Android 3.0 SDK preview released, shown off by Google

Today, Google has officially made available the preview SDK, and further official details about the new version of Android, codenamed Honeycomb. A video was leaked out of the "Android Developers" YouTube account of Android 3.0 in action a few weeks ago, so we knew an official peek couldn't have been far off.

Right now, it appears that the new version of Android does not target mobile phones, but only larger devices such as tablets, as the interface has received a complete overhaul to become more tablet friendly. New features include a new 2D and 3D framework, a new system bar (found at the bottom of the screen), an action bar for quick OS-wide actions, five new customizable home screens, a redesigned keyboard and new text selection tools.

In addition to the system wide updates, the browser has been updated to include tabs, Google Chrome Sync and new multitouch support. The Contacts application has also been updated to be more tablet friendly, as well as the Email application. There are further, deep OS improvements, which are detailed here.

Motorola and Asus announced Honeycomb based tablets at CES 2011, which will be released later this year. The SDK being publicly available should indicate that we will start to see more Android 3.0 based tablet devices surfacing in the near future, but Google is yet to announce any specific dates.

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24 Comments

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it's not that bad, but still definitely unfinished. there is a new email client, new browser, new settings application, new desktop. messaging and music still old android 2 phone-ready applications with just few large visual components on the screen. i hope they will make them new for tablets as well.

still no inbuilt epub/fb2 book reader.

apps icons still ugly as hell. new ui icons are even more uglier...

google search at the top is only for google search, which is quite useless. you can't select providers like apps, system etc like it was in android 2.

two things i don't like about new desktop and ui:
1. menu button located on the top, system tray at bottom. that's a wrong way, less ergonomic.
2. when you open apps menu it appears in a narrow row at the center of screen with horizontal scrolling. too much of unused whitespace. in other - it's pretty good.

anyway - sure large phone producers will make their own desktops, hope launcher pro will also has tablet version, so those two problems could be fixed, when 3rd party software released.

is there any links to download? sdk updater still broken since years as it unable to delete inuse tools folder... that's pathetic...

Pharos said,
What the **** is this ****? It looks terrible

Agreed. It tries to look futuristic and fails badly,

Pharos said,
What the **** is this ****? It looks terrible

I am a huge android fan and I do not know what to think about this when I see it.

That being said you put some live wallpaper behind it and those widgets it will not look so bad, what a terrible wallpaper choice for such an important product screen.

Of course it looks terrible. Google hasn't created a top drawer UI design in the entire history of the company. In my opinion, that "minimalistic" design aesthetic they tout only works for the Chrome browser, and I can only stand it because it inherits the transparency of the Windows 7 UI, making it very clean indeed.

tanjiajun_34 said,

Admit it. Just because its Google, that why its ugly?

Google doesn't exactly deserve many points when it comes to interface design in my book. It has nothing to do with them being Google.