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.
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