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Google Releases Android 3.0 Honeycomb Development Kit

by Sean P. Aune | January 26, 2011January 26, 2011 12:46 pm PDT

Google has released the Android 3.0 Honeycomb SDK to developers.

For those of you that are uncertain why this Android 3.0 Honeycomb SDK is a milestone, it is the newest version of the operating system and is designed specifically with tablets in mind. While companies have been slapping Android 2.2 Froyo into tablets like made, this has been against Google’s recommendations as that particular version was never meant for the tablet form factor.

Honeycomb’s new interface was the talk of CES earlier this month in Las Vegas, and the second you hit the page you are greeted by an image of this entirely new interface.  (click image for a larger view)

As you can clearly see, this is going to be nothing like the Android we’ve grown accustomed to on our mobile phones, and with that in mind, it’s going to take a completely different set of tools to build the applications.

For the developers, they will find news tools such as:

  • New UI framework for creating great tablet apps
  • High-performance 2D and 3D graphics
  • Support for multicore processor architectures
  • Rich multimedia and connectivity
  • Enhancements for enterprise
  • Compatibility with existing apps

And for the 99.9% of you our there who don’t develop apps, what we have to look forward to is things like:

  • System Bar, for global status and notifications
  • Action Bar, for application control
  • Customizable Home screens
  • Recent Apps, for easy visual multitasking (pictured to the right)
  • Redesigned keyboard
  • Improved text selection, copy and paste (editorial: About blasted time!)
  • New connectivity options
  • Updated set of standard apps (browser, camera & gallery, contacts, e-mail)

It’s really worth hitting up the SDK site even if you’re a casual user because they have lengthy descriptions for each of the new features.  The short version of all of this is that this is pretty much a completely new Android.  While some could say it is just cosmetic, this really does appear to be a ground-up reworking of the OS.  It also doesn’t appear that this will ever show up on phones as it’s just too massive, which makes you wonder if we will now have two development tracks.

What say you?  Are you excited for Android 3.0 Honeycomb?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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