Today has definitely been one of the more exciting days this year, at least in the Android department. Last week, Google sent out invitation for a Honeycomb-related event, where we, of course, were expecting detailed walkthroughs of Android 3.0 and hands-on with the Motorola XOOM.

Rumors of the web store that was promised almost a year ago as well as Google Music, teased at the same time at Google I/O last year, were flying, and one of them definitely came true today - we've finally got ourselves a web-based Market with over-the-air app installations.

Instead of Google Music, we got a different present in the form of in-app purchases, which will, hopefully, put an end to multiple variations of apps (Lite, keys, Demo, etc), help curb piracy, and allow for easier microtransactions within existing aps and games.

We've witnessed an extensive and very interesting demo of Honeycomb, including

  • the new notification system
  • tablet-grade Gmail with drag-and-drop features
  • the music player with popup controls
  • the new camera app made specifically for tablets
  • Google Talk with video chat
  • Google Body
  • Monster Madness and Great Battles that properly utilize 2 cores at the same time
  • an exclusive CNN app
  • the new web-based Market
  • in-app purchases
  • YouTube video wall
  • the new Google Books
  • and and much-much more

Additionally, SwiftKey, one of my favorite keyboards, announced SwiftKey Tablet, with a magical 3-way-split design and Tron-like UI. This app is definitely going to be one of the first things I'll be installing on my first Honeycomb tablet, whatever it may end up being.

Here are a few pictures to get you started, followed by the full video of today's event:

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wm_2011-02-02 16h30_58 wm_2011-02-02 16h13_47

Source: YouTube

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • the Goat

    So no discussion about how the carriers and device manufacturers are crippling android with all the artificial restrictions and bloat they force into the OS?

    All the android stuff from Google is outstanding. But I have no device that I can buy to get an unencumbered experience.

  • GergS

    the Goat - if you care that much, root and flash CyanogenMod. It's out for like 14+ phones now...

    • the Goat

      My phone (Droid) is rooted and I do run a custom ROM. The improvement over the official firmware is night and day.

      My point is I should not have to take those extra steps to get what I already pay the device manufacturer and service provider to deliver. Why do I have to void my warranty and risk the wrath of my service provider just to use android as it was originally designed?

  • chris

    The thing I don't understand about manufacturer and carrier mods are why they have to be so tightly intergrated with Android, it seems that around 99% of it could be Widgets, apps and custom launchers that could be available in the market, or re-downloadable via a code on their website. This, in my mind would be better all round.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Absolutel, but it seems like they want to change menu styles and other intimate aspects. Companies like Sony Ericsson have realized how much extra unneeded effort it takes and are stepping back, decoupling their layer from the OS, starting with the Arc. This is what every manufacturer should be doing.

      • chris

        Yes, it seems one of the most unlikely manufacturers is going to be leading the way. I can't wait for HTC to follow their lead as I love the physical design of their devices. And the 4.3" screens.

  • Reuben

    Do I see an apple computer used to demonstrate the Android Honeycomb

  • http://www.chromeadvisor.com Ross

    A detailed review of the new website shows that the features, functionality and layout are remarkably similar to the Chrome Web Store, which leads us to believe that they share a common platform and simply have different “skins” applied for look and feel along with some features filtered by device platform.


    What do you think?