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Motorola 'Honeycomb' tablet previewed

Motorola 'Honeycomb' tablet previewed

This photo, taken by AllThingsD's Asa Mathat, shows the unnamed Motorola 10in Android tablet.

Google may have only just sent Android 2.3 'Gingerbread' out into the wide world, but it's already planning ahead - and offered attendees at the D: Get Into Mobile conference a sneak peak of the features of Android 3.0 'Honeycomb.'

Demonstrating the software on an as-yet unannounced 10in Motorola tablet device, Google vice president of mobile Andy Rubin took the audience through the features due in the next release of the software - and it's clear that tablets will be the focus.

Despite rumours that 'Gingerbread' would bring tablet-oriented enhancements designed to make the smartphone OS more appealing to manufacturers of large-format devices, its release this week demonstrated that such improvements are missing - and look to remain that way until 'Honeycomb' is released.

Although Rubin wouldn't be pushed on specifications of Motorola's upcoming Android tablet - beyond confirming the use of an Nvidia dual-core CPU and jokingly putting the price at around $10,000 - he did confirm that 'Honeycomb' is the release that tablet manufacturers have been waiting for.

As well as significant improvements to the user interface on large-screen devices, Rubin revealed that 'Honeycomb' will feature an API function called 'fragments' - a method of allowing developers to create a single application with a single listing on the Android Market that is capable of using a different user interface depending on whether it's being run on a tablet or a smartphone.

With Android 2.3 having only just been released, it would be madness for Google to release Android 3.0 any time soon - but, on the other hand, the market demand for tablets is seemingly insatiable and with some big-name manufacturers waiting for 'Honeycomb' before they launch their devices it can't hang around for too long.

A video of the device being demonstrated is available over on AllThingsD, for the curious.

Do you think that Android tablets will ever be able to convince Apple fans to give up their iPads, or have Rubin and his team got it all wrong? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

7 Comments

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Matticus 7th December 2010, 19:28 Quote
Is the 'fragments' thing an inside joke about the already massively fragmentation between device's hardware and which version of android they are running :p
bowman 7th December 2010, 19:47 Quote
Price should be below that of current iPads and Galaxy Tabs for me to care. Won't hold my breath though.
Skiddywinks 8th December 2010, 00:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matticus
Is the 'fragments' thing an inside joke about the already massively fragmentation between device's hardware and which version of android they are running :p

I sure hope so, otherwise they are true bell ends.

I'm STILL running 2.1 on my Galaxy S ffs, much less 2.3. Wonder if Honeycomb will work with phones as well? Hell, even if it does, I don't see me getting even 2.3 until around the time I DIE.
Parge 8th December 2010, 14:59 Quote
Definitely getting one of these babies as soon as they are released!
Bridaggs 8th December 2010, 15:13 Quote
I was under the impression that they were going to be keeping Android 2.x for smaller screened devices, ie smart phones and Android 3.x was being developed for the larger screen, ie tablets. If this is true then there should be no issue with 3.0 being released asap regardless of the fact that 2.3 has just come out.
SteveU 8th December 2010, 15:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiddywinks
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matticus
Is the 'fragments' thing an inside joke about the already massively fragmentation between device's hardware and which version of android they are running :p

I sure hope so, otherwise they are true bell ends.

I'm STILL running 2.1 on my Galaxy S ffs, much less 2.3. Wonder if Honeycomb will work with phones as well? Hell, even if it does, I don't see me getting even 2.3 until around the time I DIE.

It's even less likely according to this article: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/37199/samsung-galaxy-s-android-update
Optimaximal 9th December 2010, 12:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skiddywinks
I sure hope so, otherwise they are true bell ends.

I'm STILL running 2.1 on my Galaxy S ffs, much less 2.3. Wonder if Honeycomb will work with phones as well? Hell, even if it does, I don't see me getting even 2.3 until around the time I DIE.

Given the whole point of the mentioned API is allowing an app to have multiple interfaces that can be switched over depending on the physical platform, it would be pretty pointless to make it 'Tablet only' :)
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