Honeycomb is one of the biggest updates in Android history, so naturally, I jumped at the chance to try it out via the newly released Android 3.0 "preview SDK." What I found certainly wasn't disappointing - though it's important to remember that this is just a preview, meaning that not everything is in working order (for example, the emulator is so slow it made me want to tear my hair out at times, not to mention the frequent force close messages).
The Honeycomb SDK preview, allowing everyone to take a peek and play around with Honeycomb using the Android emulator, was launched yesterday, but after we got past the initial excitement, we found that the emulator itself was dog slow and pretty much unusable. In fact, it was so frustrating to use it that I wanted to punch walls and rip out my hair after 5 minutes with it. And I'm not even going to talk about orientation problems - how the Android team managed to ship the SDK with orientation broken by default (there is a fix for it in the Settings > Display) is beyond me and beyond the scope of this article.
The Android team sure has a sense of humor. Previously, in the Froyo SDK, besides tons of awesome code, they've also added a function called wtf() (What a Terrible Failure) and an even more hilarious isUserAMonkey() that returns true if the user interface is currently being messed with by a monkey.
Examining the Honeycomb SDK docs released earlier today, armed with a hint from Roman Nurik, I found the following gem: fyiWillBeAdvancedByHostKThx().
The Android Developers Blog just announced the availability of a "preview" of the upcoming Android 3.0 SDK. Developers can start getting their Honeycomb on immediately, as the preview is available via the Android SDK and AVD manager as part of the Android SDK.
But even more exciting is the fact that the Android Developers page has been updated with a plethora of information regarding Honeycomb and its features. Where to begin?
If there's one thing CES told us about the upcoming twelve months in technology, it's that 2011 will be the year of Android tablets. And with noteworthy entries such as the Motorola XOOM, ASUS' lineup, and the T-Mobile G-Slate, it looks like the tablets' quality might be just as high as their quantity - at least hardware-wise.
But what about the software? After all, isn't a device's OS what makes or breaks it?
As a fan of Ubuntu, I really love using Mozilla Firefox. In my opinion, it is the best desktop browser out there (sorry, Chrome). It was because of my love for Firefox that I became elated when I first heard that Mozilla would be developing a browser for the Android platform.
Having followed the development of Firefox for Android from an alpha and now to a beta, I jumped at the chance to interview software engineer Matt Brubeck, one of the lead developers of Firefox for Android.
Earlier today, we received a tip regarding Notion Ink's yet-to-be-released developer program for its "Genesis" app platform. Indeed, while the developer homepage remains relatively useless, the leaked developer program registration page the tipster sent us does appear to be legitimate and even comes complete with terms and conditions.
Update: As some of you so eloquently pointed out, the developer program was indeed active at one point, and the registration has now been closed (at least partially, apparently).
As promised earlier this week, Notion Ink CEO Rohan Shravan took time out of his schedule to answer a number of questions from Android Police. What did we ask the creator of the Android world's most anticipated tablet device? A lot of the questions you, our readers, wanted answers to - as well as a few of our own. The interview, in its entirety, below.
Questions From Our Readers
AP: Many have speculated about Notion Ink's production capacity - can you tell us how many Pixel Qi units were sold on pre-order?
We, Android developers, spend our days staring at a computer screen, most likely at one of Eclipse's windows. Eclipse is an amazing IDE in theory, but it never quite feels complete and polished, mostly due to the fact that it's powered by open source enthusiasts and is based almost entirely on plugins (if you want to get it to do anything useful, that is).
Being Android developers, the plugin we are using every day is ADT - Android Development Tools, written by Google engineers, mostly @tornorbye and @droidxav who I've been conversing over twitter lately and annoying with filing numerous ADT bugs (hi, if you're reading!).
With Android 2.3, users will have not only a slew of new features (I can't wait!), but also a fix to a security issue present in the previous versions of Android: TapJacking. TapJacking occurs when a malicious application displays a fake user interface that you can interact with, but actually secretly passes interaction events, such as finger taps, to a hidden user interface behind it. Using this technique, a devious developer could potentially trick a user into making purchases, clicking on ads, installing applications, or even wiping all of the data from the phone.