Android 3.1 official, OTA download available now XOOM

Plus: New iteration of Honeycomb boasts extra speed

USB friendliness, movie rentals and a speed boost

At Google’s I/O developer conference yesterday the search giant lifted the lid on the next iteration of its Android tablet platform, Honeycomb. Otherwise known as Android 3.1, this new version boasts a few extra features that eke more joy from Android tablets, as well as cramming in some extra speed.

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Motorola XOOM video

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Among the new features is Google’s movie rental service, which sports a range of today’s top Hollywood fodder for streaming, at a price of $1.99 (£1.20). There’s also increased compatibility with USB devices, meaning you should be able to plug any device into your tablet and have it be recognised.

The most intriguing thing is speed, though. Both the web browser and the user interface in general have been reported as being noticeably faster than the version of Android Honeycomb (3.0) that the XOOM came with. This is said to be due to increased support for hardware graphics acceleration, but if the end result is a nippier OS, then we’re all for it.

The jump to Android 3.1 comes as an OTA update, so it’s up to Google as to when each specific Motorola Xoom will receive its virtual ticket. Had the upgrade? Let us know your thoughts on the T3 Twitter feed.