Android 3.0 'Honeycomb' Is the Most Important Version Yet: 10 Reasons Why

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-02-01 Print this article Print

News Analysis: Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" will prove to be the most important Android version for several reasons. Here are 10 of them.

With the first month of 2011 down, consumers and even some enterprise customers are undoubtedly becoming more and more excited to find out how Android-based tablets will fare in a market that has, at least so far, been dominated by Apple's iPad. Will the Android-based devices overcome Apple's dominance and take over the tablet space? Will they fall flat because the marriage between tablet hardware and the Android mobile operating system leaves too much to be desired? At this point, it's hard to say.

But much of the success of Android in the tablet space will rely on Android 3.0 "Honeycomb," the most anticipated Google platform in quite some time. Android 3.0 Honeycomb will be running on the Motorola Xoom, among several other Android tablets this year. And the operating system could mean the difference between success and failure for Google and its hardware partners in the tablet market.

But Honeycomb's importance goes beyond simple success or failure for Google. The platform could change everything in the tablet space. It might even put Apple on notice.

Read on to find out why Android 3.0 Honeycomb is the most important version of Android yet.

1. It will directly impact the iPad's success

Android 3.0 Honeycomb could single-handedly decide how successful the iPad 2 is this year. If the operating system doesn't work as well as consumers would like and it has some bugs, they will turn even more to Apple's iPad. However, if Honeycomb delivers an innovative and worthwhile experience that consumers enjoy, it could have serious ramifications on Apple's bottom line. Simply put, there is a lot riding on Honeycomb.

2. It offers up a neat new interface

One of the key aspects of Honeycomb is that it delivers one of the more unique interfaces in the tablet space. A video of it on Google's own Web site shows beautiful aesthetics and a unique layout  featuring the company's self-described "virtual and holographic" experience. It's quite unlike Android 2.2 or anything folks have seen from Apple's iOS. It's a risk, to say the least. But it could pay off in a big way.

3. It's Google's best shot over Apple's bow

For a while, some wondered if Google was really as innovative on software design as Apple. To some extent, such a concern made sense. After all, a quick glance at iOS 4 compared to Android 2.2 reveals that Apple offers a more innovative (and an arguably more convenient) experience with a nicer design for consumers. But Android 3.0 changes all that. It shows that Google is not only serious about outstanding software design, but it can deliver. Watch out, Apple.

4. Tablet vendors are relying on it

One of the key reasons Android 3.0 Honeycomb is so important is that its success or failure will have a measurable impact on the bottom lines of Android tablet makers. If the platform is well-received, companies such as Motorola Mobility will profit greatly. If it's a failure, hardware makers will lose out as well, and Android's overall credibility in the market will suffer.. The importance of Honeycomb to Android vendors simply cannot be overestimated.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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