Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb Demo Slated at the Googleplex
Google Feb. 2 is taking the unusual step of offering a media preview of its
new Android 3.0 operating system, the next-generation build of its popular
"Please join us for an in-depth look at Honeycomb, Android ecosystem news and hands-on demos," trumpets the invitation, which Search Engine Land has published.
The event is taking place at Google's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. While this is the site for many major Google product launches, it's the first such event for a new Android OS build.
The company has reason to celebrate the new OS, code-named Honeycomb. Android tablets such as Samsung's Galaxy Tab currently ship with Android 2.2, which Google officials have categorically stated is intended for smartphones and not the larger real estate afforded by tablet touch screens.
Honeycomb has been "redesigned from the ground up" to fit the larger screens populating tablet computers, Xavier Ducrochet noted in a launch statement touting the software development kit preview he launched for Honeycomb Jan. 26.
One can argue the current Android 2.3 build, code-named Gingerbread, has also been redesigned in many ways.
It's the first version of the open-source platform to include near field communications support, and it sports a gyroscope for improved gaming, multitasking and a refreshed user interface with a better keyboard. Samsung's Nexus S smartphone is at present the only device running Gingerbread.
However, Android 3.0 offers users a new holographic user interface that focuses on multitasking, notifications, widgets and other features to make devices requiring multitouch gestures easier to use.
The Android 3.0 keyboard has been redesigned to be more tablet-friendly, and a new system bar located at the bottom of the touch screen displays notifications and recently used applications.
The revamped Web browser offers tabbed browsing for multiple Web windows, and it supports 3D graphics with a new rendering engine.
Google's Feb. 2 event would be the third time Android 3.0 has been shown in action in front of a sizable audience.
Android creator Andy Rubin in December showed off Google Maps 5.0 for Android on a prototype Motorola Xoom, rendering buildings in 3D as Rubin tilted the tablet.
Google Android engineer Mike Cleron provided a more detailed sneak peek of Android 3.0 capabilities on the Xoom Jan. 6 at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.
Next Wednesday's demo at the Googleplex will provide media members and others more hands-on experiences, almost certainly with the Xoom and quite possibly other coming Honeycomb machines.
The Xoom will launch in late February, followed by T-Mobile's LG tablet. Toshiba is launching its own device this spring.