Android 3.0 Honeycomb Details Released, SDK Previewed
Well, the inevitable will soon become a reality. Gather up folks and prepare for the coming of Google’s made-for-tablet Android OS – Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb. The Google Android Developers have just given us a preview of the Android 3.0 platform which will bring in many new and exciting features for both users and developers. Let’s leave the juicy details of Android 3.0 for developers and take a closer look at what Android 3.0 will bring to us Android users, specifically soon-to-be Android tablet users.
First of all, being an Android platform designed for devices with larger screen sizes particularly tablets, Android 3.0 will be introducing a new “holography” UI theme and an interaction model that builds on multitasking, notifications, widgets and other Android features that we have grown to love about Google’s mobile platform.
Specifically, Android 3.0 UI is bringing in fresh paradigms for interaction, navigation and customization. For apps developers, Google is giving them a set of UI objects, powerful graphics and media capabilities. Alright, without further adieu, here’s a quick rundown of the new features of Android 3.0 relevant to users.
System Bar – this will be implemented across system and all apps. This means that you’ll have quick access to notifications, system status and soft navigation buttons on the system bar which will be available at the bottom of your tablet’s screen.
Action Bar – you’ll have access to contextual options, navigation, widgets or other types of content via the action bar which will be displayed at the top of the screen. This action bar will always be present on every app you install on your Android tablet.
Customizable home screens – there will be five customizable home screens that will give you instant access to all parts of the system from any context. Each of these screens will give you a large grid that maintains spatial arrangements in all orientations. You can manipulate these homescreens by adding widgets, app shortcuts, and wallpapers via visual layout mode.
Recent apps – Android 3.0 will allow easy visual multitasking via the Recent Apps list in the System Bar to see tasks which are ongoing. This will allow you to jump from one app context to another as well.
Redesigned Keyboard – Android 3.0 will also bring in a new soft keyboard redesigned to make it easier and more accurate to enter text on larger screen sizes. Google has repositioned and reshaped the keys to improve targetting. New keys were also added including Tab key.
New connectivity options – A new UI will let you quickly select a word by press-hold and then adjust selection area as needed.
The rest of the new features of Android 3.0 have to do with updated set of standard apps that include the browser, camera and gallery, contacts and email management.
So there. Are you excited about Android 3.0 now? Are you planning to get new Android tablets that are scheduled to come out this year?
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