Google TV Honeycomb

We're sitting in on the Google TV session this afternoon at Google IO and just got our first look at Android 3.1 Honeycomb on the platform. Announced during the Day 1 keynote on Tuesday, Honeycomb on Google TV will bring full Android compatibility at the 12-foot level. That means full Android access on your TV, including Android applications and the full Android Market.

In addition, Google TV will gain full ADB support -- meaning devs can debug, and hackers can hack. There's an SDK add-on in the works (no word on when we'll see it just yet), and there will be additional television-specific functionality.

Much of the talk consisted of how devs will need to handle the resolution and pixel density on something as large as a television. The main difference between Google TV and Android on a phone, at least from a UI perspective, is that you hold a phone a foot or so away from your peepers, while a TV is across the room, thus the "12-foot view."

Honeycomb will also be able to handle the inevitable screen clipping that can occur when switching from HD to standard-def content.

Other news out of the session:

  • For the obvious reasons, users won't be rotating their screens. Devs need to remember this.
  • Apps will need to optimized for navigation via the D-pad, and not touch.
  • Right now, devs can run apps in the Honeycomb emulator.
  • A Google TV emulator is coming soon.
  • ADB access is coming later this summer, but devs can get early access through the Fishtank Program.
  • The Android Market has a nice 12-foot view. (Pic via Jason Howell)
  • NDK apps are not supported on Google TV.
  • Neither are apps that use the camera, microphone or other sensors.
  • Source code for the Google TV remote app is being released under the Apache 2 license.

Developing ...