Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb

Google just announced Android 3.0 Honeycomb and has released a preview of the SDK to go along with it. Here are the big points:

  • A new "holographic" user interface and interaction model -- what we've seen on the Motorola Xoom.
  • UI framework for creating great apps for larger screen devices.
  • High-performance 2D and 3D graphics.
  • Support for multicore processor architectures.
  • Rich multimedia: New multimedia features such as HTTP Live streaming support, a pluggable DRM framework, and easy media file transfer through MTP/PTP, give developers new ways to bring rich content to users.
  • New types of connectivity: New APIs for Bluetooth A2DP and HSP let applications offer audio streaming and headset control. Support for Bluetooth insecure socket connection lets applications connect to simple devices that may not have a user interface.
  • Enhancements for enterprise: New administrative policies, such as for encrypted storage and password expiration, help enterprise administrators manage devices more effectively.

That's quite the laundry list, indeed! We're going to dive into this. [Android Developers Blog]

 

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Android 3.0 SDK preview: 2D, 3D graphics and dual-core support in Honeycomb!

27 Comments

Hm, this brings up a good question: Will Honeycomb ever be on an Android "phone"? Or even as a lightweight desktop OS (Like Android-x86)?

I believe Matias said in his Engadget interview during CES that 3.0 would only be on tablets "initially" though I might be wrong.

That sounds good, I don't know if I like the new notification bar and action bar. So I don't think it suits a phone.

Excerpt from the linked blog:

Support for multicore processor architectures: Android 3.0 is optimized to run on either single- or dual-core processors, so that applications run with the best possible performance.

The new 2d/3d graphics acceleration screams "hardware accelerated user interface" to me. Its about time.

Bluetooth and Enterprise support should NOT be part of the core OS update and should be a patch on to ALL versions of android. Bluetooth on android is soooo behind other phones - smartphones or otherwise. Enterprise support is greatly lacking- even Froyo is pretty terrible- if they want Android to truly take over- Enterprise support is key and when most of our phones are lucky to get Froyo to put better Enterprise support on honeycomb rather than push it out as a separate mandatory patch to all android phones is just plain shortsighted.

Google needs to focus on the core functionality seperate from nice UI tweaks. UI helps to sell new high end devices- but core functionality limitations are what leads developers to insisting that Android has a FRAGMENTATION issue- and it's updates like this that prove their point.

There is a lot of truth in what you say.

If Android was built with more of a plug-in module approach like most Linux distros it would be possible to slip the next Android release in right under all that carrier bloatware, or to deliver a new dalvik VM as a small scale OTA or Market upgrade without everyone having to wait till the carriers get on board.

As it is, its as if TurboTax was bundled with Windows and you couldn't file your tax returns until Dell or HP decided to push an upgrade.

Entirely too much is hard linked in with the kernel.

Sure bluetooth has hardware limitations on one end, and method (entrypoint) limitations on the other end. But that's no reason a new version can't slip in as a module if industry standard and common programming practices are enforced, without the need of a total OS upgrade.

IF honeycomb is designed for phones as well, i feel like only select features will come over to them. And certain features will be tablet only.

All it says is that it was optimized for tablets, not Tablet ONLY. Google is JUST getting past the dreaded F (fragmentation) word for their platform. I highly doubt they would segregate a tablet only OS and risk the criticism from EVERYONE! just my opinion though

when Andy Reuben was asked if it would run on tablets only or phones too he said "well... both..." I think google has plans to bring at least the redesign to the phone side at some point.

It certainly will come to phones at some points but it's more likely to be this year and next year's dual core phones than previous single core phones like the EVO, I think, particularly if it is OPTIMIZED for dual core.

Well think about it. Some phones are shipping with Froyo but many others still haven't been updated to Froyo. Nexus S is the only phone shipping with Gingerbread right now. We don't know for certain any of the phones presented at CES will have Gingerbread when they ship. So that means that phones that shipped with Froyo (like my EVO) will be looking for an OTA of Gingerbread. We don't even know if phones like the EVO will be compatible with Honeycomb or if next year's phones will be the ones that are only compatible with Honeycomb due to dual core support or possible requirement. So right now, they are putting Honeycomb on Tablets to obviously attack the iPad (there are no other relevant tablets available at this time).

As for enterprise support, yes, Android needs to embrace the enterprise in a big way in order to insure take over. Synchronization with outlook and proper calendar integration with Exchange Server would be very helpful here and pretty much kill iOS as an enterprise option of choice.

Good point dark blu. I feel like phones will get the version optimized for phones and smaller screens.

"New administrative policies, such as for...password expiration"

At this rate, 3.1 will include a little graphic of a horseshoe in the middle of the notification bar.

I wonder if multiple "windows" will be allowed, like on a desktop, and I also wonder if it will be possible to run a version of Windows in a VM? I know (don't despise me...) but there's at least one particular Windows Based program I'd love to run on an Android based Tablet.