Android 3.0 Honeycomb by Google revealed - what comes next for tablets?
The first tablet optimized Androidoperating system is here! At least on video, which we took underclose inspection to bring you the future. Ladies and gentlemen,Android 3.0 Honeycomb is official and it is going to end up on a lotof tablets, so read on.
The T-Mobile G-Slate was just one ofCES's many exciting announcements, but what made it special is theofficial Google crafted video showcasing the latest of Android fortablets – Honeycomb. The OS carries a fully redesigned userinterface. The first thing that you will notice is a sense of harmonyand unity within Honeycomb from the unlock swype. The kind of clear and simple harmony youwould want to see on a tablet PC. No visual perks with livewallpapers (but these may still be available later), but still a nice 3D-esque multiple homescreen view. And let's not forget the widgets, but this all is put together seamlessly and even when switching homescreens you have the feeling of staying in the same ecosystem. Nicely done, Google.
One thing that you will see a lot isthe homescreen. Or rather its static top and bottom part. What you get on the top left corner is the Googlesearch tool, where you can do voice or text searches. In the righttop corner you will find the Apps menu. A strip of up to eight shortcuts (as per the video) onthe bottom part allows you to quickly access essential apps like Gmail, theCalendar, YouTube and Contacts. The main part of the screen isoccupied by widgets/photos/contacts. On the bottom part, youwill see a back, home and tab switch buttons from the left and thetime, your Wi-Fi network and a battery meter on the right.
The Gmail widget stands out with its design and even got its own video. Finally, we are happy to see a rich Gmail experience and we bet many others will be too.
Ourguess is that you will have a huge choice of widgets, but the once we saw sofar included a Calendar and the Browser.
Browser-centric is the key word fortablets and needless to say this will be one of the most looked atparts of the OS. The demo showed up to four tabs, but it seemstablets with Honeycomb will be able to handle a more content withouta hitch. Perfectly desktop-like, we are eager to test how it willperform in real life.
The interface is Chrome-ish, as weguess the browser itself is some version of the Chrome OS browseradapted to do the job, but this is all guess work. The on screenkeyboard is large, nicely spaced from what can be seen at the video.Well, we said Chrome and you might remember the Incognito feature –it is implemented to give you a completely private browsingexperience should you decide to go under cover for some reason.
Next come the beautiful Maps app that we have seen bring 3D view with the latest update to version 5.0.
The Books app will definitely need a closer look as tablets are entering into the e-reader space quickly. What we can see so far when the app is fired up is a good looking 3D like carousel, where you can browse your books. The Books app also appears as a widget giving you one tap access to your books and judging from the short demo it also stores your last viewed page. Take a look for yourselves!
Finally, any tablet is above all amobile communication device. Good news is video chat is covered withGtalk. Check out the official video to see just how easy it is tocall through the built-in VoIP client. Quality would largely dependon your front/rear facing cameras, so let's just wait and see as itshould not be long before we see more of it. What do you think ofHoneycomb? Is it capable of dethroning iOS?