Android 3.x - Honeycomb - Featured Articles

ZTE Optik

ZTE Optik review (Sprint)

The ZTE Optik is a nice little surprise from Sprint. It's an unassuming but well-built and well-running 7-inch Honeycomb tablet that runs on Sprint's 3G network, and it is probably one of the better devices nobody has heard much about. With no gimmicks like a digital stylus or a foldable keyboard...
Team Viewer for Meetings

TeamViewer for Meetings updated with VoIP support

The folks at Teamviewer have pushed out quite the update for their TeamViewer for Meetings app, bringing some minor bug fixes, full hardware acceleration for Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich tablets, and VoIP support. VoIP support on top of the already excellent Teleconferencing application really...
ZTE optik

ZTE Optik getting a minor update, brings some fixes and enhancements

Sprint is pushing out a small update for the 7-inch ZTE Optik today, bringing a few welcome bug fixes to the tablet and some decent software enhancements. According to the official changelog, we should be seeing the following: Google DRM solution Google Music Google+ Persistent...

Android 3.x - Honeycomb - Photos

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Jean-Baptiste Queru, AOSP engineer for Google, has verified that GPL and LGPL portions of the Honeycomb source code have been entered into the AOSP repositories.  Don't get too excited though, it's not the full source code, it's just a snapshot to be used if "incompatibilities develop over time."  It still may contain code useful for developers, and something is better than nothing.

I'm a little sad that it took almost two months for Google to comply with the license they agreed to when they used GPL code, but there's little we can really do about it.  If you're a Honeycomb developer, Al Sutton has worked out a set of instructions to build what has been provided -- find it at the source link.  Hopefully, the community can find good use for it.  [@jbqueru; Al Sutton's Blog via AndroidGuys]

Edit: Jean-Baptiste Queru gives us a correction, one that makes me happy. 

Funny that nobody had noticed until now that all the GPL/LGPL Honeycomb projects were in AOSP. They were there in late January.

Sincere apologies JBQ, and thanks for restoring a little bit of faith :)

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It appears that the Motorola Xoom is heading to Sprint's network, and will sport WiMax in lieu of Verizon's LTE. (No telling if you'll have to send it back to Motorola to get it, though.) Verizon had exclusivity on the first Honeycomb tablet for quite some time, until the WiFi-only was released a couple weeks ago. Now thanks to cases appearing at Sprint stores, it looks like it will be getting some more carrier love, boasting Sprint's 4G WiMax network. 

No release date yet, but you have to believe it will be soon to compete with Verizon's unit, especially when the LTE ready devices finally start rolling out. [BGR]

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Hoping to be the first kid on your block with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer? Sorry, but this guy beat you to it. Eight minutes of the slick little Android Honeycomb tablet that snaps into a full-size keyboard. We get a great look at what's in the box, and of the tablet itself. Looks like it's got a great textured back, the overly large bezel, and we see the proprietary charger (boo). And finally, it's booted up, and sure enough, there's Android 3.0.

Still no word on when those of us here in the states might be able to get our hands on one, but we're starting to get more than slightly excited for it.

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If you passed on the Motorola Xoom in hopes of another Honeycomb based Android tablet coming to the market and have been eying the Acer Iconia, you will be pleased to know Best Buy is now accepting pre-orders. For the price tag of $449.99 you will get a 10.1-inch screen with a 1GHz processor that will be the second device to run Android 3.0, Honeycomb. Best Buy's web site shows that the device is set to be delivered between April 24 and 29, which would lead us to believe the launch is within that time frame. [Best Buy via CNET] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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Asus has released the GPL portions of the source code for their Eee Pad Transformer, and the tablet hasn't even hit the shelves yet.  Just a few days after they published their support page for the Eee Pad Transformer (which I'm referring to as the Transformer from here on out), and long before any of the other Honeycomb source code will arrive.  You can find it at the source link -- select "Downloads", choose "Android" as your operating system, and expand the source code entry.

This won't mean much to you if you're not a kernel developer, but what those developers can and will do with it certainly will.  Now all we need is the Transformer to get on the shelves.  [AsusThanks, Ray!

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Although the Motorola XOOM has been available for a while in the U.S., the WiFi only version is now making its way to Canada. Pre-orders began quite some time ago but as of yesterday Best Buy and Future Shop are now taking shipment orders online with in store availability happening on April 8. As expected, retail cost still remains at $599.99 for the WiFi only version. Be sure to check out all of our previous Motorola XOOM coverage, and by all means if you're looking for more info hit our forums. Full press release can be found after the break. [Motorola]

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'Quality and consistency continue to be top priorities,'
says Google's VP of Engineering

Andy Rubin -- the father of Android -- has taken to the Android Developer blog to shed a little light on what's happening regarding Honeycomb, any changes in Google's open-source policy, and fragmentation. The post is titled "I think I'm having a Gene Amdahl moment," referring to the former IBM exec who coined the phrase "fear, uncertainty and doubt" -- aka FUD.  You'll definitely want to read the entire post, but we'll break it down here:

  • "We don’t believe in a 'one size fits all' solution. ... Quality and consistency continue to be top priorities."
  • "As always, device makers are free to modify Android to customize any range of features for Android devices."
  • "Our approach remains unchanged: there are no lock-downs or restrictions against customizing UIs. There are not, and never have been, any efforts to standardize the platform on any single chipset architecture."
  • "We continue to be an open source platform and will continue releasing source code when it is ready."

Again, those are just bullet points cherry picked by us. Read the entire post. And then take a deep breath and read it again. And while you might not like the answers -- or maybe you don't think really Rubin answered anything at all -- Rubin, and by extension Android and Google, did one thing we called for in last week's Android Central Podcast: cast a little transparency on what's been a bit of a murky period for Android's "open" nature. [Android Developer Blog]

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Here's the deal regarding which version of Android the Sprint HTC EVO View 4G will launch with: The devices we saw at CTIA were running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, because that's the most recent version that Google has released. And so at the time, we were told that it'd launch with Android 2.3 and be upgraded as soon as possible to Android 3.0 Honeycomb.

And that's still true. So what about that little "This just in" page on Sprint's website? Well, sure enough it says "Android 3.0 just for tablets" next to the EVO View 4G, leading some to believe it will launch with Honeycomb. Problem is, Sprint and HTC still don't have the Honeycomb code, and they don't yet know if they'll have it in time.

Sprint spokesman Mark Elliott tells us "Our plan is to offer Honeycomb, it's just a matter of when. It's too early to determine whether or not Honeycomb will be available at launch."

Elliott also let us know that the "This just in" page will be tweaked (Update: And indeed it has been, now reading "Latest version of Android") as to not cause quite as much confusion. But at this point, you should not take it to mean the EVO View 4G will launch with Android 3.0.

So there you have it. Maybe the EVO View 4G will launch with Honeycomb, and maybe it won't. Our money's on the latter, but we'd be happy to be surprised.

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The unofficial Android 3.0 Honeycomb port for the Samsung Galaxy Tab that we reported a couple of weeks ago has made some pretty impressive progress in a relatively short space of time. Now ROM chef spacemoose1 has made some initial alpha builds available for download, giving the CDMA Galaxy Tab its first taste of Honeycomb. The ROM is based on the Honeycomb SDK build, and although it's (mostly) functional, it's still in the early stages of development and as such is unstable, slow and prone to crashing. Check out the video above to see exactly what we mean.

So it's something you can play around with, but definitely nowhere near stable enough to use as your main ROM. Still, if you have a spare CDMA Galaxy Tab and are feeling adventurous, you can hit the source link to find out more. [XDA] Thanks for the tip, Dan!

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Sony will release an Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet by the end of summer, according to Bloomberg, which cites Japanese newspaper Nikkei. Nikkei's report is apparently based on information from Sony CEO Howard Stringer, and says Sony will launch its tablet to the U.S. market first.

These reports add considerable weight to earlier rumors that Sony is working on a 9.4-inch Honeycomb tablet based around its PlayStation Suite and Qriocity service. The tablet, codenamed "S1", was said to be powered by a Tegra 2 processor, and due for a September release at a price point around $600.

Early concept drawings of the S1 showed an interesting design with a bulge at one end to make it easier to hold and prop up. If Sony can combine this design with a compelling software package then they could be onto a winner. We'll keep you posted in the months ahead as more info emerges. [Bloomberg]

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Asus has made their web page for the Eee Pad Transformer (that's the one that docks in a keyboard) live, with specs and details.  They list no dates when it becomes available, or prices, but they do tell us a few things we hadn't heard before.  The Eee Pad Transformer will come complete with Polaris Office 3.0 to allow viewing and editing of .doc, .xls, and .ppt files, have Asus' own launcher on top of Honeycomb, and include unlimited cloud storage via the Asus MyCloud application free for one year.

They also mention an OTA update scheduled for "mid-April", which makes us think that we should be seeing it soon -- maybe even sooner than the May 7 date we saw from Amazon earlier.  If the rumors of sub $400 pricing for the 16 GB model hold true, it's a viable alternative to the Motorola Xoom for the Honeycomb tablet experience.  We'll have more as it develops.  [Asus via NotebookItalia (Italian)] Thanks, Marco, for the tip!

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The latest Android versions numbers are in, and it remains relatively unchanged from last month. Android 2.2 continues to dominate at 63.9 percent, up from 61.3 percent from the previous two weeks or so. Gingerbread builds of Android 2.3 and 2.3.3 are up a tad to 0.8 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. Android 3.0 Honeycomb remains unchanged at 0.2 percent, which doesn't say much for sales of the Motorola Xoom, which so far is the only device officially running that build. We'll look to see if that changes now that the Wifi-only version of the Xoom is available.

Android 2.1 dropped a couple percentage points to 27.2 percent. Android 1.6 and 1.5 are at 3.5 percent and 2.7 percent.

So Froyo rules, there aren't too many Nexus One and Nexus S devices out there in the in overall scheme of things (they're the only ones officially running Gingerbread so far), and the Xoom and Honeycomb are just getting started. More data's at the source link if you're into that sort of thing. [Android Developer Blog]

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If you are a Dropbox for Android user, and enjoy checking out the latest and greatest in all Android applications, you will be happy to know that the application has been updated. They have announced version, which added additional language support, along with Honeycomb support, and a number of additional fixes that are to be found publicly in version 1.1. Some of these fixes include:

  • Lock Code now protects your Dropbox from prying eyes.
  • Better checking for file modifications before uploading
  • Displays error message when SD card is full
  • Removed permission to read phone state and identity, since it's no longer needed.
  • Added permission to prevent phone from sleeping, so uploads & downloads finish when your screen turns off.
  • Mobile Tour gives an overview of Dropbox features on first login.

For full details, and download links be sure to head over to the Dropbox forums. [Dropbox]

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A couple of weeks back we saw one of our forums members make their own custom Motorola Xoom car dock, and others have been inspired to do the same. Android Central forums user buurin has taken the mount to the next level, putting it on a pivoting mount and connecting it to an amp under the drivers seat, with a volume knob next to the emergency brake. Check it all out in the forums! [Android Central Forums]

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Our very own Phil Nickinson has been quite a busy man, pumping out news, heading down to CTIA to bring us all the coverage, talking tablets with our sister sites, and now hitting TV. As we all know, the Nook Color is a pretty amazing little e-reader turned tablet, and a local TV station out of Denver took to making it a known fact.

“They want to see what people can do with their products. They don't mind a little bit of hackery,” Phil said

Phil is joined by Tim Stevens of Engadget to talk about the Nook Color, and how it is the most affordable Android tablet on the market currently. Check out the video after the break, and hit up our Nook Color forums for all the instructions. [KWGN]

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With the slew of new tablets hitting the market we're going to start seeing new case scenarios for those front and rear facing cameras. One of them being meetings and conferences on the go. In order to make that happen though, their needs to be a killer app to lead the way.

FuzeBox has set out to make that app a reality and as such have just released their updated Fuze Meeting service which delivers multi-party video conferencing to Android smartphones and tablets. The new update, not short on changes -- creates a virtual conference room with real-time, 720p multimedia sharing and annotation right on your device.

Given the latest upward swing in business users trading their laptops and PC's for tablets, FuzeBox is poised to deliver the best conferencing app available to meet the needs of those users. Be it in an enterprise environment, right down to the everyday user. If you're looking to learn more, you can hop on past the break for the full press release from FuzeBox.

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If you have been waiting for the Wifi-only version of the Motorola Xoom to launch officially, today is your lucky day. Of course, some places were selling them early, and one of our readers did some great hands-on time with his device, but the Wifi-only Xoom is now available to all to purchase. If you make your way out today to pick one up, be sure to hop in the forums and share your experience and everything else with us. [Motorola]

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

OK, all you aspiring Android Central bloggers out there. Pay attention, because n46kps is showing you how it's done. You've watched the unboxing, you've seen the benchmarks, and now it's time for the full hands-on review of the Wifi-only Motorola Xoom Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet.

As you'll recall, this is the contract-free version you can officially pick up starting March 27, though some stores obviously are selling them early (this one came from Staples).

So kudos, n64kps. You've done a service for your country.

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This is why you all kick ass. Android Central member n64kps snagged one of those Wifi-only Motorola Xooms a couple days early from Staples and did up a nice little unboxing video. Yes, I've said unboxings are lame, but only when I do them. When you guys do them for me, they're awesome! :p

Anyhoo, nicely done, n64kps! Now if you can get benchmarks, a photo gallery, and a full review by end-of-day Sunday (we'll give you lots of time, it is the weekend, after all), that'd be great! Love, Phil.

Now everybody go check out the video after the break!

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We're all waiting for Google to finally release the open-source code for Android 3.0.1 (Honeycomb), but if we're to believe Bloomberg (and usually you should), it's not going to happen in the "foreseeable future" -- and possibly never.  I'll pause and allow the nerd-rage to subside for a moment, because I'm feeling it too -- hard.  When we've all composed ourselves a bit, join me after the break. [Bloomberg Businessweek]

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