Android 3.2 is the latest version of the Android platform for tablets code named as Honeycomb. Android 3.2 was released with Huawei MediaPad at CommunicAsia 2011 in Singapore on 20 June 2011. Android 3.0 is the first version of Honeycomb, the popular tablet optimized operating system released in January 2011 with the introduction of Motorola Xoom. The first upgrade to Android 3.0 was released in May 2011. The release Android 3.1 was a major update. The latest Android 3.2 is a minor revision to Android 3.1. Android 3.2 is specially designed for 7 inch devices. It also supports the latest Adobe Flash Player 10.3. SO, the difference between Android 3.1 and Android 3.2 is nothing much. Feature wise, the difference between Android 3.0 and 3.2 is almost similar to the difference between Android 3.0 and 3.1.
It’s a special release for 7″ tablets. Most of the features remain same as in Android 3.1 and supports the latest Adobe Flash Player 10.3.
Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)
Android 3.1 is the first major release to Honeycomb, this is an add on to the Android 3.0 features and the UI. It enhances the capabilities of the OS for both users as well as the developers. With the update, the UI is refined to make it more intuitive and efficient. Navigation between the five home screens is made easy, a touch of the home button in system bar will take you to frequently used homes screen. The home screen widget can be customized to add more information. And the recent apps list is expanded to more number of applications. The update also supports more varieties of input devices and USB connected accessories.
In addition to these new features, some of the standard applications are improved in order to optimize the larger screen. The improved applications are Browser, Gallery, Calendar and Enterprise Support. The improved browser supports CSS 3D, animations and CSS fixed positioning, embedded playback of HTML5 video content and plugins that use hardware accelerated tendering. Web pages can now be saved locally for offline viewing with all styling and imaging. Page Zoom performance also improved, giving a better browsing experience.
The Motorola Xoom users are the first to get the update starting from 10 May 2011. Android 3.1 is compatible with Google TV also and the upgrade to Google TV will be issued over the air at a latter date. This will bring the Google TV users the advantages to access Android market.
Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)
API Level: 12
Release: 10 May 2011
1. Refined UI
– Launcher animation optimized for faster, smoother transition to/from app list
– Adjustments in color, positioning and text
– Audible feedback for improved accessibility
– Customizable touch-hold interval
– Navigation to/from five home screens made easy. Touching the home button in system bar will return you to most frequently used home screen.
– Improved view of internal storage used by apps
2. Support for more varieties of input devices such as keyboards, mouse, trackballs, game controllers and accessories such as digital cameras musical instrument, kiosks and card readers.
– Any type of external keyboards, mouse and trackballs can be connected
– Most of the PC joysticks, game controllers and game pads can be connected except for some proprietary controllers
– More than one device can be attached simultaneously via USB and/or Blutooth HID
– No configuration or drivers required
– Support for USB accessories as host to launch related applications, if application not available the accessories can give the URL to download the application.
– Users can interact with application to control the accessories.
3. Recent Apps list is expandable to include larger number of apps. The list will have all the apps in use and recently used apps.
4. Customizable Home screen
– Re-sizable home screen widgets. widgets can be expanded in both vertically and horizontally.
– Updated home screen widget for Email app gives quick access to emails
5. New high performance Wi-Fi lock added for uninterrupted connectivity even when the device screen is off. This will be useful for streaming long duration music, video and voice services.
– HTTP proxy for each individual Wi-Fi access point can be configured. This will be used by the browser when communicating with the networks. Other Apps also may use this.
– Configuration is made easy by touch-hold of the access point in the setting
– Back up and restore the user defined IP and proxy setting
– Support for Preferred Network Offload (PNO), which works in the background and conserves battery power in case where Wi-Fi connectivity needed for longer time.
Improvements to Standard Applications
6. Improved Browser app – new features added and UI improved
– Quick Controls UI is extended and redesigned. Users can use it to view thumbnails of open tabs, to close the active tabs, access overflow menu for instant access to settings and many other.
– Supports CSS 3D, animations, and CSS fixed positioning to all sites.
– Supports embedded playback of HTML5 video content
– Save the webpage locally for offline viewing with all styling and imaging
– Improved auto login UI let users quickly sign in to Google sites and manage access when multiple users sharing the same device
– Support for plugins that use hardware accelerated rendering
– Page Zoom performance improved
7. Gallery apps improved to support Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP).
– Users can connect external cameras over USB and import pictures to Gallery with one touch
– The imported pictures are copied to local storages and it will show the balance space available.
8. Calender grids are made larger for better readability and accurate targeting
– Controls in data picker are redesigned
– Calender list controls can be hidden to create larger viewing area for grids
9. Contacts app allows full text search making it quicker to locate contacts and the results are shown from all the fields stored in the contact.
10. Email app improved
– When replying or forwarding HTML message the improved Email app sends both plain text and HTML bodies as multi-part mime message.
– Folder prefixes for IMAP accounts are made easier to define and manage
– Prefetches emails from server only when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi access point. This is done to conserve battery power and minimize data usage
– Improved home screen widget gives quick access to emails and users can cycle through email labels with the touch of the Email icon at the top of the widget
11. Improved Enterprise support
– Administrators can use the configurable HTTP proxy for each Wi-Fi access point
– Allows encrypted storage card device policy with emulated storage cards and encrypted primary storage
Android Honeycomb Tablets, Google TV
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)
Honeycomb is the first Android platform entirely designed for devices with large screens such as tablets and it is the first version of the platform designed to support symmetric multi processing in a multi core environment. Honeycomb took the advantage of the larger real estate in mind and designed the UI, the new UI looks awesome. Android 3.0 offers 5 home screens that can be customized and new wall papers. The widgets are redesigned to enhance the appearance on a large screen. The key board also redesigned with keys reshaped and repositioned and new keys are added.
With the improved web browser, surfing the net is amazing, it gives a full web browsing experience with the support of Adobe Flash Player 10.2. It has incorporated all Google apps such as Gmail, Google Calender, Google talk, Google Search, Google maps and of course a redesigned YouTube. In additon it has integrated ebooks. Google proudly boasts that it has millions of books to go with Google ebooks, currently having 3 million ebooks.
The other features that you will be bewildered with Honeycomb tablets are the face to face chat with millions of Google talk users, 3D effect in Google Map 5.0, send and receive mails on the go with Tablet optimized Gmail and redesigned camera applications.
|Android 3.0 (Honeycomb
API Level 11
|New User Features
1. New UI – holographic UI newly designed for large screen displays with content focused interaction, the UI is backward compatible, applications designed for earlier versions can be used with new UI.
2. Refined multitasking
3. Rich notification, no more popups
4. System bar at the bottom of the screen for system status, notification and it accomodates navigation buttons, as like in Google Chrome.
5. Customizable homescreen (5 homescreens) and dynamic widgets for 3D experience
6. Action bar for application control for all applications
7. Redesigned keyboard for larger screen, keys are reshaped and repositioned and new keys added such as Tab key. button in system bar to switch between text/voice input mode
8. Improvement to text selection, copy and paste; very close to what we do in computer.
9. Buil in support for Media/Picture Transfer Protocol – you can instantly sync media files through USB cable.
10. Connect full keyboard over USB or Bluetooth
11. Improved Wi-Fi connectivity
12. New support for Bluetooth tethering – you can connect more types of devices
13. Improved browser for efficient browsing and better browsing experience using the large screen – some of the new features are:
– multiple tabbed browsing instead of windows,
– incognito mode for anonymous browsing.
– single unified view for Bookmarks and History.
– improved zoom and viewport model, overflow scrolling, support for fixed positioning
14. Redesigned camera application for larger screen
– quick access to exposure, focus, flash, zoom, etc.
– built-in support for time- lapse video recording
– gallery application for full screen mode viewing and easy access to thumbnails
15. Redesigned contacts applications features for larger screen
– new two-pane UI for contacts applications
– improved formatting for international phone numbers based on home country
– contact information view in card like format for easy reading and editing
16. Redesigned Email appliations
– two-pane UI for viewing and organizing mails
– sync mail attachments for later viewing
– track emails using email widgets in the homescreen
New Developer Features
1. New UI Framework – to fragment and combine activities in different ways to create richer and more interactive applications
2. Redesigned UI Widgets for larger screen and new holographic UI theme
– developers can quickly add new types of content to relevant applications and can interact with users in new ways
– new types of widgets included such as 3D stack, search box, date/time picker, number picker, calendar, popup menu
3. Action Bar at the top of the screen can be customized by developers according to application
4. A new builder class to create notifications that include large and small icons, title, a priority flag, and any properties already available in previous versions
5. Developers can use mulitiselect, clipboard and drag and drop features to offer users more enjoyable gaming experience
6. Performance improvement to 2D and 3D graphics
– new animation framework
– new hardware accelerated OpenGL renderer to improve the performance of 2D graphics based applications
– Renderscript 3D graphics engine for accelerated graphics operations and create high performance 3D effects in applications.
7. Support for multicore processor architectures – support symmetric mulitprocessing in multicore environments, even an application designed for single core environment will enjoy the performance boost.
8. HTTP Live streaming – media framwork supports most of the HTTP Live streaming specification.
9. Pluggable DRM framework – for applications to manage protected content, Android 3.0 offers unified API for simplified management of protected contents.
10. Built-in support for MTP/PTP over USB
11. API support for Bluetooth A2DP and HSP profiles
Device administration applications can include new types of policies, such as policies for encrypted storage, password expiration, password history, and requirement of complex characters for passwords.