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Google has launched a preview video showcasing Android 3.0, dubbed Honeycomb, particularly highlighting its tablet features.
The first thing that's made obvious in the video is that the version number will indeed by 3.0, not 2.4 as some have suggested. The reason the 2.4 suggestion gained traction was because almost everyone expected Gingerbread to be 3.0, not 2.3, so we guess people were being a bit cautious about Honeycomb.
The second thing that's made evident early on is that Honeycomb is, as the video states, “built entirely for tablets”. Android already works on tablets, but it was never designed for them, so this is Google's first real attempt to cater for the tablet market, which is set to boom big-time this year.
The homescreen looks very different and much more suitable for a larger screen. Each screen is divided up into multiple blocks that will be automatically rearranged to suit either a smartphone or tablet. The same features and information are available, but instead of seeing a blown-up version of the smartphone screen it looks like it was designed literally for tablets.
The user interface in general also looks much snappier, which is likely to make the user experience much more up to par to Apple's offering, a criticism that has been levelled at Android in the past. In fact, it looks so snazzy that we may see users removing their popular UI overlays, like HTC's Sense or Motorola's Motoblur.
We'll also see a number of other tablet-optimised features, including an updated web browser, new ebook app, altered gmail app, redesigned Youtube, Google Talk and Google Maps, all of which look really promising.
It's not clear how all of this will look on smartphones or if there will be any real difference there, but for Android tablet owners Honeycomb is looking like it will be a real treat.