Honeycomb Preview: Android Is About To Get Huge

Posted: Jan 27 2011, 10:19am CST | by , Updated: Jan 27 2011, 10:23am CST, in News | Android

Honeycomb Preview: Android is About to Get Huge
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Launch already, Xoom.

The Android developers have put up a blog post detailing many features of the new Honeycomb OS. There's a lot here, but most of it can be summed up as follows: More, Bigger and Faster.

MORE: Support for high-quality 2D and 3D graphics. There's a new GL renderer to allow devs to hardware-accelerate a larger variety of 2D rendering ops. There's also HTTP Live Streaming support and new APIs for Bluetooth A2DP and HSP. Enterprise customers will benefit from encrypted storage and password expiration support.

What does this mean? Better looking games, faster applications that run better in tandem. Smoother streaming and web browsing. Basically all the framework improvements you want to see when scaling up to a tablet. OS 3.0 tablets will not feel like giant smartphones.

BIGGER: Honeycomb includes support for the creation of large-screen apps (and large-screen app widgets), which is pretty much a no-brainer. Android as a whole has been rejiggered to support larger screen platforms.

What does this mean? Top and bottom toolbars. Android gains a system bar for global status info and notifications about the device/ area. There's also an action bar for quick commands that is present in every app. The bulk of the screen is left blank- space for all the widgets and icons and live wallpaper your new slate will have.

Tabs are everywhere. Your Gmail is now split into two of columns, one for navigating your inbox and the other for looking at / responding to messages. The browser is also gaining tabs, because that's just what makes sense with a larger display.

FASTER: Android now has support for multicore processors.

What does this mean? Multitasking like you've never experienced on a mobile device. Home screens that you can fill with active widgets and live wallpapers to your heart's content without ever lagging the system. The display will be higher resolution and more responsive, 3D apps as far as the finger can flick-scroll.

This also means that your regular apps will get deeper. The camera gets a more extensive gallery option, and will probably see near-future integration with some sort of Photo-editing app. We'll see more attractive and ambitious UIs and, to take advantage of the huge battery, features that would be too much of a power drain on something like a smartphone.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
Robert can be contacted directly at robert@i4u.com.




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