It’s funny how quickly things change in tech. One minute Apple is competing against Microsoft, and the next thing you know Apple is duking it out with Google, with Microsoft struggling mightily on the sidelines to get back in the game, somehow.
Though the iPhone remains the smartphone to beat, Android is no joke and is building up an impressive installed base of users. But while folks seem to be more than happy with the slew of Android smartphones on the market, Android tablets thus far haven’t done anything to really threaten the iPad. Part of the problem is that the current iteration of Android just wasn’t designed with tablets in mind.
The impending release of Android 3.0, a.k.a Honeycomb, changes all that. Google yesterday previewed the next generation of its Android software, and this time the OS was designed “from the ground up” with tablets in mind. That said, Google has revamped the UI in an noticeable and impressive way and really put some shine into an OS that previously just didn’t fit into the tablet landscape.
… we’ve developed a brand new, truly virtual and holographic user interface. Many of Android’s existing features will really shine on Honeycomb: refined multi-tasking, elegant notifications, access to over 100,000 apps on Android Market, home screen customization with a new 3D experience and redesigned widgets that are richer and more interactive. We’ve also made some powerful upgrades to the web browser, including tabbed browsing, form auto-fill, syncing with your Google Chrome bookmarks, and incognito mode for private browsing.
Toss in Google Maps 5, Google Voice and Video chat and the next wave of tablet devices will be a whole lot more potent than what you find in the marketplace today. Below is a video preview of Android 3.0.