News Analysis: Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" is the most sophisticated version of the mobile operating system Google has produced to date. Read more about the features that make Honeycomb the best answer yet to Apple iOS.
3.0 "Honeycomb," the latest version of the fast-growing mobile
operating system, is Google's best answer yet to iOS running on Apple's iPad.
That view was immediately apparent from the much-anticipated demonstration of
Honeycomb on Feb. 2 at the Googleplex headquarters in Mountain
was designed specifically with tablets in mind. In fact, the platform will be
running on the Motorola Xoom tablet as well as several other Android-based
slates as 2011 unfolds.
as more and more details emerge about Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the time has come
for consumers, enterprise customers and all other parties to determine how the
operating system will appeal to them in the coming months. The only way to do
that is to get a full glimpse into what Android 3.0 Honeycomb will offer and
why it might be a suitable replacement for iOS 4.
on to find out some of the key aspects of Android 3.0 Honeycomb that everyone
It's serious about 3D
has brought 3D functionality to Android 3.0 Honeycomb. At the event on Feb. 2,
Google showed off Maps working with 3D, as well as the ability for users to
interact with 3D in the company's YouTube app. Google
that the company has done quite a bit to ensure 3D works
well on the platform. That's a major step for the mobile space. It could usher
in big changes in the marketplace.
It's more desktoplike than some think
3.0 Honeycomb delivers a more desktoplike experience than earlier versions of
Android. The operating system comes with a System Bar to access OS
notifications, status and other important tidbits of information. It also has
an Action Bar for control over applications. From a design perspective,
Honeycomb seems to resemble more traditional operating systems than do other
mobile platforms. Whether or not that will appeal to customers in practice
remains to be seen, but it could go a long way in improving productivity.
The browsing experience is vastly improved
has spent considerable time updating the browsing experience in Android 3.0
Users will find a full browser with the ability to open tabs in the same window
just as they would on the desktop. They can also run Chrome in Incognito mode
for private browsing. The platform's browser even supports the ability for
users to share their bookmarks between their tablets and PCs running Chrome.
All signs point to a better keyboard
of the biggest issues with tablets is the fact that trying to type on their
virtual keyboards has been a chore. Apple offered up an accessory with a
physical keyboard to make the experience less painful with the iPad. Google, on
the other hand, has done quite a bit of work on its keyboard by modifying the
keys, repositioning them and generally making the keyboard utilize the bigger
screens on tablets. Best of all for the company, early hands-on looks at the
platform's keyboard have been glowing.