It was never going to be pretty – but it’s officially all out tab war.
This comes as the Internet titan unveils its latest Android platform for tablets – in a bid to demolish the reign of the Apple iPad.
The much hyped 3.0 Honeycomb, replacing the 2.3 Gingerbread, has just released its first preview, in an attempt to entice developers who are already said to hold much favour towards the OS.
Honeycomb promises to be everything users love about the OS but new additions including a “holographic” UI theme and interaction model.
It is “designed to give developers the tools and capabilities they need to create great applications for tablets and similar devices, together with the flexibility to adapt existing apps to the new UI while maintaining compatibility with earlier platform versions and other form-factors, ” Google’s Xavier Ducrohet, its Android SDK Tech Lead wrote on a blog yesterday.
Last week, Smarthouse reported on how Google is fast becoming the dominating Smartphones platform as Android offers both devices and apps at a significantly lower cost, thus it is very likely the tabs market could steer in the same direction.
“The dominant software platforms, Apple and Google, will attract the most attention from the cream of the developers.
“They will have the best, most talked about applications and content and, when all is said and done, this is what people will consider when making a purchasing decision, said analysts at Telsyte earlier this month.
“Android has taken over from what I can see,” adds industry expert, Will Sullivan.Motorola Mobility, Samsung and Asus are just some of the big tab names jumping on the Android bandwagon.
Telstra are also said to be launching a new HTC Tablet running Android Honeycomb later this year.The preview is to allow developers to get familiar with the new UI patterns, APIs, and capabilities that will be available in Android 3.0, says Google.
Its UI framework promises new themes, richer widgets and drag and drop function for more engaging apps on bigger tabs screens, as well as 2D and 3D graphics, writes Ducrohet.
The Honeycomb 3.0 version will also usher in a slew of new multimedia features for tabs such as HTTP Live streaming support, a pluggable DRM framework, and easy media file transfer through MTP/PTP.
In addition, Google is setting its sights on the business user, with new ‘enterprise tools’ including “encrypted storage and password expiration” to meet the demands of the office.
Yesterday, analysts at Deloitte predicted the rise of tabs for business in 2011.
The PC era is over, the analysts said, and this year “represents a tipping point as we move from a world of mostly standardised PC-like devices to a far more heterogeneous environment.”
Following on from this week’s release, a final version of the honeycomb SDK will be available “in the weeks ahead,” according to Google.