I’m sure you’ve been waiting to hear all about Android OS 3.0 (Honeycomb), and finally the wait is over. Here’s what I have learned.
One huge notable difference is there’s no longer a need for hardware buttons, they are all built into the OS. Android 3.0 runs so smooth on the larger tablet screen. You are really gonna love its feel!
On the bottom left there’s three software buttons: Back, Home, and a new menu button which is now an App Switcher for multitasking. When you use this button a menu pops up displaying your recently running apps, and you can seamlessly Switch between them all.
Now focus your eyes to the right side. Here we see the time, power, Internet connection status, and a spruced-up notification bar. Honeycomb has a stylish notification bar, meaning it includes much more information than in the current version of Android. It includes things like download progress, music controls, incoming message profile pics, and more.
Here you’ll see someone’s profile pic when they instant message you, and be able to control play of your music. Google is providing application programming interfaces (APIs) to assist developers in building these snazzy notifications. Better yet, you’ll now be able to stop notifications individually rather than at present how you must clear them all at once.
Honeycomb offers multiple widget options, and you can fill your home screen with these or apps. You can choose to use a new stacked interface, or grid-like layout, or just use the standard one seen on phones.
To customize your home screens, just click the ‘+‘ in the upper right corner to zoom in and see all of them at once. Here you can add apps, widgets, change wallpaper, or customize each screen to your likings. This is all possible with the new Render-script 3D animation framework, which also powers the new YouTube app, and Google e-books Reader. When viewing the video at the end of this article you will clearly see how smooth page turning looks.
Beside the ‘+’ in the upper right, you will also see an Apps button, which brings up all your installed apps like we are currently used to seeing.
All existing apps will run fine on Honeycomb, but as stated earlier, Google has included many APIs to assist developers in creating richer apps for a tablet. There will be an Action Bar at the top of each app, which is where you will find the Menu button, a quick Share option and more.
In the video you’ll see an absolutely amazing Gmail app that makes the iPad Mail app look ancient. Honeycomb Gmail has multiple panels, and you can drag and drop emails to other folders to keep your inbox clean. This won’t be restricted to just Google products; using an API called fragment, developers can also create rich multi-pane apps. This will assist all developers to make apps that are very entertaining to the viewer.
The Music app on Honeycomb looks amazing. There’s a really neat carousel to use to scroll through your music, and the app can be minimized to the lower right hand corner. You can continuing listening and controlling your music from there while still using your tablet to do other things.
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you probably heard that the Honeycomb version of Google Maps has gone 3D. You can pinch, turn, zoom and all kinds of stuff with your finger tips. It makes Google Maps look a lot more fun.
Now engross yourself in one amazing HD video from our friends at IntoMobile, so you can really visualize what I’ve discussed. I know you’ll be as impressed as I am. I can hardly wait to get my fingers on a new Android 3.0 tablet! Stop teasing us with all this, and start selling them!