Motorola 'Honeycomb' tablet previewed

December 7, 2010 // 5:34 p.m.

Tags: #android #android-30 #android-tablet #google #honeycomb #honycomb #motorola #motorola-tablet #tablet #tegra

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.

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