Google's Android tablet software inches closer

Jan 27, 2011 By RACHEL METZ , AP Technology Writer

Google Inc. is getting closer to releasing a version of the Android software meant for tablet computers, one that will include a fresh look and updated Web browser and keyboard.

The online search leader said Wednesday that it released a preview version of the for Honeycomb, also known as 3.0. It's for developers to test out their applications on the software and learn about its new capabilities.

In a post Wednesday on Google's Android Developers blog, Xavier Ducrohet, the Android SDK tech lead, said a final version of the kit will be available "in the weeks ahead." That will enable developers to publish Honeycomb applications to Google's Android Market app store.

Tablet computers are expected to be popular this year, spurred by the release of Apple Inc.'s last April. At the International in Las Vegas this month, companies including Motorola Mobility Inc. and AsusTek Computer Inc. showed off tablet computers that will run Honeycomb. Plenty are expected in the coming months as companies try to compete with the popular iPad.

Google, which is based in Mountain View, outlined a variety of Honeycomb's features on its Android Developers site, many of which were shown in presentations at CES.

They will include a "system bar" built into the bottom of the screen; it shows notifications and recently used apps and can be used to navigate the tablet.

Honeycomb will also have a redesigned on-screen keyboard to make it easier and quicker to type on a tablet's larger screen. Keys will still be arranged using the standard QWERTY system.

Tablets that use Honeycomb will also let users connect a full keyboard through a USB port - something the iPad cannot do - or wirelessly via Bluetooth.

Google said an updated will allow the use of tabs for browsing, so users wouldn't have to open individual browser windows for each Web page. That's a standard feature on desktop Web browsers these days.

The Android camera software will be updated, too, to make it quicker for users to control exposure, focus, flash, zoom and other options on a tablet's larger screen.

Honeycomb will work on smart phones, too, but apps will look differently on their smaller screens.

Google has described Honeycomb as allowing applications to have multiple views, depending on if they're running on a phone or a tablet. For example, Gmail on the tablet would show a list of e-mails in one column and the body of the one you're reading in a second column. One an Android phone, you'd only see one column at a time, as you do now.

first rolled out its free Android mobile software in 2008 on HTC Corp.'s G1 smart phone. It has since expanded to more than 170 phones and a number of tablet computers.

Explore further: Microsoft expands ad-free Bing search for schools

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google mobile head says Nexus One too ambitious

Dec 07, 2010

(AP) -- The head of Google's Android mobile operating software says the search company "bit off a little more than we could chew" with the sale of the Nexus One, a smart phone Google began selling online early this year ...

Gadget show to bring fiercer competition to iPad

Jan 03, 2011

(AP) -- Apple Inc.'s popular iPad is getting its strongest competition thus far as consumer-electronics manufacturers unveil tablet computers with bigger screens, front-facing cameras for video chatting and ...

Tablets crowd gadget show, chasing iPad's tail

Jan 07, 2011

(AP) -- Big tablets and small tablets, white ones and black ones. Cheap ones and expensive ones. Brand names famous and obscure at the starting line of a race where the iPad is already a speeding dot near ...

Tablet PC's Getting Ready for Android 3.0

Aug 03, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Android 3.0 aka Gingerbread, is advancing in its development and appears to be on target for an October release. Android 3.0 is expected to have a more intuitive interface and support upcoming ...

Recommended for you

Microsoft expands ad-free Bing search for schools

Apr 23, 2014

Microsoft is expanding a program that gives schools the ability to prevent ads from appearing in search results when they use its Bing search engine. The program, launched in a pilot program earlier this year, is now available ...

Growing app industry has developers racing to keep up

Apr 20, 2014

Smartphone application developers say they are challenged by the glut of apps as well as the need to update their software to keep up with evolving phone technology, making creative pricing strategies essential to finding ...

Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

Apr 18, 2014

The Google Android platform grabbed the majority of mobile phones in the US market in early 2014, as consumers all but abandoned non-smartphone handsets, a survey showed Friday.

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

Apr 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

droid001
not rated yet Jan 27, 2011
Honeycomb will also let users connect a full keyboard through a USB port.
Such a breakthrough. I'm exited.
dirk_bruere
not rated yet Jan 27, 2011
Tablets will become the default interface device of just about everything.
intyxa
not rated yet Jan 28, 2011
thanks about this important article.

intyxa-forex.blogspot.com/
zslewis91
not rated yet Jan 31, 2011
Honeycomb will also let users connect a full keyboard through a USB port.
Such a breakthrough. I'm exited.


thats what you call a breakthrough? wow. you should delete your account and hit the andriodcentral fourms...loser

More news stories

Brazil enacts Internet 'Bill of Rights'

Brazil's president signed into law on Wednesday a "Bill of Rights" for the digital age that aims to protect online privacy and promote the Internet as a public utility by barring telecommunications companies ...

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...

US urged to drop India WTO case on solar

Environmentalists Wednesday urged the United States to drop plans to haul India to the WTO to open its solar market, saying the action would hurt the fight against climate change.

FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes

The federal government wants to prohibit sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and require approval for new products and health warning labels under regulations being proposed by the Food and Drug Administration.

Vermont moves toward labeling of GMO foods

Vermont lawmakers have passed the country's first state bill to require the labeling of genetically modified foods as such, setting up a war between the behemoth U.S. food industry and an American public that overwhelmingly ...