Android ‘Honeycomb’ 3.0: Hands on experience
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ntWidgets are available on mass to add to the five-panoramic screen, which allows five desktops, all customisable with widgets and application shortcuts.
ntThere are over two dozen pre-installed widgets and application shortcuts available to make your device more customisable.
ntSimply click and drag a widget or application shortcut onto one of the five desktop spaces you have, and it will zoom into full-screen mode to help you specifically add where you want the widget to go.
ntThe screens are constantly updating with new widgets and application shortcuts you add, displaying in real-time the updates you make.
ntCrosshairs appear when adding widgets to make icons align with each other.
ntThe menus look remarkably different from before, with Google opting for a look similar to Linux-based Maemo. The interface is smooth, slick and shares similarity with Windows Phone 7, to some degree.
ntSimilar to Maemo, when a dialog displays, the background fades and more emphasis is added to the dialog, with a blue faded strip around each edge and slight transparency in the border.
ntThe storage menu allows you to see how much space is being used, ranging from media files to application usage.
ntHoneycomb also adds consistent copy-and-paste design, with iPad-like thumb tacks to select text and to move the cursor into a specific place in text.
ntThe user aesthetics are clean, simple and vibrant with the overall design and feel of Honeycomb.
ntAll the features you would expect from a mobile operating system and tablet are available with Honeycomb.
ntThere is a fine balance of settings and features available, with many enterprise ready settings to allow administrators to remotely access certain areas and apply corporate policies.
ntBut as this is a preview SDK of a pre-release operating system, not everything works perfectly yet.
ntBut as this is a preview SDK of a pre-release operating system, not everything works perfectly yet. Unfortunately the browser was one of the applications that failed to work.
ntSearch has a significant focus in Honeycomb with default Google searching options. But other searchable items include your music, your messages – including email and text messages if you are running Honeycomb on a phone – and the applications you have installed.
ntMultitasking allows you to run multiple applications and switch between the two. The bar at the bottom is drawn onto the screen, but remains permanently fixed.
ntEmail has a very Outlook-like feel to it. It just so happens that in this case I am running an Exchange-based email account.
ntEmail is smooth, quick, and clean to use without complicated features. All the usual basic features are there, including adding attachments. Text is sent in plain-text and not HTML however.
ntThe clock in the lower-right hand corner displays the notification space, where the screen orientation lock can be enabled, along with Wi-Fi and airplane mode. The rendering of this space is not perfect yet, however.
ntIf your Android device has a camera installed, Honeycomb allows you to take pictures too. There is nothing too special here, however, with some non-Android phones exhibiting better camera features than Honeycomb.
ntHowever picture sharing and setting comes as standard, with Facebook and email uploading, and the ability to set a picture to the background straight away.