Android OS 3.0 - A Good Look Under Honeycomb's Hood


Editor in Chief
Staff member
Jan 5, 2011

A preview was just released by The Android Developer's Blog of the Android 3.0/Honeycomb's Software Developer's Kit. You can check out this preview through the Android SDK and AVD manager. But, we know many of you guys either don't want to mess with downloading the SDK, or are just basically impatient like we are, so we are going to share a bunch of the juicy details for ya! ;)

First, here are some major highlights directly from the Android Blog:
UI framework for creating great apps for larger screen devices: Developers can use a new UI components, new themes, richer widgets and notifications, drag and drop, and other new features to create rich and engaging apps for users on larger screen devices.

High-performance 2D and 3D graphics: A new property-based animation framework lets developers add great visual effects to their apps. A built-in GL renderer lets developers request hardware-acceleration of common 2D rendering operations in their apps, across the entire app or only in specific activities or views. For adding rich 3D scenes, developers take advantage of a new 3D graphics engine called Renderscript.

Support for multicore processor architectures: Android 3.0 is optimized to run on either single- or dual-core processors, so that applications run with the best possible performance.

Rich multimedia: New multimedia features such as HTTP Live streaming support, a pluggable DRM framework, and easy media file transfer through MTP/PTP, give developers new ways to bring rich content to users.

New types of connectivity: New APIs for Bluetooth A2DP and HSP let applications offer audio streaming and headset control. Support for Bluetooth insecure socket connection lets applications connect to simple devices that may not have a user interface.

Enhancements for enterprise: New administrative policies, such as for encrypted storage and password expiration, help enterprise administrators manage devices more effectively.
But there's more! From digging deeper into it, we see a few of the interesting specifics emerge:
  1. New "holographic" UI
  2. Bottom "system bar" for global status and notifications
  3. Action bar for in-application controls
  4. Redesigned home screen customization
  5. Improved text selection/copy/paste (multi-select, clipboard, and drag-and-drop)
  6. New UI framework specifically for creating tablet apps, and an entirely new UI framework for widgets
  7. 2D and 3D hardware acceleration
  8. Native support for multi-core processors
  9. New Camera App
  10. Streamlined Customization for Homescreen (pictured above)
And, there's even more on the Android Developers Blog! To whet your appetite, here is a link to more screenshots.

Source: Android Developers Blog via AndroidPolice


Aug 23, 2010
Absolutely awesome. For me, this feature set will finally bring tablet usability to what I have been imagining for almost 20 years. A tool like this will have no issue becoming the prevalent tablet OS and UI. Thanks for sharing all this information.


Jan 11, 2011
i think has convinced me to wait for the release of Honeycomb before buying my first tablet... (or at least this will drop the price on the tablets I am considering... ;))


Dec 30, 2010
Just when I was considering buying a tablet too, but I kinda don't wanna wait for this... Will there be some way of putting this version onto a Coby Kyros 7015? (I doubt it. T_T) xD

Finally a great look for Android tablets, rather than having homescreens looking identical to the Android smartphones. Can't wait to see this start being released on some tablets. :)