Android 3.0 Honeycomb: The Android version we all forgot

Android 3.0 Honeycomb debuted again in 2011 with a holographic UI that was clearly impressed by sci-fi components. Google designed Honeycomb particularly for tablets, introducing loads of new interface components to benefit from the added display screen actual property. The interface appeared like one thing out of Tron, and Google even added a 3D scrolling impact for searching by means of albums in Play Music and movies on YouTube.

Honeycomb was launched alongside the Motorola Xoom, and the working system ended up on over a dozen tablets over the next 12 months. The architect of Honeycomb’s UI was none aside from Matias Duarte, Google’s vice chairman of design.

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Android followers will know Duarte from his work on Material Design — the design language that underpins all of Google’s apps and providers — however the govt kicked off his journey at Google with Honeycomb. Duarte was Palm’s UI VP and the driving pressure behind webOS, however following Palm’s sale to HP again in 2010, he moved to Google to function the consumer expertise director for Android.

Honeycomb launched on-screen navigation buttons, resizable widgets, fast settings tiles, and a lot extra.

Honeycomb was an enormous launch within the context of Android as a complete as a result of it launched loads of the important thing UI components which might be current to today. Many of the options that had been launched in Honeycomb made their solution to telephones with Ice Cream Sandwich and subsequent releases.

Let’s take a fast have a look at simply among the highlights: on-screen navigation buttons, resizable and scrollable widgets, capability to uninstall apps simply, app previews with a card-like UI within the recents menu, a brand new keyboard, entry to quantity controls for media and alarms from a single location, and the flexibility to set a lock display screen message in case you lose your gadget.

Now, all of these options ought to be acquainted to you when you’ve used an Android telephone within the final seven years, and it is unbelievable to assume that they made their debut in Honeycomb. One other key addition in Honeycomb was the fast settings tiles on the notification shade. Whereas the tiles have picked up loads of design refreshes through the years and are extra interactive now, they first confirmed up in Honeycomb.

Customized ROMs supplied an analogous set of tiles on telephones operating Gingerbread, however Google baked the toggles into Android with Honeycomb, making it simpler for everybody to entry the characteristic. Honeycomb additionally launched gadget encryption, and you would join keyboards and different equipment over USB or Bluetooth. Oh, and Bluetooth tethering additionally debuted with Honeycomb.

Though Honeycomb failed, it was a key milestone in Android’s development.

Though Honeycomb had a radical new design and thrilling options, it pale into obsolescence comparatively quickly. It was simply too unstable in day-to-day use, and the tablets that ran the working system had been sub-par, to say the least. Numerous that needed to do with the truth that Honeycomb was rushed out the door; Google wanted a tablet-based OS to tackle the iPad, and in its haste to launch the OS it launched a half-baked product.

In the end. Honeycomb was simply not match for client use. Frequent app crashes, lack of Flash, laggy efficiency, and protracted stability points led to the downfall of the tablet-focused OS. There was additionally the truth that Honeycomb was closed-source, with Google failing to offer the kernel supply for the OS. Though Google launched 3.1 and three.2 releases to repair many of the issues, the harm was already finished by that time, and Honeycomb was silently swept beneath the rug lower than a yr after its launch.

Whereas Honeycomb failed, Google was capable of salvage one of the best options and convey them to telephones with later releases. So the following time you swipe down on the notification pane to entry a fast setting tile, faucet and maintain on an app to delete it, or use the on-screen navigation keys in your telephone, spare a thought for Honeycomb and what it did to maneuver Android ahead.

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