Android 3.1 Honeycomb: All you need to know

How Google has made the Honeycomb a little sweeter

Things we can look forward to from Android 3.1

Revealed alongside Ice Cream Sandwich, in the more immediate OS proceedings, Android 3.1 is the first Honeycomb update that aims to make your tablet life a more pleasurable one.

Already available for the Motorola Xoom in the US, we take a look at the new features we can look forward to when it's finally UK-bound.

See below for our best features of Android Honeycomb 3.1

1/ Customizable widgets

As well as the cleaner, more intuitive UI, 3.1 now allows you to stretch widgets horizontally and vertically making for a more customized fit on the five homescreens.

2/ More Recent Apps

Users can now view a wider number of apps, scrolling vertically through the expanded list of recent apps. This should help to enhance your multitasking powers.

3/ USB support

Google has opened up the parameters of USB and Bluetooth connectivity allowing Android tablet users to plug in multiple input devices like keyboards and for gaming fiends, peripherals like the Xbox 360 gamepad.

4/ Importing photos

Honeycomb 3.1 now brings Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) support to the Gallery which will allow you to hook up your digital camera and transfer over your photos to your tablet. A similiar process will also be enabled for transferring music from your portable media device.

5/ Refined home button

While it will largely stay the same in the looks department, users will now be able to be directed to the most recently used home screen panel as opposed to the center panel.

6/ Mouse support

Giving your tablet a little of the old PC feel, 3.1 will bring support for your navigational device letting you point, drag, select and scroll around your tablet.

7/ Browser

To make your surfing a little more slick, the new browser brings plenty of new features including faster page zooming, an extended quick controls user interface, postioning support and HTML5 video playback. Web pages can now be saved locally for offline viewing which includes imaging.

8/ Email and Contacts

Full text searching has been added to Contacts to make finding people that little bit easier. Sending emails will now be performed in both plain text and HTML ensuring that it is formatted correctly for all to receive it.

9/ Open Accessory API

It's one for developers, but could see Android entering our lives in a different way. The new API brings a platform that will support hardware accessories. Google demonstrated its potential by showing an Android-powered smatphone connected to an electric bike that can detect an Android app that can be used during your workout. Google also showed off a labyrinth maze controlled by a Motorola Xoom, so the possibilities seem endless.

10/ Honeycomb 3.1 release date

It's already been rolled out as an OTA (Over The Air) update to Motorola Xoom users in the US where it is also set to land for Google TV in the summer. There's no news as yet on a UK arrival, but we hope it won't be too long of a wait.

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Honeycomb: 10 things to do straight away video

Source: T3 Tech Videos
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