All New Features of Android 3.0 Honeycomb

Google’s Honeycomb event is happening now and they have been showing sneak peaks of it for the past few weeks. Android 3.0 Honeycomb is designed exclusively for tablets and Google has given a pretty big advancement in the user interface.

 

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This tablet version is slightly different from Android’s phone interface to take advantage of the larger tablet-sized screen. Other main features include –

Multitasking is a primary feature, with easy access to all open- and recently open- apps from the home screen.

Widgets can now be based on collections of data — so it’s like having apps in little windows, on your home screen. There are different kinds of widgets, too — stacks, grids, scrollers.

New notifications system, which pops up Growl-like toast windows in the bottom right corner. Notifications can contain a lot of data, including profile photos if a friend is IMing you — and they can be used for quick access to running apps, like media players.

 

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Hardware acceleration — by simply adding a single line of code, 2D hardware acceleration can be added to existing Android apps.

Renderscript — Honeycomb has a new engine for powering 3D graphics.

 

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Built-in video chat — with a front-facing camera, Honeycomb supports video calls off the bat (using Google Talk).

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The Android Market Web Store The web store is finally being released today. You can buy apps from the web—meaning your computer—and install it automatically onto your phone. You can browse through apps, click into individual apps to see reviews, an overview, ratings, screenshots and what’s new in this version of the app.

You can access it right now from http://market.android.com though it is having some signing issues at the time of writing this post.

 

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The new Android Market is very similar to AppBrain, but you can purchase apps directly from the web and push them to your phone.

Additional features of the Web Store:

  • Lots of developer control to make app pages look attractive
  • The page is laid out intelligently, with links to other apps by the developer, screenshots of the app — in essence, it’s just like any other App Store
  • Sharing tools are built-in — easy to send apps to friends, via Twitter, email
  • If you open a Web Store link on your phone, it opens the Market.
  • You can sort apps in a variety of ways — compatibility (2.1, 2.2, 2.3, etc.), popularity, and so on
  • You can see all of your installed/purchased apps.