Google has released Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) SDK mainly for developers as they can see how their apps are going to look on the new upcoming tablet OS of Google. The new mobile OS flavor was meant mainly for devices that sport larger screens, and comes with a new “holographic” UI theme, as well as with increased focus on multitasking, notifications, widgets, and other features specific to the platform.
Android 3.0 is also popularly known as Honeycomb, and this version is more optimized for large screen devices like the tablets (and may be desktops too!!!), while fixing several known issues with the earlier versions! It also brings with it the new holographic UI that is vastly improved for navigation, interaction and customization! Android 3.0 also enables improved multi-tasking, with a Recent Apps list in the System Bar, helping users to visually jump from one application context to another!
Connectivity is another area that android 3.0 makes a lot of promise as it will provide built-in support for media/photo Transfer Protocol for syncing media files through through USB devices! It wlill also provide improved wi-fi connectivity, connectivity through full keyboards and support for bluetooth tethering!
From a developer’s perspective, android 3.0 sdk introduces modular (reusable) fragments as a building block for building multipane UI! It will also help them jump start building their apps through an updated set of UI widgets for quickly adding new types of content!
Other improvements include HTTP Live streaming, hardware accelarated 2D and 3D grpahics, support for multicore processor architectures, extensible DRM framework to manage protected content and significant enhancements for building enterprise apps. by supporting more policies inlcuding those for encrypted storage, password expiration, password history, and strong password requirements!
Above all, it ensures backward compatibility for existing apps, enabling them to seamlessly upgrade to the new holographic UI theme by just adding a single attribute in their manifest files! Expsting apps can also be enhanced to take advantage of the support for large screens (tablets) by creating dedicated layouts and assets for them!
To download and install android sdk 3.0 preview, you should have already installed the current Android SDK Download. You can then launch the “Android SDK and AVD Manager” to install Android SDK (Honeycomb) Preview, Tools (revision 9), Platform-Tool (revision 2), documentation and samples for the new SDK API (Preview)!
Google notifies developers that the current emulator included in the Android 3.0 SDK preview is not optimal in performance and the boot up can take several minutes, depending on your harware! They however promise to improve upon this in further releases!
Download android 3.0 SDK, develop and test your apps against the more versatile OS!
Video Preview of Android 3.0: