Dec 07 AT 12:28 AM Sean Riley 36 Comments

Andy Rubin demos Honeycomb running on a dual-core Motorola tablet – Update: Video

Andy Rubin hit the stage at the All Things D: Dive into Mobile Conference tonight and has taken the wraps off of Honeycomb before the Gingerbread even had a chance to cool off.

About 45 minutes into the interview, Rubin pulled what looks to be an approximately 9-10 inch Motorola tablet (the Stingray?) from his bag and proceeded to provide a brief glimpse of Honeycomb which he said we can expect “sometime next year.” Few specs were given for the tablet itself, other than the presence of a front facing camera for video chat and a dual-core 3D NVIDIA processor. It also appears to have dropped the search button from the standard 4 button configuration with just back, home and menu buttons in the lower left corner of the device and even those have gone on screen to allow them to rotate with the device.

The home screen looks like it has received some much needed tweaking to take advantage of the additional screen real estate afforded by the tablet, but with that said it still has the icons, widgets and tools that we have come to know and love so I don’t think we are looking at a wild break from the familiar there.

We didn’t see too many apps, but Gmail received a pane view which allows you to sort through your mail on the left while viewing on the right as we have seen with other tablets. It’s a simple thing, but these are the touches that are necessary to give Android the ammunition it needs in the tablet market.

That’s it for now you can check out a few of the images in the gallery below or hit the source link for Engadget’s live blog of the event, clearly Rubin just wanted to whet everyone’s appetite for Honeycomb and we should be getting more info when CES rolls around in a month.

If you were able to give Rubin feedback what advice would you have for him on what they need to achieve with Honeycomb?

Kara Swisher holding Motorola Tablet running Honeycomb Andy Rubin vertical view of Motorola tablet running honeycomb Andy Rubin holding Motorola Tablet running Honeycomb horizontally Lockscreen on Motorola tablet running Honeycomb Homescreen on Motorola tablet running honeycomb Gmail app on Motorola tablet running Honeycomb

Via: All Things D

Source: Engadget

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 5 years and covering mobile for the last 6. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • http://Website The Situation

    best pics ever?

    • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

      C’mon, it wouldn’t be the first look at something without blurry photos.

    • http://Website JAG

      I think so, but the question is, why are they speakin about honeycomb when not even gingerbread is rolling?

      • blankit

        honeycomb is for tablets

        • http://Website Roly

          Wrong, it’s optimized but not exclusively for tablets. Basically Andy said everything that will run on an Android tablet will run on an Android phone, however on tablets developers have the option to express their program differently.

      • http://Website JaylanPHNX

        Well, Gingerbread and Honeycomb have been developed concurrently by separate teams, so it’s not unlikely to see progress updates on 3.0 before 2.3 is fully rolled out. I think part of the strategy with this is the tablet support. I think Google was working on Gingerbread as an incremental upgrade when it became obvious that the tablet market was going to be huge in the very near future, so using a separate team, they began and accelerated the production of Honeycomb to meet that market demand. Having seen what’s in Gingerbread (or at least some of it) it’s obviously not a huge leap. It’s more like the step up from 2.0 to 2.1 (anyone remember the five minutes 2.0 existed?). Honeycomb should be that huge leap for phones, and a great start for serious tablets.

    • http://Website Roly

      Video! :)

  • http://Website Andy Rubin’s mother

    2011 baby, cant wait for some serious android action. nexus s was a big letdown, but honeycomb tablets/phones and dual-cores should be the remedy….

    • orginn

      so you already have the nexus s? and it was not to your liking? i bet it grat to be andy rubins mom, you get all the gadgets first

      /s

      • http://Website SpottedNigel

        I’ll take the bait…
        The Nexus S IS a pretty damn good phone… but it’s not a game changer in any way. No HSPA+, not dual-core, doesn’t even look all that special/different. It just wasn’t the “Super-Super phone” that most were hoping for.

  • http://Website Bill Nye

    Big letdown is a huge understatement. I was really looking forward to having a dual core Google Phone, only to have them unveil a regular old Galaxy S phone that’s been available for months. I wonder what HTC is working on. We haven’t heard any big rumors about them in ages…

  • http://Website Wakaka

    Yeah! Very disappointed really. All the hype about the new phone and UI. After all the time and effort all google can bring is just a change of color of the icon?!

    • http://Website Rek Aviles

      You’re clueless, if that’s what you really think gingerbread was.

      • http://Website Wakaka

        Well, I’m being a lil sarcastic but really the only obvious noticeable change was the color of the icons. Other than that it is all just upgrades that are mostly expected and probably already running on froyo or the iPhone 4.

        Nothing revolutionized or major improvements that should be in place after all the resources that have been put in and they also didn’t address all the main issue of android as well eg fragmentation etc.

        At least now I can understand why gingerbread is 2.3 and not 3.0. It is merely an upgrade rather than a evolution of froyo.

        • http://Website joyu

          Hardware acceleration is the big difference no one is pointing out! We’ll see how many devices it will work on though, gogo Gingerbread!

        • http://Website Rek Aviles

          I hear you. I think the problem was that Gingerbread and Honeycomb were being built at the same time. So with that said, we should look at it as GB being that back-end work and HC will bring the visual change we all expected.

          Did you see that Homeycomb tablet video thats going around? It looks to be a majot UI change. The unlock screen was nice looking and Gmail app looked great also.

          Can’t wait!

          • http://Website JaylanPHNX

            Well, Gingerbread and Honeycomb have been developed concurrently by separate teams, so it’s not unlikely to see progress updates on 3.0 before 2.3 is fully rolled out. I think part of the strategy with this is the tablet support. I think Google was working on Gingerbread as an incremental upgrade when it became obvious that the tablet market was going to be huge in the very near future, so using a separate team, they began and accelerated the production of Honeycomb to meet that market demand. Having seen what’s in Gingerbread (or at least some of it) it’s obviously not a huge leap. It’s more like the step up from 2.0 to 2.1 (anyone remember the five minutes 2.0 existed?). Honeycomb should be that huge leap for phones, and a great start for serious tablets.

      • http://Website UniqueNate

        Lol are you serious? People are acting like a 2.3 was a let down. I love it. Android needed a polished and clean UI. GIngerbread is the first step to that. Can’t just expect a revolutionary UI. It was missing the the threads that held it together and matured it. Talking about all it did was change colors and up things it already had. No it gave it things android needed. It wouldn’t be able to handle half the things we probably have coming if we didn’t get gingerbread. Funny because half the people complaining will most likely be the same ones complaining I want 2.3. I thought it was just a bunch of new colors that’s all. Next years hardware will be able to handle the feature of android updates and etc so what the hell did people expect from 2.3. Google is educating the mobile game and people are complaint cause 2.3 wasn’t flashy as they thought it was. One, most of you let yourselfs down by believing most of the hype. We found out most of it clearly before 2.3 was launched that it was going to be some touching up and new features here and there. That honeycomb was the big makeover. So what’s to fuss about? Not every update is supposed to be a makeover or revolutionary. You need tweaks in between. Like stages to the next one. Each one is refining it and making it so it can be ready for the next one. I personally think 2.3 was so deep into what it actually did most people dint understand what they actually have. They’re used to the flashy and obvious things. I love 2.3 and the looks of it. Can’t wait to get it.

  • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

    >> If you were able to give Rubin feedback what advice would you have for him on what they need to achieve with Honeycomb?

    Don’t repeat the same fragmentation mistakes on Android phones. At this point, I guess most of us have given up hopes that Google would do something to address the fragmentation problems on phones. Yeah yeah, I know Google thinks there’s no such things as fragmentation — but when Gingerbread is announced and there are still high-end Android phones not running Froyo, I think there IS A PROBLEM. You can call it anything. I don’t care, but don’t let this happen to a tablet.

    A tablet is more like a mini-PC. You don’t expect to buy a PC, and then 1 year later, find yourself having a piece of metal (or plastic) that can’t be updated to the latest version of the OS.

    • http://Website Rek Aviles

      With mentions of ‘duelcore’ tabs coming to the market, I doubt the won’t be able to get upgrades to the next Android build.

      As of now, its really up to the carrier and makers of the phone, to get them up to the lastet OS version. That is the very reason why Google put out another Nexus phone. If not, google themselves would be waiting for a phone, just to promote it.

      Will there be phones that will never see gingerbread? Yep, but last I checked, there are pcs and laptops that can’t handle an upgrade to vista or Win7… it happens and companies don’t mind, cause they know you’ll buy the upgrade to get the latest.

    • http://Website Unicorn56

      Are you kidding? You can still today buy a pc running Vista that can’t be upgraded satisfactorily to Win 7! The truth is that when it was just Apple “revolutionizing” smartphones, things moved at the pace Mr J decreed… one OS tailored to one device… now, with Android (and web OS, Win Phone 7, etc) and mulitple manufacturers entering the game things are moving at an incredible pace, driven by competition! Hardware that was not thought possible just last year is now the new standard and can run software that was not possible before it arrived. So, should we just stop innovation of this new OS because some people can’t afford to buy the newest phones? Eventually it will level out and the rate of progress will slow. But for now, I am enjoying the Android Explosion! Give me that tablet and be sure it has LTE!

    • http://Website Adam of Troy

      as for OS fragmentation and android hardware…

      i feel that most people that can’t get an update don’t care (i.e. – everyone’s mom) and most people that want an update date are savvy enough to pick out a device that will get one (pretty much anyone that reads this blog)…

      i don’t think there’s a giant stampede of heavy duty android phones getting left behind or a huge user base of folks angerly awaiting their phones next update.

  • http://Website Schleppy

    It looks like GMail received a much needed interface update. It also looks like the search button is now part of the Honeycomb UI (see upper right corner of shot #5)?

    • http://www.google.com/profiles/anakin78z anakin78z

      All buttons are now part of the UI. The device has no physical navigation buttons.

  • http://Website UniqueNate

    Hopefully engadgets article and short hands on video will help those who don’t really appreciate 2.3 and the purpose of it, and how it was needed.
    http://engt.co/ib3jEt

    No disrespect to Android and Me. This is just for the people who are downing 2.3.

    • http://Website Wakaka

      I don’t think people are downing 2.3. Any android users or fans would love to see improvements. But the thing is most people are disappointed because we expect and respect the Google/Android team so much and hence would hope that the 2.3 will bring some kind of breakthrough.

      Instead, most if not all the improvements are already available on the iPhone 4 ( this sucks!). I know Android is new but Gingerbread’s improvements have really show a significant slowing down in their improvements on the OS and innovation and creativity. Did they ran out of idea? Or they just too content with what they have achieved? Hardware accelerator?! Didn’t we android fans always laugh at iPhone when they say their phone can finally do multitasking, this just feels like those fanboy might just found something for payback. -.-

      So definitely would love to see Honeycomb as the solution and bring Android to the next level. Also, hoping that 3.0 will feature in phones too.

  • http://Website Alex

    You know it’s funny, I actually had an idea for the buttons in Android which directly resembles what we’re seeing on this tablet.

    I thought to myself a few months ago that as you rotate the screen, the buttons should correspond to that and appear right-side-up no matter what way you were holding it.

    It makes me wonder if eventually android will do away with the fixed buttons, and move to this type of thing seen on honeycomb.

  • http://Website LSU chef

    we have tablets in our mensa

  • http://Website Rudy Anbin

    Once i had a Motorola ROKR, it was terrible.

  • http://Website freakfingers12

    First, I can’t stand that woman. Just shut the hell up! I don’t think she belongs there. The interviewers kept mentioning Apple, I don’t think they are sitting on the fence, they are quite biased.

    Second, I am happy to hear that Honeycomb would also come to Android phones. WOOOT! Love that lock screen.

    • http://Website Jammertron

      I don’t think it’s bias as much as it is comparing the tablet that is being demoed to what is definitely the current leader of the tablet space, the iPad. People enjoy the iPad interface for a reason, and the panel was simply trying to get Andy to explain differentiators that will push the Android experience beyond what the iPad offers. Since the iPad is out, and Honeycomb is not, that’s really all they have to go on.

    • http://Website Adam of Troy

      what fence is there to sit on? galaxy tab doesn’t have any tablet optimizations yet, gingerbread looks to greatly change this.

      • http://Website Adam of Troy

        *honeycomb

  • http://Website grimduk

    It looked like andy rubin wanted to punch that man and lady for keep asking questions like “apple already does that” “there is only one button on the ipad” I wanted to punch them that is for sure!

    • http://Website UniqueNate

      Yea, some of their questions were really dumb. Cause the stuff they kept saying Apple already does, is not a Apple thing. It’s just a way you go about it when it comes to Tablets. For example: when they were asking and talking about the api being different so they could alter the way it looks on Tablets from phones, that is a common standard. Why would you want the same UI look that a app has on a phone put on a tablet. It doesn’t fit right. That’s why some apps look funny or doesn’t fit to screen on the iPad now. If you jailbreak a iPad and load cydia up the applications is like a strip down the middle of the screen. it doesn’t fit. and not all apps can be used for the iPad that are used for phones and vice versa.

      I mean some of Samsungs apps are the same but look different on the Galaxy Tab because its a Tab. You need it to be functional and a more professional view of it on tabs. They might as well say that oh, Samsung does that or any other manufacturer does that. It’s a standard and common thing. Things like those are always used and shared throughout businesses. The way they put it, listeners who aren’t educated on it much will see it as Android is copying when they’re not. Similar and same are two different things.

  • http://Website Max

    He’ll soon be getting $10,000 in the post :P He’s named his price ;D