Google Touts Android 3.0 Honeycomb Holographic UI Redesign for Tablets

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Google Touts Android 3.0 Honeycomb Holographic UI Redesign for Tablets

by Clint Boulton

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Like any good Android smartphone, Android 3.0 offers five customizable home screens on which users may add and rearrange widgets, app shortcuts and wallpapers. Each Home screen also offers a launcher for apps and a search box to let users find apps, contacts, media files and Web content.

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Expanded Widgets

Developers can build widgets that let users flip through collections of content as 3D stacks, grids or lists.

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No Place Like Home

Lest we get ahead of ourselves, here's the home page of Honeycomb. See, for example, the new holographic UI design intended to support multitasking, rich notifications and home screen customization.

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We mentioned multitasking. Honeycomb tablet users can launch applications and then use the Recent Apps list in the system bar to see the tasks in action and jump from one application to the next. Flit from search to Google Maps 5.0 for Android, which is laced with 3D, among other tasks.

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The browser has also been revamped. Google added multitabbed browsing and incognito mode for anonymous browsing. Moreover, users can sign into Google sites and sync bookmarks with Google Chrome.

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The new camera software is suited for the 10.1-inch screen of the Xoom or Toshiba tablet. The Gallery application lets users view albums and other collections in full-screen mode.

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New Keyboard

Google revamped the Android 3.0 keyboard to make it more effective for tablets. For example, when users enter text, they can select a word via press-hold and copy to the clipboard.

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More on That, Please

Developers can offer a new multiselect mode that lets users choose multiple items.

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Interface Fragments

Developers can break their apps into fragments "to create a true multipane UI, with the user being able to interact with each pane independently," Google explained.

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In Case You Missed the CES Demonstration

Google Android developer Mike Cleron showed off Honeycomb on the Motorola Xoom Jan. 6 at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show. He wowed the crowd with this Google Maps 5.0 for Android demo, showing buildings in 3D as he tilted the tablet. Just a taste of what consumers have to look forward to.

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