Google Shows off Android (Honeycomb) for Tablets

Google yesterday showed off its forthcoming Android (Honeycomb) OS for tablets.  It’s been specifically designed with the larger screens on tablets in mind and the advantages are clear and obvious.

There are better widgets that allow you to see your email or calendar properly along with other things such as the weather.  Google are also taking advantage of the larger screen sizes available to offer better multi-tasking.  Gizmodo are reporting that the tablet version of the OS also provides better notification reporting.  To help with this Google are including a new set of APIs which can include sounds, icons, music controls and… frankly… everything that Microsoft have worked hard to hide from users in Windows 7.

The OS will allow for split panel applications which will be a boon to email in particular and the OS includes new 3D rendering frameworks which will allow better gaming and coverflow-style displays.

This is all backed up by a new and improved web store for apps.  The current store in Android has been heavily criticised for its usability.

It’s excellent that Android has been updated for tablets as, while currently it’s significantly better than Windows 7 in the devices, it has still been criticised by reviewers and users alike.

Overall, this new version of Android seems to address many of the criticisms of earlier versions, and demonstrates that Google is indeed listening to its customers and acting quickly to resolve issues.  This could help ease the OS ahead of the iPad on tablets and keep it in the top spot for many tears to come.

There’s no word yet on when Honeycomb will be available and whether existing tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, will get an update.  We’ll keep you informed on the progress of this new tablet OS.

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