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

Android 3.x - Honeycomb RSS Feed

Google just announced that in-app billing -- first announced at the Honeycomb event we were at in February -- will launch next week. In-app billing is an unsexy name for the way an app developer can sell you extra features -- levels, weapons, clothing, cheats, etc -- while you're inside the app. No diving back out to the Market, all seamless and smooth.

And to get things ready, developers can now upload and test apps for the service. It's all done within in the existing Developer Console, and the dev sets the prices.

It'll be interesting to see what sort of things developers offer, though we can think of one, for sure -- the Mighty Eagle! And Tap Tap Revenge will use it for song purchases. [Android Developers Blog]

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XDA user spacemoose1 is very close to having a working version of Honeycomb on the original Samsung Galaxy Tab. He's been documenting his efforts to bring the SDK build of Android 3.0 to Sammy's 7-inch tablet over the past couple of weeks, and he's very close to having a full, working port. Recent progress has involved correcting video driver issues, and spacemoose is now turning his attention towards fixing up touchscreen and Wifi support.

This is all pretty impressive considering the Honeycomb source code isn't even available yet. If you're a Galaxy Tab owner with a nagging case of Xoom envy, then you'll probably want to keep watching the source link for further developments. [XDA]

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Although we've seen the Acer Iconia Tab at Mobile World Congress as well as at CES all signs for this 10.1 inch tablet with a 1280x768 display, running a NVIDIA Tegra 250 Dual-core CPU pointed that it was definitely headed for Verizon given that they announced it and everything. This version, the A501 however is headed to AT&T as they have officially announced they'll be releasing it come Q2. Hit the break for the full press release. [PRNewswire]

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Ahhhhh. So apparently the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9-incher that we took a look at this morning was the European one an early prototype. The real U.S. version is just as sexy, and maybe even more so, even though they wouldn't let us turn it on. It's mostly the same hardware, except for the back cover. The textured grille has been swapped out for a matte finish, and it's noticeable easier to hang onto, which is good. But otherwise, we're pretty much looking at the same thing. More pictures of the 8.9- and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tabs are after the break.

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

Following up the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 announcement and our hands-on Galaxy Tab 8.9 photos, we fired up the video camera to spend a few minutes of 1 on 1 time with the new mid-sized tablet. We were so quick getting to Samsung's CTIA booth after the press conference ended that we even caught the show floor unveiling of the devices (skip to 1m26s if you want to get right to the hands-on review part of the show). Geektastic good times!

Samsung's aim with the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is to hit that sweet spot of portability and a big screen,  and at only 470grams in weight it definitely feels light in the hand given it's rather sizable footprint. Unfortunately neither Phil or I were wearing coats to test if it would fit into our pockets. We'll let you know on that once we give it a go. Enjoy the show, and be sure to check out more of our Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 first impressions here.

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Update: What you see here apparently is some sort of early prototype of the 8.9-inch tablet, which is odd given they unveiled the thing on the show floor with great pomp and circumstance. You can see a hands-on with the retail version of the new Galaxy Tabs here.

Samsung's bringing a tablet for every lifestyle, and the latest in the Galaxy Tab line is the aptly named 8.9-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9. And as it should be, it's thin, surprisingly light, and it's running Android 3.0 Honeycomb out of the box.

It's noticeably easier to hold than the hefty Motorola Xoom, but that's tempered a bit by the slick back. It may be a textured surface, but it's slippery and you're definitely going to want a case.

We have a feeling we were treated to an early build of Samsung's new Live View skin atop Honeycomb, as there was some definite lag. But Live View itself isn't offensive, if you don't mind your menus being colorful, as Samsung is prone to do.

A bright spot, however, is the price. At $469 for the 16GB version and $569 for the 32GB version -- and these are the unsubsidized, no-contract Wifi-only ones -- we're finally seeing competitive price points.

More pics are after the break, if you're into that sort of thing.

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TouchType has released a closed beta of its highly anticipated SwiftKey Tablet keyboard. The larger inspired keyboard is optimised for Android tablet devices running Honeycomb. The creative minds behind SwiftKey, developer TouchType, has made the beta available exclusively to their SwiftKey VIP forum members. Anyone who wants to give the beta a "feel" or "touch," can register here. Once registered, newly appointed VIP members can download the tablet beta here. Make the jump to see the beta in action. Oh, and since SwiftKey is so awesome, we think you should vote for them in the CTIA Emerging Technology Awards.

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Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) provides full 2D hardware acceleration in applications, and Romain Guy explains the ins and outs of enabling it in your app at the Android Developers Blog.  Mr. Guy is a software engineer for Google's Android project, and is heavily involved in the graphics rendering code for both Gingerbread and Honeycomb, and seeing him take the time to further application development for Android is great.  He's also one hell of a photographer, and some of his work has been used as the stock backgrounds on Android phones.

Developers should check out the source link for all the details, but we'll keep it a little more end-user friendly here.  Hardware acceleration has been around for a while in Android for things like OpenGL games, but now normally coded apps can use and benefit from it as well.  On the Motorola Xoom, all the stock applications already use accelerated 2D graphics, and third party apps can take advantage of it with a single line added to the AndroidManifest.xml file in the source code.  If the app is using the standard set of drawables, all operations will then use the GPU when drawing them on-screen.

There are some other things to consider if you've written custom drawing code, which is why hardware acceleration is disabled by default.  Mr. Guy takes the time to explain what you need to do as well as what operations are supported if you need to go this route.  Looks like we're going to be seeing some awesome third party apps coming up for tablets running Honeycomb.  [Android Developers Blog]

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Google has updated the statistics for the state of the Android ecosystem and they show that over 90 percent of all Android devices connecting to the Market are running at least Android 2.1 Eclair, which launched just over a year ago with the Nexus One. The majority of devices are on Android 2.2 Froyo (61 percent), which has seen healthy growth over the months since its launch last summer thanks to updates and the masses of new phones launching with it. 

Gingerbread launched alongside the Nexus S late last year but only accounts for 1.7 percent. This is due to the fact that only the Nexus S and Nexus One officially have the update thus far, but anyone running a hacked Gingerbread ROM like CyanogenMod would show up in these numbers as well. 

The tablet-optimized Honeycomb also made an appearance at just 0.2 percent, which should not be too surprising as the Xoom is the only 3.0 tablet on the market right now. Check out the full breakdown for each version past the break. [Android Developers]

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Our pals over at PreCentral have found themselves in possession of what apparently is a release schedule from "a major U.S. retailer," and it's got a number of Android tablets listed, including a few new ones. Let's break it down:

  • March 17: Motorola 10-inch tablet, $649, first 10-inch tablet with Android Honeycomb. Obviously, the Motorola Xoom.
  • End of March: Dell 7-inch, $449, March launch with Android 2.2 Froyo. OK, it's the Dell Streak 7.
  • End of March: Samsung 7-inch, $499, March launch with Android 2.2 Froyo. Sounds like the Galaxy Tab to us.
  • April: Acer 7-inch, $399, first 7-inch tablet with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Acer 7-inch tablet. Check.
  • And a whole bunch of tablets in June, including a 10-inch device from HTC (that's new, price to be determined), that new 10-incher from Dell ($499), a 10-incher from Acer ($449, been announced already), and the 10-inch tablet from Toshiba that we saw at CES (priced here at $499).

The big question -- after we again say "A 10-inch tablet from HTC!" -- is which "major retailer" we're talking about. If this all pans out, CTIA could indeed be busy here in a couple weeks. [PreCentral]

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

When we first got a look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10-inch at Mobile World Congress, it was your usual trade show free-for all. But the upcoming Honeycomb device (when's this thing gonna drop, anyway?) has shed its Samsung shackles and apparently paraded around the streets of Paris for the AndroidHD blog, which churned out 11 minutes of quality video in return. Nothing too new here, but you get another good look at the hardware, a good look at the software and some sample pics taken from the 8MP rear camera. [AndroidHD]

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Motorola releases Xoom's official system images

When Motorola announced that the Xoom Honeycomb tablet was getting an update to prepare it for Flash Player 10.2, it also announced that unlocked and rooted Xooms would have to be rolled back to stock and relocked for the update to take. (So much for open and unlocked, eh?) There's been a leaked .sbf file floating around, which you can flash via RSD Lite before relocking the device.

Or, if doing things the official way is more your speed, Motorola has now released the system images for the Xoom's original build, HRI39, so you can flash them yourself and relock your Xoom in preparation for the update. Instructions are after the break. [Android Central Forums]

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Those who have picked up a Motorola Xoom upon launch have noticed the absence of an extremely popular app from the Android Market: Google Voice. You can sideload it onto your Xoom, but it will crash when launching (see picture above).

The good news is that the app is currently being developed and optimized for Honeycomb; the bad news being that we don't know when we can expect to see it. Here is what Google employee Zeke had to say in the Google Voice forums.

Glad to hear from so many Xoom early adopters! As you've noticed, Google Voice isn't available for Honeycomb yet. We're working on it, and I'll update this thread as more info is available.

For questions or comments about Google Voice for the Xoom or other issues you want to talk about, visit our Motorola Xoom Forum. [Google Voice Forums via Android Central Forums]

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Good news for those of you who might have unlocked and/or rooted your Motorola Xoom -- to the surprise of few of us here, you should have no problem with Motorola upgrading it to LTE. That's in contrary to a story that circulated earlier this week. Originating from the "Moto Xpert" DansDroid on the Motorola Support Forums, it was said that "If your Xoom is rooted it will not be upgraded by Motorola."

We'd been waiting on official word from Motorola but now have semi-official word through the same Moto support forum, this time from the infamous forums manager Matt. And he states: 

All Motorola XOOM tablets on the Verizon Wireless network are eligible to receive an upgrade to support 4G LTE. This includes those that have been unlocked; however, those units must be submitted for upgrade with the original factory software reinstalled and the device relocked in order to receive the upgrade.

For devices that are returned unlocked, Motorola will attempt to complete the upgrade, but may be unable to update the software. In these cases, the device will be returned to the consumer with just the 4G LTE modem installed.

We're really not at all worried about this. If you're the type who unlocks and roots your Xoom, you're also likely able to roll it back and re-lock it before sending it back in. Sky's not falling, folks, though you'll still have to actually be without your Xoom for a week, and pray it gets back to you safely. [Motorola Support Forums, 2 via Android Central Forums]

Update: Oh, and speaking of getting your Xoom back to stock ...

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No, your eyes do not deceive you. What you see here supposedly is a display at a Sam's Club trainer store (a faux store where they show real stores how it's done) with a Wifi-only Motorola Xoom. At least, that's what the display says. No telling when it might actually be coming, and considering the price tag shows it running Android 2.0 "Homeycomb" -- there's a Photoshop contest waiting to happen -- well, we'll just have to see, won't we.

As for the $539 price? We'd still like to see a sub-$500 listing, but it's certainly a little more in the ballpark. [Droid-Life via Android Central Forums]

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Chart opens in new window

What's this? A giant chart comparing the spanking new iPad 2 against the Android Honeycomb tablets, the HP TouchPad and the BlackBerry Playbook? Sold! Do note that a few of the Android specs are still up in the air, but you'll get the gist of it. Android Honeycomb tablets are far superior over anything else known in this universe. Right? RIGHT?

By the way, if you're interested in more on the new iPad 2, check out all the coverage at our sister site, TiPb.com.

Did the iPad 2 impress you at all?online survey

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Good news for those of you awaiting the Motorola Xoom in Europe -- it'll have Adobe Flash Player out of the box when it launches in the first week of April. That also lines up with the "within a few weeks" line that Adobe gave us for getting Flash on the U.S. Xooms. [via @fwa and @ryanstewart]

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Yesterday we saw the Honeycomb statue arrive at Building 44 in Mountain View. Now Google's posted this video that has everyone buzzing. Yeah. We went there. [Google Mobile Blog]

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It took a little while longer than its cousins, but the Honeycomb statue has finally arrived at Building 44 on Google's Mountain View, Calif., campus. There she be, with a honeybee and the Android robot facing off. Pretty cool, actually. [via @cyngus]

And if you missed it earlier this month, be sure to check out our jaunt to Building 44 during the Honeycomb event. It's after the break.

Update: Video from Google's Dan Morrill of the statue being transported is also after the break. Very cool.

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We've known since its unveiling in January that you're going to have to take the Motorola Xoom somewhere to be upgraded to LTE date. The question was where, and how. The answer(s)? Back to Motorola, via FedEx.

Verizon's posted up instructions on everything you should do before shipping your new Honeycomb tablet back to the mother ship for some LTE re-education, and it all it takes is three simple steps (one of them is optional) -- in a dozen or so parts.

The first step is backing up your user data and saving it locally onto a computer -- something that's a bit foreign in this day an age, but something we'd still recommend doing. (We're anal like that.)

The second (and optional, but very cool) step is to encrypt and hard-reset your Xoom. You've gotta have a full battery to do it. And if you leave it encrypted, you'll have to enter a password each time you log on. Or you can unencrypt, which also involves a hard-reset, but you'll restore all your date in the process. Time-consuming, but safe and cool.

The third step is to actually ship the device to Motorola via FedEx. You'll be provided a bubble pack -- wonder how long it'll take to get to you -- and then ship it off. And a week or so later, you'll get it back, LTE-enabled.

Sounds like a good time. [Verizon via Android Central Forums]

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