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Android 3.0 Honeycomb preview

Google's upcoming tablet-orientated Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS gets a bit of a prodding

By: Anthony Garreffa from Jan 26, 2011 @ 18:34 CST

Engadget have pimped their ride and installed Google's first public-access preview of its tablet-orientated OS, Android 3.0 Honeycomb. The early build SDK features "non-final" code and APIs, it is intended primarily for developers who want to get a head start on making their tablet apps.


Obviously, living on the edge requires using this type of early-build software. Engadget have a bunch of observations that you can have a read through and see if Honeycomb is any good as it stands right now. Obviously it's not a final build so I wouldn't be making any judgements of it just yet.

Here's what Engadget had to say:

Like Android SDK emulators before it, Honeycomb's is extremely slow -- nearly to the point of uselessness in this case. We'll give them a mulligan since this is a preview build, but seriously, we wouldn't recommend installing this unless you enjoy pulling your hair out.

There appears to be some sort of orientation bug that prevents us from going landscape, which is what we really wanted. Sorry about that! We've shot the video sideways and rotated all of our images; if we're able to figure it out or a newer build is released with orientation properly working, we'll update.

The browser looks great -- specifically the UI, which is going to make desktop browser users feel right at home perhaps more than any other tablet browsing experience to date. As with the rest of the emulator, it was too slow to really use -- and it kept crashing on us -- but we're digging the look.

The system for adding and managing widgets is a joy to use -- it makes your entire desktop accessible from a single screen, and we like the amount of detail you can preview for each widget before deciding whether to use it and where to place it.

In general, the window animations and screen transitions seem cool, but none were smooth or fast enough in the emulator to know for sure. Jury's still out until this gets faster or we're using Honeycomb on actual tablets.

We're not in love with the dim, squashed segmented display that Google is using for the time in the lower right; we're hoping there are plenty of alternative fonts available.


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