Earlier this week Todd wrote about Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and basically didn’t find too much to get excited about. After Todd’s post Engadget posted an article about Honeycomb that includes several more videos that I watched, and I want to share a few things that caught my eye. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Engadget’s article on Android 3.0, I recommend that you do.
First is the cube like effect for switching home screens. It’s not super exciting, but does represent a bit of polish to the UI design that was lacking when Google first released Android. I think Google is learning that its little things that cause people to laugh in delight that go a long way to attracting them to a device.
With the larger screen size Google is able to provide more useful widgets than what you find with current versions of Android. I particularly like the Gmail and Browser favorites widgets that provide direct access to information that I frequently use, directly on the home screen.
Speaking of the browser, pay particular attention to the video of the browser that will be available with Android 3.0. You will notice that the browser looks very much like the desktop version of Chrome, and includes tabs rather than the Windows menu option in the current browser. Again, a larger screen means that Google can incorporate more desktop-like elements to applications.
One final tidbit relating to Honeycomb that I want to pass along is a post on AndroidGuys that points out a tweet from Dan Morrill, Android Open Source & Compatibility Tech Lead, who says that there are no minimum processor requirements for Android 3.0. Earlier in the week there were reports that Android 3.0 would only run on dual-core processors, which would prevent all of the current Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab from being upgraded.
I wonder whether Android 3.0 will be like Windows Vista and not provide full functionality on underpowered hardware? Vista will not display the Aero Glass effects on PCs that are not capable of displaying them at acceptable performance.