May 10 AT 12:12 PM Nick Gray 13 Comments

Android Honeycomb 3.1 enhancements announced at Google I/O

Honeycomb enhancements are on their way with the new 3.1 update which will be pushed out to the Motorola XOOM as of today.  This new update features a few enhancements which should make your tablet experience a bit more enjoyable.

First on the list of Android 3.1 enhancements is a more robust multi-tasking and app-switching mechanism. Rather than simply showing you a few of the most recent apps you have used, the latest version of Honeycomb will show a complete history of all the apps you have used.

The new update will also bring enhancements to Honeycomb widgets. Basically, you now have the ability to resize widgets to whatever size fits your needs.  Get a lot of email? Simply make your Gmail widget larger. Have a busy schedule? Just long-press your calendar widget and drag the edges out.

In order to make Android tablets more USB friendly, Honeycomb 3.1 can now function as a USB host. Adding USB host functionality will give users the ability to plug in their digital camera and transfer files directly to their tablet or even use mice, keyboards, and game devices to interact with the OS and apps. 

Google also revealed that Honeycomb 3.1 will roll out to Google TV. Current Google TV devices should expect to receive the OTA update this summer with the inclusion of the Android Market. 

Honeycomb 3.1 may not seem like a huge step forward, but the enhancements Google is pushing out should push the platform forward, making it a stronger competitor with iOS.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • http://Website AdamJ

    I really hope they have improved the browser too. It needs work.

    • http://Website labrat


      The Browser app includes a variety of new features and UI improvements that make viewing web content simpler, faster, and more convenient.

      The Quick Controls UI, accessible from Browser Settings, is extended and redesigned. Users can now use the controls to view thumbnails of open tabs and close the active tab, as well as access the overflow menu for instant access to Settings and other controls.

      To ensure a consistent viewing experience, the Browser extends it’s support for popular web standards such as CSS 3D, animations, and CSS fixed positioning to all sites, mobile or desktop. It also adds support for embedded playback of HTML5 video content. To make it easier to manage favorite content, users can now save a web page locally for offline viewing, including all styling and images. For convenience when visiting Google sites, an improved auto-login UI lets users sign in quickly and manage access when multiple users are sharing a device.

      For best performance, the Browser adds support for plugins that use hardware accelerated rendering. Page zoom performance is also dramatically improved, making it faster to navigate and view web pages.



    • http://Website 0.3.1 honeytomb

      UI looks too cluttered. FAIL


    very disappointed in this update

    • Nick Gray

      What do you think is missing? Google simply highlighted some of the big feature enhancements with 3.1, I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of other tweaks that will improve performance and add other functionality as well.

  • Jeffroid

    I don’t like the part – “making it a stronger competitor with iOS” … why are you comparing a true tablet OS with an….iPhone-OS-enlarged-to-tablet-size OS?

    • http://Website DP

      Like it or not, the iPhone-OS-enlarged-to-tablet-size OS is selling like hotcakes, i mean I have one too. But, will be getting rid of it, because iOS and iTunes can eat a fat dik! Still doesn’t change its runaway success story, and the tens of million of devices on the market, minus 1.

      Samsung needs to hurry and release that 10.1!

  • http://Website Richard Yarrell

    iOS 5 will blow this out of the rotten honey!

    • http://Website Owain

      Apple will ‘change everything again’ and add limited widget support…

    • http://Website firerock

      If you are so anti-android, why are you visiting this site? Afraid of Android beat down?

  • http://Website Mandy Rubin

    After the gingerbread debacle im holdin my breath and hope they DONT FUCK UP AGAIN.

  • http://Website Thomas

    It’s a 100MB update and has made my wireless connection run crazy. Did not connect to any network availalbe. Resizeable widgets is a joke. Only a few are resizable while most apps do not run properly on honeycomb anyway as they do on a smartphone. It is so disappointing to see that the so called improvements are not visible. I have bought an Acer A500 and after the first week I started to regret to have not bought a small laptop or netbook instead. Good old windows runs at least without restrictions for simple tasks like moving folders etc.