03
Feb
honeycomb logo

If, for whatever reason, you didn't believe that Honeycomb is an OS built exclusively for tablets (despite the third slide of Google's official video teaser), here's yet more proof for your doubting mind.

First up, we have a report from PC Magazine, who has been told by a "company spokesman" that Honeycomb will not be available on Android smartphones. However, some of its features will be carried over (PC Mag thinks Movie Studio and browser enhancements are likely candidates) - just as should be expected.

Additionally, Phandroid has a "trusted source" who claims that Google is currently working on Android build GRI17 (that's Gingerbread post-Honeycomb, or Ice Cream Sandwich). And guess what? They too have been informed that it's not a Honeycomb port per se, though some elements from Android 3.0 will be included.

I can't say I'm disappointed - if you ask me, phones and tablets should have different UIs, given the differences in their specifications (specifically, their screen sizes). So long as features like Renderscript and Movie Studio make it to the small screen - albeit with slightly tweaked interfaces - I'll be one happy Android blogger.

Sources: Phandroid, PC Magazine

Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

  • Falken

    My guess:-
    API 9 (Gingerbread) = Phones, not really suitable for tablets.

    API 10 (Honeycomb) = Tablets + big screens, but lacking support for phones.

    API 11 (Ice Cream Sandwich) = Will support both tablets and phones.

    There cannot be an API level 9.2 - it has to be a whole number. So if Honeycomb doesn't support phones then surely the next update for phones would have to be built on Honeycomb or a later version.

    • Coldman

      That sounds about right.

  • Eric

    "I can’t say I’m disappointed – if you ask me, phones and tablets should have different UIs, given the differences in their specifications (specifically, their screen sizes)."

    While I agree with this, I'm extremely dissapointed if google does this long term (short term is ok, apple did the same thing with the iPad initially). The problem isn't UI, there can be a subversion of each version (ie Ice Cream for Phones, Ice Cream for Tablets), the problem comes from features.

    Assume I'm an app dev (which I'm teaching myself java for this very purpose), and I can look at how I want to develop my app. I can develop for a phone OS or a tablet OS. I want to take advantage of this cool new XOOM I bought, so tablet version it is. Ok, I've gotten some good feedback, but now I want to make a phone version. Oh, you mean the API's are not the same? I may have to rewrite my app? BAD!! To this point, I've seen very little problem with fragmentation. If tablets and phones use totally different API's, this is a huge problem.

    Make them both have access to the same API's please.

    • http://androidpolice.com Jaroslav Stekl

      Agreed, both platforms should have access to the same core APIs, though - if you ask me - there should also be some additional APIs only available on tablets (and vice versa). Of course you shouldn't have to rewrite the app from scratch - you should just have to add to/modify some existing code.

  • Deon

    Nah, I'm sure I'll find a honeycomb rom for my T-Mobile G2 soon enough. :-) There will be some who try to run it on their phones, you know it :-)

  • TareX

    If it doesn't have GPU acceleration, I WILL be disappointed.

    I wanted HC on phones...

  • TB

    has anyone seen the movie studio app?

  • Daniel B

    I bought the Nexus One on the brief that google would provide the latest updates to the phone before anyone else and now feel slightly cheated.

  • Mike Lothian

    I assume the new UI is more like having a different launcher installed

    The android project consisting of many different repos would mostly be reused with only the launcher and a few other packages being different

    API11 will allow apps to be designed for both UIs which will be build on the experience (and problems faced) with API's 9 & 10

    It isn't a different OS - it just looks different!