Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb Operating System Review
This is the most configurable tablet operating system that comes with widest range of hardware options. It has amazing notification system and offers free GPS navigation. Adobe flash support is also provided in this OS.
Third party apps are still annoying for many. Tablet apps are somewhat difficult to find in the Android Market. UI is not really enchanting and sites tend to show WAP versions in spite of desktop Web pages in a browser.
Google’s Android Honeycomb operating system which gets the version 3.0 has now become an old OS. It has been now replaced by the newer versions, Android Ice Cream Sandwich, Android Jelly Bean and now the upcoming Android Key Lime Pie. Most of the devices have received the much improved Gingerbread (2.3) version which users like a lot for its speedy access. The current versions have also improved than what was offered in Gingerbread. Yet, there are much to see since the technology is improving, bringing more exciting experiences for users.
This OS is offered by many tablet manufacturers and now we have come up with a review of this version that will elaborate our point of having Android OS in a device than other OSes in the market. As compared to its rivals like Apple’s iOS 4.3 and RIM’s BlackBerry Tablet OS, Honeycomb has nothing much to offer. The new HP WebOS is another challenge that Android has to face to improve its tablet OS. One big disappointment is that this OS is very much weak in terms of third-party apps where others come with some good apps. This is the reason why Honeycomb tablet sales are not much in move.
Android Honeycomb has been found on many tablets as compared to what other OSes have so far earned. This is what we can say Google’s strategy of providing a particular tablet-based OS to different manufacturers. We have seen this OS in some of the leading manufacturers worldwide such as Samsung, Motorola and LG. Even smaller firms used this OS including Acer and Asus. This is a very different approach that Google have taken to beat the leading OS vendors in the market such as HP, RIM and Apple.
Earlier, this OS was not provided as open source and so the devices with this OS were expensive. Google promises that there is no hardware requirement for this OS, but all the devices have received an 8.9 inches or larger displays with 1280×1024 pixels resolution and NVIDIA Tegra 2 processors. Tablet makers have also announced that they will bring 7 and 10 inch devices with 1024×600 pixels resolution. In fact, it has also been heard that HTC EVO View 4G with a carrier of Sprint will be made available with this OS version. The device includes 1.5 GHz single core processor.
As Google has already cleared that Honeycomb won’t work on smaller screens, the efforts will be simply considered as waste. Software upgrades on this OS were simply easy. Just like the modern Android versions, this one stands in the category of modern Linux-based OS that uses Dalvik virtual machine for running the similar code like that of Java apps. This OS also supports multitasking and provides good memory management; though this has been massively improved after the launch of Ice Cream Sandwich OS.
Home Screens :
All the Honeycomb-based devices have received similar UI. They come with different built-in apps as per their wireless carrier and manufacturer. Different optional widgets also have been provided which one can choose to add or remove on home screens. The first skins that change home screens and UI were offered later from Samsung and HTC.
This version offers five user configurable home screens where the central home screen is loaded with preloaded app icons and the others are left blank for users to fill. A range of exciting elements have been added to screen. Now you are free to add widgets, many of them are live just like a little box revealing most recent email messages and weather. You can add links to apps, individual contacts, web bookmarks, shortcuts to settings screens, or music playlists. In this matter, there is no other tablet OS available in the market to provide such configurability.
At the top of home screen you can see Google search bar, buttons to add widgets and voice commands button to open the apps drawer. The apps drawer looks similar to home screen offered in BlackBerry pr iOS tablet. It is a universal search that gives you results from both web and in your device. This is a huge advantage offered in Android.
Along the bottom of the screen, you will find Home and virtual Back buttons. As far as notification is concerned, the Honeycomb is much better as compared to other tablet OSes. While using any app, you will get background notification anytime which is really appealing. In fact, the notifications are not even annoying and don’t interrupt when you are working.
Features and Performance :
This version has taken up all the basic apps that you might expect from a tablet. It holds email apps, calendar, built-in contact, and the most promising calendar app that supports pinch-to-zoom. It also displays entries from various calendars in various colors.
Same Webkit has been provided as Web browser to this OS which can be used as standard on high-end mobile devices. Therefore, many sites see it as a cellphone browser and delivers low-quality, only text pages to load easily rather than showing tablet-size pages.
Regarding performance, the browser supports a good feature, Adobe Flash 10.2 through which you get to experience some good sites. This version currently supports calendar, Microsoft Exchange contacts, email, Google, Twitter contacts, POP/IMAP email, and other user accounts for merging them together, but it still fails to go far enough. There are many Android based phones that support contacts from Facebook and calendar.
Media support is good and it reads both video and audio formats. The video player is named as Gallery and annoys the users to delve in music and videos for searching a file.
There are other built-in apps such as Google Books e-reader app, calculator, Google Maps with free GPS driving directions, desk clock, YouTube, Google Talk with video chat, providing good accessibility to the users.
A range of third-party Web browsers, video players and music can be downloaded. This is a big advantage of having Android. With all these features, Android 3.0 Honeycomb becomes the most configurable mobile operating system.
As compared to what BlackBerry Tablet OS, Apple’s iOS and HP’s WebOS offers, the Honeycomb has much more appealing factors, but manufacturer’s are not really concentrating this version based devices. If compared with iOS, the Honeycomb has got bigger factory for which you will get space, but not much to fill the space. To fill this gap, Google should think of something and deliver a more functional app store rather than making consumers rely on third party apps.
If you are tech freak and demand a good tablet, then Google Android Honeycomb based device would be an ideal choice where you can configure the home screens your way.
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