Google has started this new year with a new version of its hugely popular Android platform, Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb. It was showcased to the world in Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Las Vegas. Developed particularly for large screen sized devices dubbed “Android for Tablets”
Google has amazed everyone with the new added features & functionality. Here is a list of new features in Android 3.0 Honeycomb.
New Refreshed Interface
The user interface of Honeycomb is a complete overhaul of what we has seen of Android. The app page looks sleek like Apple iOS. When asked by Engadget about Google’s hiring of Matias Duarte from Palm during the Dive in mobile presentation whether “he is going to clean this up?” Rubin replied, “I think you’ll see the fruits of that investment soon.”
The default browser has also got totally improved interface with Chrome like tabbed browsing & bookmark syncing, incognito mode, auto form filling and many other features.
Voice and Video Chat with Google Talk friends.
This is the most awaited feature by Android users. It was highly expected to make its inroads in Android 2.3, Gingerbread but there we have it in Honeycomb. Envy Apple users because we can do it over 3G as well.
Providing access to over 3 million Google E-Books in a cool new interface & with page turn animations, this will be well served in tablets form factor. Have a look at the video and we are sure you are gonna love it.
More Sensor Support
One of the thing Andy Rubin explained at ‘D: Dive in Mobile’ event was the device detection APIs, which allows application developers to design single app targeted to both lower density screens and tablets. There is also supports to other new sensors like barometer along side accelerometer, magnetometer, gyroscope and an ambient light sensor.
Keeping its concept of non interference the notifications have been uplifted with many more features. In Honeycomb notifications have found a new home at the bottom taskbar of the screen rather than at the top like previous versions. Also now notifications displays an thumbnail icon with the app icon or the contact picture that initiated the notification.
Improved Task Switcher
Android has always been an multi tasking operating system since its inception, Google has improved it in every iteration but still it was limited in various aspects. With Honeycomb they have finally done the way it is to be done right. Task Switcher can be initiated from a button in the bottom taskbar no matter where you are in the operating system. It displays visuals thumbnails with last saved state of the opened application. To switch to any application just click on it & you are good to go.
According to Google, “the Android soft keyboard is redesigned and optimized for faster text input and editing. The keys themselves are reshaped and repositioned for improved targeting, making them easier to see and press accurately, even at high speeds.”
This is what is needed to take full advantage of large screen state provided by Tablets. Google explains that they call them “Fragments” & the entire screen can be divided into multiple segments & each segment can perform different function.
Gmail app showcased by Google looks sweet which is divided into 2 panes, one for a list of emails & the other is a preview windows. This will surely increase productivity.
Access to Android Market
Versions prior to Honeycomb are not suitable for tablets as stated by Google itself. More over the Market terms & conditions didn’t supported any device which doesn’t had phone capabilities. Now Google Market will be available for all device running Honeycomb regardless of its phone capabilities.