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Android Honeycomb News Wrap-Up

Douglas Carter
0

Google sent out invitations to a special event tomorrow where they will, in their words, give attendees an "in-depth look at Honeycomb, Android ecosystem news, and hands-on demos." In addition, Engadget has uncovered more evidence that Honeycomb will make an appearance on handsets and tablets. Finally, AndroidandMe has a tip on what the "Android ecosystem news" is that Google will reveal tomorrow.

 

Engadget did some digging into the Honeycomb preview SDK that has been available for a few days and has discovered that in addition to support for tablet-sized resolutions, at least one handset-sized resolution type is supported.

The picture above right was supposedly taken from the emulator and indicates some changes to the UI specifically designed for WVGA (800 x 480) screen resolution. While there are some inconsistencies in the UI between what we're seeing here and the progression of Android Gingerbread from FroYo, there is still time for Google to make the necessary changes to make some design elements more like the ones in Gingerbread.

The news that Honeycomb is not just designed for tablets is not new. We saw Engadget's interview with Matias Duarte back at CES where he said as much, but it is always nice to see some real evidence that Honeycomb has been designed to be compatible with the smaller screens in smartphones.

Regarding the Google event tomorrow, Engadget suggests that the event may include the announcement of more than one Honeycomb tablet, and possibly the announcement of a Honeycomb release date for smartphones. Another likely guess on my part would be that Google announces Android 2.4 as an update to Gingerbread with several bug fixes and other additions.

The invitation from Google also seems to imply that they will have working versions of Android Honeycomb devices available, which in all likelihood indicates that the Motorola XOOM with Honeycomb will be available for the press to handle and test out for themselves. We may also see Honeycomb running on some Nexus S or Nexus One handsets if we are lucky.

AndroidandMe indicate that they have received word from a trusted source who believes that Google will also unveil their web-version of the Android Market tomorrow, as well as the Google Music service which was shown off at Google I/O and was said to be available in a future Android version.

AndroidandMe contends that past statements from Google about the music service indicate that there is a very good chance that they are finally ready to show it off. A BusinessWeek article dated to late January is also used as evidence that Google is very close to finally unveiling Google Music, as a deal between the record companies and Google regarding the service was said to be close to completion.

Adding to the strength of AndroidandMe's rumor is Eric Chu's statement last week that Google is not happy with the volume of app sales. The introduction of a browser-based Android Market would certainly make accessing the Android Market easier and possibly drive up sales of apps.

In addition, a browser-based Android Market may finally extend Android Market access onto the many Android tablets which are being manufactured with no Android Market preinstalled, so this would open up many users to the possibility of finally being able to buy the apps listed in the Android Market.

Finally, the debut of the music service with Honeycomb is supported by rumors which we have heard in the past, in addition to the leaked Google Music app which has been available for awhile.

Thankfully, all should become clear tomorrow once the event gets underway.

Images from Engadget

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