Last year at CES 2011 Google had introduced their tablet OS Honeycomb which was primarily designed from ground up for the tablets. This was Google’s first attempt at entering the tablet market.
Initially with the launch of the iPAD Apple had significantly taken a large share of the tablet market. Moreover they had used their existing iOS to power their tablet which made it backward compatible with their phones.
This allowed the developers to develop a single application for the iOS device and it was able to run in tablet or phone.
With Honeycomb Google tried to take the remaining share of the tablet market and they were successful. Honeycomb features completely redesigned UI and also made it tablet friendly.
But there was a problem the architecture used to design Honeycomb was different from the one that was used to design and develop Gingerbread. As a result various app developers had to develop separate apps for tablets as well as for phones.
This resulted in the increased cost for developing an app as a result most of the developers switched their attention to android powered phones leaving the Honeycomb market with minimum amount of apps.
To facilitate the cross platform compatibility like Apple had done with their iOS Google have developed Ice Cream Sandwich which aims at bridging the gap between tablet and phone.
With this new Android 4.0 OS it has now become easier for the developers to develop one single apps and it will run in the phone as well as the tablet. With Ice cream sandwich Google have removed the limitations that plagued the Honeycomb.
Enough about Ice cream sandwich now let’s take a look at what made the Honeycomb unique and revolutionary in android world.
Honeycomb features a completely redesigned UI was designed for use in large screen such as tablets. Google termed it the holographic UI which was split in 5 home screens which you can customize with widgets.
You can customize the desktop with wallpapers, widgets etc. When selecting widgets one touch will display the list of available home screen and you can place the widget in any screen of your choice without the need of scrolling through every home screen.
Initially the stock browser in android phones used to suffer with performance issues but in Honeycomb they have addressed this issue and as a result have come up with a browser which Google describe as best in class.
Google have decided to incorporate some of the features that are found in their chrome browser such as tabbed browsing, auto-fill, syncing with your chrome bookmarks and an incognito mode.
3. Video Calling:
Apple had introduced Facetime in their iOS devices which enabled a user to place a live call via WI-FI to other iOS devices for free. Google have introduced this feature in their honeycomb powered tablets as video calling.
Now you will be able to place calls from one tablet to another via WI-FI but the feature only works for devices with Honeycomb installed.
Google had introduced their eBooks service through the launch of the Honeycomb and they also have updated their eBook app.
Now you will be able to read or purchase thousands of books from their online store and also you get access to New York Times best sellers. The app provides a cover flow like animation when you are reading through books.
There you have some of the feature that made Honeycomb truly revolutionary for the tablet world. After it was released many major mobile manufacturers have produced their own tablets with Honeycomb.
Honeycomb had faults which were corrected in the Ice cream sandwich so now you in the latest android iteration you get the best of both worlds, the tablet world as well as the phone world.