Google unveils Android 'Honeycomb' update for fondleslabs
'Open accessory' API
Google I/O Google has announced an upgrade to the tablet-centric Honeycomb version of Android. Version 3.1 will soon be pushed out to Motorola Xoom tablets running on Verizon's network.
With the new version, application widgets can now be resized vertically as well as horizontally. The OS can serve as a USB host. And it can accept input for a wide variety of add-on devices, including keyboards, mice, trackpads, joysticks, and game controllers.
The new release also marks the debut a new program known as "Android open accessory", which offers a common API for connecting accessories to devices. An Accessory Development Kit (ADK) was released today, and the API is available with Android 3.1. Google calls the program "completely open." There are no NDAs, it says, and anyone can use the ADK.
Today, at its annual developer conference in San Francisco, Google also announced that Android 3.1 is coming to Google TV, the company's Android-based platform that melds television with the net. With the update, Google TV will now offer the Android Market. Previously, the Market was not available on the platform.
For other Android devices, Google will soon add movie rentals to the Android Market. This will be rolled out to Verizon Xoom users with Android 3.1, and it will come to other Android devices some time after. Users can rent movies beginning at $1.99, and they can be viewed on any Android device connected the same account for up to 30 days.
During its morning keynote, the company gave a token introduction to the next version of Android, known as "Ice Cream Sandwich". This version will span tablets and phones as well as other devices. The company said "it will all be open source", but it's unclear when this will happen.
Google has also teamed with several wireless providers and handset manufactures to define when devices are updated to new versions of the Android. All participating members – including Version, Sprint, and HTC – will update their current Android devices with new versions of the OS for at least 18 months, provided the hardware is compatible.
Google, the company said today, has activated over 100 million official Android devices worldwide. There are now 310 devices in 112 countries, said Hugo Barra, director of Android product management. Google activates over 400,000 Android devices a day, Barra said.
The Android Market, he added, now includes over 200,000 Android apps. Users have downloaded over 4.5 billion applications from the market. ®
Can't be bothered with the rest of your "points" but as for number 3, whilst the later updates may have worked with the 3G, they added virtually nothing new to the phone since even trivial things like wallpaper weren't made available unless you had a 3GS.
Funny you should mention Fanbois..
Google seem to be responding to the shift in market brought about by the iPad far better than Microsoft. Not that there's a 'right' OS for a tablet, just the lesser of a handful of weevils. However, it's all about the hardware and seeing as Apple set the 'minimalist' dial to 11, there's not much room for competitors to manoeuvre.
Years ago I very nearly switched from a degree in software to industrial design. That probably did my employment prospects no end of good. It seems to me that whilst everyone responds well to great design, not so many companies manage to field (or support) great designers.
1. Much of this is to do with the vendor you select, personally i'll wait till there is an official Google tablet before I consider it.
2. iOS has one major advantage over everyone else. Accessories. There is really something to be said for having a single handset, it makes it very easy for 3rd parties to make extra kit for it. Mainly things like docks, car kits and the likes. This is Googles answer to that.
If you move from a Samsung to a HTC you will be able to use the same accessories. There is a LOT to be said for that.
3. Again this is more to do with the vendor surely?
4. No, Android only just surpassed Apple in terms of phones. There are still more iOS devices out in the wild due to iPod Touch and iPad. The rate of uptake in Android is still accelerating way past that of iOS though.
5. You can always just download a 3rd party version, CyanogenMod is very popular, updates are almost constant.
Lots of good news
Ok where to start. You didn't mention the cloud music service.
Device manufacturers are now commiting to roll out updates more proactively, we saw a list including vodafone, samsung, htc... The basis is that all new devices will get all updates for at leadt 18 months.
Usb stuff is big, 3.1 supports lots of usb devices not just keyboards. I can plug my DSLR into my new Samsung galaxy tab, upload pics and stick them on the net.
I have my hands on the proto board and ok no bluetooth now but it is in development.
This is all good stuff and competition for in particular Apple. What's not to like?
Head down to MoDaCo and see it running on the Vega!!!