It looks like with the slew of Android slates that are promised here at CES from various phone and PC manufacturers, including Asus, MSI, Lenovo, Motorola, Samsung, LG, and others, Google is finally showing off what Android 3.0 Honeycomb will look like. Honeycomb was previously thought to be Android 2.4 according to some speculations, but the first tablet-optimized version of Android will get a 3.0 version designation. That information was confirmed via Asus’s press announcement yesterday where the company had announced a number of Windows 7 and Android tablets.
To take advantage of the larger screen real estate afforded on a tablet, as compared to a smartphone, the Honeycomb tablet UI will come with dual-panes for apps such as email, which will be a huge plus in extending a desktop-like user experience on a mobile content consumption computing device. Additionally, there are drag and drop options, carousel views, and drag and drop options for ease of navigating the interface.
While this is a welcomed refresh for Android, various Android tablet-makers have innovated on their own. Samsung, on its Galaxy Tab, had created a dual-pane UI for apps such as mail, calendar, and contact in order to replicate the user experience that Google’s creating with Honeycomb. Apple, which had debuted the iOS-powered iPad as a consumer content consumption tablet to great success, had differentiated its tablet offering from its iOS iPhone and iPod Touch offering by delivering and extending the same desktop-like user interface to its slate, delivering added value to the user. Notion Ink had done the same for the Adam.
For its part, those Android tablets that were just mentioned were released with Android 2.2 Froyo, which does support Adobe Flash 10.1 content, but Google had explicitly stated that Android 2.2–and even Android 2.3–isn’t designed for tablets. Android 3.0 Honeycomb will be the first version of the OS that will be designed with tablets in mind.