Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb’s SDK preview is out for developers. Honeycomb is a tablet and similar devices specific Android operating system. Many tablet launches are pending for this launch and the developers have been eagerly waiting for Honeycomb’s launch. Android market place has more than 100K apps which are geared towards mobile phones but not too many for tablets. Quite a few tablets have released their tablets with Android’s older operating system and they have their own problems.
Honeycomb introduces a new holographic UI them and interaction model on top of Android’s existing features. The version which is released now is a preview only and not final. This should let developers test their existing apps and resolve any portability issues. This should also help developers to port some or most of the existing apps and make them tablet ready.
Honeycomb is designed to work on dual-core processors and it will work on single-core processors. A big relief.
Honeycomb has a system bar for global status and notification, action bar for application control, customizable home screens, redesigned keyboard, new connectivity options and updated set of standard apps (email, contact, browser, camera and gallery). Honeycomb will also facilitate HTTP Live Streaming.
Other highlights of Honeycomb :
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.
Honeycomb preview video :