Android team today posted a preview of upcoming Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb. Teasing this tablet oriented OS version, team has revealed interesting details about Honeycomb.
Google has confirmed that this OS version has been designed for devices with large screens (read tablets), so smartphones might have to wait for the next version. Honeycomb will come with what Google calls a “Holographic UI”, which is in no way similar to the existing Android user interface.
Google has also released a preview SDK for developers to start testing their apps and tweak them to work perfectly on the tablets.
New features of users:
- System Bar, for global status and notifications: The original notifications bar has become system bar now and is placed at the bottom of the display rather than on the top as on the smartphones. This system bar also features the soft navigation keys, which will fill in for the absence of hardware controls. The System Bar is always present and is a key touchpoint for users, but in a new “lights out mode” can also be dimmed for full-screen viewing, such as for videos.
- Action Bar, for application control: Android has finally got a detailed menu bar for tablets. In all the applications, users will get menu options in the top action bar. The Action Bar is always present when an application is in use, although its content, theme, and other properties are managed by the application rather than the system.
- Customizable Home screens: As usual there are customizable home-screens for users. You can add up to five home-screens on your tablet.
- Recent Apps, for easy visual multitasking: Google is solving a big problem here. Users can now be able to check out the running applications, and jump from one app to another from the recent apps list in the System Bar.
- Redesigned keyboard
- Improved text selection, copy and paste
- New connectivity options
- Updated set of standard Android apps: Browser, contacts, gallery, contacts and email, all these application have been tweaked to make them look and work good on tablets.
Honeycomb UI Screenshots Gallery: