Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb – Launched, Demonstrated and Videoed

Google held a special event today in order to launch Android 3.0 Honeycomb. The latest version of Google’s mobile operating system introduces a new user interface for tablet devices and brings a number of other spanky features – one of the main ones being stronger support for multicore processors. The event at Google HQ also saw the launch of the official Android Market Web store.

Google utilised Motorola’s Xoom tablet, which is expected to be released later this month, to put the new OS through its paces. During the demo Google described how various elements of the Android user experience have been adapted for tablets in Honeycomb with the apps taking centre stage.

Android boss Andy Rubin confirmed that existing Android apps will all run on Honeycomb-powered tablets without needing to be modified, just like Apple’s iPad.

Google sees the home screen as more than just a dumping ground for application icons. The home screen widget system has been greatly enhanced to enable the development of more interactive data-driven widgets. The notification system also got an overhaul for Honeycomb, making it possible for developers to expose more information and interactive functionality in notifications.

We should all be expecting to be wowed by the graphics on Honeycomb powered tablets as Android application developers can enable hardware-accelerated rendering for 2D graphics just by adding a single line of code. The Android APIs have also been handed an animation framework that will make it easier for developers to add elegant animated transitions to their application user interfaces – gloriously smooth page turns in eBook apps for example.

Android users will also get the new Web-based Android Market which will allow you to flick through the Android Market on your puter.

When you’ve found what you’re looking for and installed the chosen application on to your desktop or laptop the software will automatically squirt over to your phone.

The Android Market website has officially launched, and can be accessed at

Google will also launch in-app purchases for Android in Spring. That’s one of the reasons social games companies such as Zynga are finally bringing their games to Android, since they rely on being able to charge players for virtual items within the games.

It’s all looking good for Honeycomb and I’m especially looking forward to having a play with the Motorola Xoom 🙂

Check out the full show below!

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