Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" Preview SDK Released


Senior Member
Oct 5, 2010
I found it when I was updating Eclipse (I see the tech sites have picked up on it). Or you can get it at the Android dev site if you dont' already have the SDK environment installed. Android 3.0 Preview SDK | Android Developers

It's an incomplete, unstable "preview" release for the Android Emulator. Your first opportunity to be hands-on with Honeycomb.

Too bad the Android Emulator performance is notoriously terrible, making this preview almost worthless. The browser is particularly unstable. The launcher also crashed on startup most of the times I restarted the emulator. Can't seem to get an on-screen keyboard to show up. Ignores device rotation even when you add "accelerometer" to your AVD profile (it boots in landscape, I see a flash of the home screen in landscape, the launcher crashes, screen goes green, it restarts the launcher/home in portrait and won't change on rotation even though in "Settings" its says to do so). <-- UPDATE: turn OFF automatic orientation change to fix it.

In other words, there's not much you can do with it right now but look. Still, after seeing the Google video demo I would LOVE to see this on an actual tablet - especially my Haipad.
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Android 3.0 Platform Highlights | Android Developers

This is the official page of what's new (the UI is the biggie) in Honeycomb. The YouTube promo video of Honeycomb in action (which has been available for a while now but here it is in case you missed it) is a much better demo of what it brings to the table than the AVD "preview" for the emulator:

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Why are you teasing me!!
I'm an Android-aholic, and cant wait until Honeycomb comes out, BUT I WON'T pay $799 for the XOOM, so I guess I will have to wait a wile, or wait for it to be ported to my DROID!
Update: The folks over at figured out the orientation bug:

We've figured out the orientation trick -- you need to uncheck automatic orientation in Settings, then flip the emulator from landscape to portrait (counterintuitive, we know).

"counterintuitive" is right. Keypad 7 & 9 keys by the way (or CTRL+F11 & CTRL+F12 if you don't have a keypad)

By the way, you can *slightly* improve the performance of the emulator by launching it with custom settings. I only use Eclipse to create the AVD, then I have a small executable script I launch (I'm on a Mac, you could do it as a .bat file on Windows). For the Honeycomb Preview I used the following AVD settings:

cache = yes
cache Partition size = 128MB (double the default)
RAM = 1024 (4x the emulator default and what some Honeycomb tabs are rumored to eventually ship with)
sdcard = yes (I point this to an sdcard img file I created for use with the emulator)

Saved the AVD as "Honeycomb." If you don't have a ton of RAM in your development computer drop the RAM size of the emulated device, but I wouldn't go lower than 512 MB for Honeycomb.

In my launch script (keeping in mind I'm on a Mac):
#!/bin bash
cd /Applications/Android/android-sdk-mac_86/tools/
./emulator -cpu-delay 0 -no-boot-anim -cache ./cache -dpi-device-180 -scale 0.5 -avd Honeycomb

-cpu-delay 0: ensures the emulator will not try to slow down the emulation. I have found no documentation stating what the default setting is for this, I would hope it's zero but it may not be so I figured it couldn't hurt.
-no-boot-anim: skips the "Android" boot animation sequence
-cache: doesn't help much the first time you boot the AVD, but does on subsequent runs.
-dpi-device 180: emulated LCD density (default is 160). Set this to whatever you prefer (keeping in mind Honeycomb is a tablet os!)
-scale 0.5: makes the emulator window half it's normal size, which helps it run a little more smoothly.
-avd Honeycomb : tells it which one of the AVD profiles I created with Eclipse to use.

The nice thing about using the launch script is I created an Alias/Shortcut to it on my desktop and can launch the emulated device without having to run Eclipse. It's also easy to edit it to open other AVDs. These settings get me to the Un/Lock Screen in 30 seconds, which is half the amount of time it takes to launch the same AVD from Eclipse, and 1 minute 45 seconds using the default AVD settings.

Honeycomb is then almost usable. Almost. Well as much as it can be considering it's incomplete and unstable. So then I go into Apps>Spare Parts and turn off Window Animations and Transition Animations, which also helps response time quite a bit.

If you want to explore deeper you can use ADB just like you do with a real connected device to push and pull apps or issue shell commands.

They have apparently moved ADB from /tools to /platform-tools in this new SDK!
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Why are you teasing me!!
I'm an Android-aholic, and cant wait until Honeycomb comes out, BUT I WON'T pay $799 for the XOOM, so I guess I will have to wait a wile, or wait for it to be ported to my DROID!

This does look amazing, but the price is pretty high!
Another tweak from to see how Honeycomb would work on a PHONE rather than a tablet.

For all the buzz about Honeycomb being the "tablet" version of Android, lets not forget it's also a phone OS. Change the screen resolution in the emulator fromWXGA 1280x768 (the Honeycomb default) to WVGA - a typical high-end smartphone screen - and you get a different UI tuned to phone sized screens. The old lock screen is back, the old notification bar is back (though the fonts are still white but the bar is gray), the browser loses it's tabs (guess Google thinks they take up too much space. Hmmm, tell that to everyone using Dolphin!), and the Launcher crashes (but you can side-load Launcher Pro or Zeam).

Any talk about there being two Android versions - one for tablets and another for phones - can be squashed now. It's obvious this is a "dual mode" OS that will work with both devices. :)
Looks awesome. Hopefully the price falls a bit in the coming months. Would love to get one under $300.
This looks incredibly! I really hope there might be a way to port this OS to another tablet (I'm getting the Coby Kyros 7015 soon) and this looks amazing! I might have to try porting it onto my phone, once I see a few videos of it running on a smartphone. Looking good. :)