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Android 3.0 Honeycomb Walkthrough

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Contacts App:

Turning our attention to the address book, it mainly relies on a layout that one would easily come to think as becoming the norm for any tablet. Specifically, there are basically two panes displayed on-screen – the left one being your scrollable listing, while the other displays all the relevant content associated with each person.

Since this is a Google built platform, it’ll sync with your Gmail contacts; as well as others found with your social networking accounts. In the Action Bar, you can set it to display contacts according to your accounts, or simply have all of them loaded together at once. And if you don’t feel like going through the listing, which is organized in alphabetical order starting with the first name, you can always tap the search bar and find specific names.

Contacts app
Contacts app

Contacts app

The Contacts app in portrait mode
The Contacts app in portrait mode

The Contacts app in portrait mode

Of course, there are plenty of specific pieces of information that you can add in with each person –like email addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, and instant messaging accounts. As much as we like seeing contacts from our social networking accounts loading up in the address book, it doesn’t offer the tight integration we’re so accustomed to see with other Android smartphones. Meaning, it’ll display the most recent Twitter post within the contacts app, but unless you’ve got the official Twitter client installed, it’s not going to do much in terms of aggregating content.

Messaging and Email:

When you’re composing a message of some sort, you’re only presented with the stock Honeycomb keyboard – which surprisingly leaves out numbers built into the first row of buttons; much like what’s found with Gingerbread’s layout. Albeit, there are some commonly used punctuations available at your disposal all from the main layout, but if you need to throw in something else, you’ll have click the specified numbers and punctuations button. Obviously, the portrait option might prove to be a bit unwieldy for some people, but as with almost anything, the landscape one provides a suitable amount of space. This here all depends on the specific device you'll be using Honeycomb though.

When you’re composing a message, you’re presented with the stock Honeycomb keyboard
When you’re composing a message, you’re presented with the stock Honeycomb keyboard

When you’re composing a message, you’re presented with the stock Honeycomb keyboard

Does typing get your fingers cramped? Well, you can always click that magical microphone button on the keyboard to activate the platform’s voice recognition service – which will convert your spoken words into text. Indeed, it’s a nice feature seeing that it works well on most occasions during our experience.

Lastly, the platform also has auto-correction and suggestions in place to properly aid you as you begin to type at a rapid speed. With auto-corrections however, you can either set it to off, modest, or aggressive.

Being human and all, we’re prone to make an occasional mistake as we speed type without bothering to double check ourselves. So in the event we have to go back and modify something, you can eye ball the location and tap it to get the cursor in place. If that’s not helping, you can also drag the cursor into the correct position as well. And finally, you can highlight something by simply holding down a word, then adjust the cursors to the correct areas, and simply either press the copy or cut buttons in the Action Bar.

Just like any Android smartphone out there, emails are broken down to basically two forms – Gmail and everything else. You’ve got one app strictly for Gmail, which does a phenomenal job in translating over the desktop experience to the nail. At first, it’s laid out in the customary two paned system with the left most showing all your folders, while the right one mainly displays who the email is from and a snippet of the its contents. However, when you select one of them, the whole thing shifts over to the left as the full email is displayed within the right pane.

Emails in Honeycomb
Emails in Honeycomb
Emails in Honeycomb
Emails in Honeycomb

Emails in Honeycomb

Productivity is in full effect with the Gmail app since we’re treated to some of the most frequently used functions we’d come to experience with the desktop version. Again, the Action Bar enables you to switch between accounts, search for specific keywords within your emails, archive items, delete stuff, and label things. And finally, emails within the Gmail app are organized in a threaded view to keep you on your toes on the history of your conversation between someone else.

Secondly, you’ve got the regular email app that namely offers the same layout with the Gmail app, but it’s limited in what it can handle. Obviously, you can display emails according to which account you have selected in the Action Bar, but there is also a combined view as well that drops everything together – however, it’s color coded to make it easier to view. Unfortunately though, threaded view is blatantly missing with the regular email app – so that means you’ll need to backtrack on older emails for a refresher.

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posted on 08 Mar 2011, 10:28 2

1. fatexo (Posts: 221; Member since: 21 May 2010)


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: 1052; 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.

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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