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06 January 2011, 10:47

Google previews Android 3.0 "Honeycomb"

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Android Logo For the first time, Google has officially published details about the next major update to its open source Android mobile operating system, Android 3.0 code named "Honeycomb". Aimed at tablet computers, the first preview of Honeycomb comes as this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is taking place in Las Vegas.

According to Google VP of Engineering Andy Rubin, the next version of the Android platform is "designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets". Rubin says that the developers have spent much of their time refining the user experience in Honeycomb, noting that they have "developed a brand new, truly virtual and holographic user interface". Building on Android's existing features, multi-tasking has been improved, as have notifications and the Android Market client.

Zoom The new home screen for Android 3.0 "Honeycomb".
Source: Google
Changes under the hood include enhancements to the built-in web browser, such as tabbed browsing, as well as support for syncing with Google Chrome and incognito mode for private browsing. Android 3.0 will include the latest Google Mobile innovations, such as Google Maps 5 with 3D buildings, access to Google eBooks and Google Talk, which will allow for voice and video chat to any other Google Talk enabled device.

More details about Android 3.0 Honeycomb can be found in a post on the Google Mobile Blog by Rubin. A short Android 3.0 Preview video is available on YouTube.

The latest stable version of Android is version 2.3, code named "Gingerbread" from December. To date, the only device that's capable of running Android 2.3 is the Nexus S. Updates are reportedly coming soon for a variety of devices, including Google's Nexus One smartphone and the HTC Desire HD.

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