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Android 3.0 Platform Highlights Released: Includes Enhancements to UI, Multi-core Processor Support and 3D Graphics (Updated)

Google just released the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) platform highlights which includes a ton of pictures of their new baby.  We’ve broken down the highlights below, but be sure to check out the entire gallery they’ve supplied at the bottom as well.  

New UI:

  • System Bar, for global status and notifications:  This is like the notification bar we are used to on Android today, only it has been moved to the bottom of the screen.  You’ll receive notifications there, but it will also house the navigation buttons now.
  • Action Bar, for application control:  Your new in-app notification bar.  This will display at the top and allow you to access additional options for that specific app.
  • Customizable Home screens:  You get 5 homescreens that are as customizable as ever.  They’ve enhanced the setup though and made it easier to navigate.
  • Recent Apps, for easy visual multitasking:  You can access your most recent apps just as you do now, only you’ll get previews of those apps and in whatever state you last left them.

Updated set of standard apps:

  • Browser:  This thing has been completely re-done.  New tabbed browsing, incognito mode and bookmarks presentation are all included.  You can also sync your bookmarks with your current Chrome account and enjoy a better experience on non-mobile sites.
  • Camera and Gallery:  Redesigned to take advantage of the larger screen.  You have even quicker access to thumbnails and all of your camera settings.
  • Contacts:  A new two-pane UI is introduced with contact information presented in a card-like fashion.
  • Email:  Also viewed in two-pane mode, includes new widget and allows you to select multiple emails which can be affected using the Action Bar.

Redesigned Keyboard:

  • Keyboard:  Keys have been reshaped and repositioned to make typing easier and faster.  They’ve also added a new Tab key.
  • Improved text selection, copy and paste:  You can copy text  from almost anywhere now with a simple long press on a word.  You can then adjust the area to select as much text as you’d like, then use the Action Bar to copy, paste, etc.

High-performance 2D and 3D graphics:

  • Honeycomb now includes hardware-accelerated 2D graphics plus a Renderscript 3D graphics engine.  You will see a giant boost in graphics performance, plus developers can create 3D scenes and so much more.

Support for multicore processor architectures:

  • You knew this was coming.  Multi-core processors are supported which is exactly why the XOOM has a dual-core Tegra 2 from NVIDIA.  Beast-mode.

New UI Framework for creating great tablet apps:

  • Widgets:  Widgets will play a major role in Honeycomb.  In fact, Google has made so made changes to their approach to widgets that developers would be fools not to take advantage.
  • Action Bar (again):  The Action Bar allows the developer to expose extra features for the users of their apps.  They can give quick access to widgets, navigation, contextual options, etc.
  • Richer Notifications:  Notifications will have much more important information than they have in the past.

Enhancements for enterprise:

  • Can support new types of policies, including policies for encrypted storage, password expiration, password history, and password complex characters required.

Oh, they’ve also released a new API for Android 3.0 so that developers can make sure their apps will work once the Motorola XOOM is released.  Here are some notes from that announcement:

UI framework for creating great apps for larger screen devices: Developers can use a new UI components, new themes, richer widgets and notifications, drag and drop, and other new features to create rich and engaging apps for users on larger screen devices.

High-performance 2D and 3D graphics: A new property-based animation framework lets developers add great visual effects to their apps. A built-in GL renderer lets developers request hardware-acceleration of common 2D rendering operations in their apps, across the entire app or only in specific activities or views. For adding rich 3D scenes, developers take advantage of a new 3D graphics engine called Renderscript.

Support for multicore processor architectures: Android 3.0 is optimized to run on either single- or dual-core processors, so that applications run with the best possible performance.

Rich multimedia: New multimedia features such as HTTP Live streaming support, a pluggable DRM framework, and easy media file transfer through MTP/PTP, give developers new ways to bring rich content to users.

New types of connectivity: New APIs for Bluetooth A2DP and HSP let applications offer audio streaming and headset control. Support for Bluetooth insecure socket connection lets applications connect to simple devices that may not have a user interface.

Enhancements for enterprise: New administrative policies, such as for encrypted storage and password expiration, help enterprise administrators manage devices more effectively.

And since they’ve provided it to us again, how about another look at that Honeycomb preview video:

  • RC

    Looks to me that the icons, book covers etc etc can be a lot bigger. There is so much real estate to use on XOOM. I don’t think Honeycomb in its current form is doing that. I hope they do in the final release.

    Also does anyone know if your phone can be tethered to the XOOM (wifi version)? I wouldn’t mind using that gorgeous screen as a GPS if I could tether.

  • Marquell1

    why can’t the droidx look like that interface wise?

  • Sputnick

    I’ve picked up chicks using my Droid. I may end up in a threesome with this thing.

  • J1102g

    Does anyone know if it will be able to play facebook games? I’m asking cuz it’s a selling point to con the wsife to buy it lol!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Set your ua string to desktop or iphone and they will load, though they are almost unfunctionable for me. Bejeweled works with minimal lag. I wouldn’t even bother trying to get zynga to load anything though

  • Wmsco51

    Will it run all apps or just honeycomb?Keep

  • Frstsaxman

    they NEED to put this on Google TV

  • TheSonicEmerald

    I just literally shed a tear while I was reading this. Hardware-acceleration FTW.

  • Jake

    The following just occurred to me when I read this about the browser “..enjoy a better experience on non-mobile sites…”. Perhaps the reason Google has been coy about Honeycomb on phones is that they’re looking for a loophole that will allow tablets to play content from Hulu and other television networks that blocked Android phones and Google TV. I’m sure that Honeycomb-like features will make their way to future Android phone OS’ (ice cream). However, if Honeycomb can’t “officially” exist on phones, then maybe Hulu & co. can consider tablets to be computers just like desktops, laptops, and netbooks. This is me hoping.

    • Warren Peace

      You can already set the phone to “Desktop” mode

    • Warren Peace

      You can already set the phone to “Desktop” mode

  • Anonymous

    Ready for my Xoom now.

  • Anonymous

    anyone else notice the email from wel huang at 0:20?

    • EC8CH

      wel huang likes to party… if you know what i mean

  • EC8CH


    Looks like more work went into this than just using the same OS on a larger screen… hmmmm

  • Thenew3

    They specifically mention support for multi-core processors in Honeycomb
    Does that mean Gingerbread (and Froyo) does not support multi-core processors?
    If that is the case, what is the point of all the dual core Tegra 2 phones coming out? You just have an extra core burning battery juice but not doing much to speed things up?

    • The manufacturers are building in support for the extra cores themselves

    • The manufacturers are building in support for the extra cores themselves

    • Anonymous

      A lot easier to upgrade the phone to 3.0 than to install a new processor. You’ll be glad you got a dual core when that ota hits, assuming it happens in the next year

    • Anonymous

      A lot easier to upgrade the phone to 3.0 than to install a new processor. You’ll be glad you got a dual core when that ota hits, assuming it happens in the next year

    • Anonymous

      A lot easier to upgrade the phone to 3.0 than to install a new processor. You’ll be glad you got a dual core when that ota hits, assuming it happens in the next year

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Now, if only that webOS guy could get them to let us use the hardware buttons as a Pre-like gesture area, seeing as they are an extension of the touchscreen… Anyway, Honeycomb seems to have integrated the best parts of my second-favorite mobile OS into my favorite. I can’t wait for AOSP. This is the only thing that’s keeping me from getting a Thunderbolt on release.

  • Anonymous

    I’m contemplating getting the Xoom WiFi if available or the HPalm “Topaz” WebOS tablet WiFi when available. Times like these, I wish I could just experience all Operating Systems on 1 device.
    Knowing me, I might go for the Xoom WiFi, unless it’s more than $499.

  • Stin

    Beast mode hahaha nice marshawn lynch quote kellex possibly the funniest guy in the nfl

  • Carlito Pr

    Will be at Verizon release date one for me and of course one for my wife 🙂

  • Wow. That is all I can say. Please Samsung, do not make me wait. I will probably just compile this myself for the Tab once the source is out.

  • Honeycomb looks amazing. The most complete modern mobile OS to date.

  • Drudometkin

    Looks very nice. Now announce a wifi version and I’ll be lined up day one for this.

  • Steve Hallmark

    How long before someone hax this for D1?

  • almarhofo

    oh jeez… gotta change my pants.

  • Anonymous

    god i hate adebayor

    • barcaNY

      barca barca baaaaaaaarca!

      • Anonymous

        we play you next month. GO ARSENAL

  • Anonymous

    How about NETFLIX SUPPORT ALREADY?!?!?!?!?!?!

    • Anonymous

      I think Honeycomb will do that. One of the notes on the Dev blog is hooks for DRM, which was what was stopping Netflix from utilizing Android.

      • I agree, the pluggable DRM APIs opens that whole door for Netflix, July, etc.

  • Anonymous

    I know all this 3.0 talk is super sweet but well all have phones running 2.2…. whats up with some 2.3 talk? I know they have not released official roms as of yet but there are a few pretty good ones out there that i am sure a lot of readers would like to know about. Like CM7 and the nightlies that they continue to put out, or that Liquid has also come out with a gingerbread based rom. Along with these BB has come out with a gingerbread/froyo rom that is super stable and fast just with out all the gingerbread goodies. I really appreciate all the info we get on this site but i used to come here to get leaks and downloads i couldn’t find anywhere else, now its more of a news stand….

    • Muddy B00ts

      I just started running Ultimate Droid 3.0.0 Beta (there’s an RC out as of today) that works really well for OG droid and I know they support a ton of other devices. Try that out, it’s pretty good.

    • DroidLady

      I’m a noob to rooting…during my research I found that the cooks are still in the kitchen getting a stable full fledged 2.3 rom ready for release. I’m running PEV4.2 which is a gingerbread/froyo rom and it’s great! A lot better than the stock 2.2 on my OG Droid. I appreaciate being made aware of PE on Droid-Life and they help I recevied from Mytos and Timotato on the IRC channel when I ran into trouble upgrading from PEV4.1 to PEV4.2. Droid-Life rocks! More than a news stand to me…

  • JT

    Finally….Hardware-acceleration!! Thank you!!

    • JT

      Now, any way to “borrow” parts of this for a stable hardware accelerated 2.3 Rom??

    • Anonymous

      if truly hw accel’d across the UI then the need for dual core is not so big on 7″ tabs. lower cost tabs with single core will look and feel just as good as whopper Xoom.

  • Kevoskee

    To me, Honeycomb looks fantastic. It has that futuristic look that just screams out to me. Can’t wait to get the Xoom!

    • One-Hundred Thousandth Percent Agreed!

      • Anonymous

        really, only 0.00001 percent? come in Golmer.

        • Umm…hmm…I knew I did something wrong there. The “th” should not be in there. Stupid typo. lol

  • Anonymous

    Gingerbread, Honeycomb, “Ice Cream”, what’s next Jelly Donut? We will be on the letter P before we see an update on the DX lol.

  • Anonymous

    My Galaxy Tab just shed a tear. My Droid X still wants Gingerbread. I’m still trying to learn the value of patience…

    • Anonymous

      Poor Gtab. 🙁

    • EC8CH

      Don’t worry… I’m sure Samsung will fight tooth and nail to find a way to update your Gtab to 3.0


      • ..seriously? With their track record? I can’t believe that it has Froyo.

    • Even if the Gtab doesn’t officially get Honeycomb, perhaps some of the kickass devs will supply a homebrew.

    • Anonymous

      I know this is completely off topic, but your revised way of saying that phrase made me laugh. I also want Gingerbread on my DX.

  • Almost looking like a real OS now, and by that, I mean a desktop-worthy OS. Excellent!

  • YES!