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Honeycomb: How Sweet It Is

February 15, 2011 - 0 Comments

I have blogged before regarding tablets and their ability to enable rich virtual experiences. Of course a device is only as good as its’ operating system and software. I was talking tablets with a friend a while ago and asked their opinion on the Android operating system for tablets and got a frowny face response. Now this is someone I respect and believe knows a lot more about technology solutions than I, so I was a little surprised to say the least because I believe the Android operating system is going to revolutionize the tablet experience. Naturally I asked why and the response made a lot of sense, “Because Android wasn’t created with the tablet experience in mind and it shows.”

So needless to say I was abundantly pleased to see Google is addressing this head on, ala Android 3.0 or Honeycomb. At first read it does appear to be a ‘how sweet it is’ solution.

The first thing most people, who have had the ability to experience Honeycomb, note is that it is light years from the Android OS currently on smartphones. Some predict that Honeycomb may convert those folks who were turned off by Android previously and if you like Android all ready, Honeycomb should keep your sweet tooth engaged. According to JR Raphael a Computerworld blogger, “The potential for customization that Android power users love is still there. But for folks who are less technically-inclined — less geeky, if you will — things definitely feel less complicated.”

Personally I am excited by what Renderscript could mean for 3D and augmented reality break throughs…In a nutshell Renderscript is a new API that will enable high-performance 3D rendering as well as compute operations. Renderscript is device agnostic, meaning the scripts created via Renderscript are compiled to a machine code and are therefore made to be optimized based on the device the script is running on.

In the below video 900 individual particles are simulated and rendered. According to Chris Burns a Android Community blogger, “This is a brute force physics simulation activated by the pushing of one of the balls, then continued by the activation of gravity from the right side of the video frame. This show is put on so gracefully because the compute script takes advantage of both cores in the device automatically, running each frame with great smoothness.”

A big question is will Android 3.0 be coming to smartphones? The answer from the Google 8-ball is “Reply hazy, try again” or “Cannot predict now”…but developers don’t need to fret because Android applications will detect whether a tablet or a phone is running the application and respond accordingly. Applications that take advantage of Honeycomb features won’t be obsolete for use on devices not leveraging Android 3.0, rather the device detection will determine what features are enabled which should result in no need for the developer to create multiple tablet or smartphone versions. Bonus is that applications will also synch meaning if you purchase an application on a smartphone it willautomatically show up on your tablet and vice versa. That being said you can choose to delete an application individually from a device at any time. You can also check out all your applications via Google’s web based Android Market to manually move applications from one device to another.

All of this leaves me thinking how much I like a sweet treat!

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