the latter of which will sync with your Google Chrome bookmarks. Also, we find the option to open a new tab in “incognito” mode which essentially covers your tracks while surfing the web; thus not leaving any cookies behind whatsoever.

And finally, the sharing features are all there as well since you have options like sending links via Bluetooth, Email, Facebook, Gmail, or Twitter.
In terms of performance, complex pages load up just like they do on a desktop browser, but it’s nice to see that we rarely find long passages of text being crunched into a narrow view. However, it would be nice for certain pages to automatically load their full experience as opposed to their mobile friendly variants – like Wikipedia. Not forgetting that this is a tablet optimized platform, it’s nice to see a new look with the browser as it offers some engaging features that are akin to tablet use.


Android Market:

Still in its infancy, the only thing that’s holding back Honeycomb is the paltry set of tablet optimized apps available in the Android Market. Sure we’re greeted to a new layout with the Android Market, which organizes searches between tablet optimized ones and the usual others found with the platform, but it would’ve been nice to see plenty of optimized third party apps from the onset. Regardless, we’re seeing more and more coming in with each passing day, and eventually, it’ll be at a healthy level.

With the new interface, there is a carousel of featured apps rotating in position at the top, while others are broken down by category beneath it – these include featured tablet apps, top fee apps, best-selling apps, and Verizon. Moreover, there is a section in the Action Bar that place you into the Books Market. And we no longer have to actually launch the Android Market to see any available updates because the platform will automatically pop up a notification for you.

Even though most of the legacy apps are freely available for download, we did experience some unexpected and abrupt force closures with certain apps. It appears that there are still some bugs with the new platform since apps continue to crash at random, but as we all know, it will more than likely be addressed with future updates. Ultimately, Honeycomb’s place in the tablet world is going to come down to its developers since they hold the keys in producing apps that are meticulously optimized for the tablet experience.

8 Comments
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posted on 08 Mar 2011, 10:28 2

1. fatexo (Posts: 84; Member since: 21 May 2010)


First..

posted on 08 Mar 2011, 19:31 2

5. AndroidTroll (Posts: 359; Member since: 05 Mar 2011)


Congratulations on being first! I like your avatar. I assume it is an Android version of yourself? You must be quite the hipster!

Honeycomb ftw. Can't wait for a similar version to hit phones. Actually, once google voice hits, I might make a rooted htc flyer my phone. It will be like the good old days when you got to hold a brick up to your face!

posted on 08 Mar 2011, 11:42 1

2. belovedson (Posts: 832; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


thankyou obvious non android lover and author.

honeycomb is sickkk.

author have you heard of marketplace? why would anyone use the stock functions on android when there's better free versions available?

please phone arena please have authors who enjoy the android experience. If this site uses authors who enjoy apple products and praise it why can't we have the same experience with android?

posted on 08 Mar 2011, 13:44

4. useraaaaaa (unregistered)


dude, if you have not noticed then most of ppl at phone arena is ANDROID LOVERS!

posted on 08 Mar 2011, 13:02

3. HoneycombFTW (unregistered)


A very thorough walk-through! One of the better ones I've seen.

I really like the new Honeycomb UI for Android. It's very intuitive and easy to use while still retaining all the flexibility of Android. For a "1.0" UI I think the Android team did a pretty darn good job, and I'm sure it will get a lot better very quickly.

I agree with the keyboard--I don't know why they didn't just give a full normal keyboard that uses the shift key for special character and move the special character lock key more out of they way, I keep hitting it. Luckily there are some great keyboards out there for Android.

@belovedson
I think there point about some of the apps is very justified. Why put in a "core app" that is overly minimalistic or doesn't even come close to free apps in the market? As I'm sure some people would like to stick with the basic stock setup--not everyone is an app whore ;)
But you do make a great point about Android--customize it to your liking!

posted on 08 Mar 2011, 21:11

6. surfy101 (Posts: 7; Member since: 09 Jun 2010)


I really hope Google puts in the feature for making mobile phone call, especially when the tablet has the 3G built-in. This will set it apart from iPad, much like what the first Galaxy Tab does. Some telcos allow multiple SIM cards tied to a number, which will allow a 2nd SIM to be used on the tablet and to make calls.

posted on 10 Mar 2011, 20:02

7. Concerned Site User (unregistered)


Please take no offense from this comment; I mean none by it and only want to improve the quality of the site. You guys really need to get a new person to narrate the video reviews. Regardless of his product knowledge or status in the organization, he is not the right person to do video reviews due to his speech impediment. It is distracting and makes the reviews unpleasant to view.

posted on 21 Mar 2011, 07:20

8. it's ok (unregistered)


Wouldn't agree with you! Not knowing English very well, I find this review quite good.

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