Thursday, January 27, 2011

Android 3.0 Preview & Updated SDK Tools

Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) is a new version of the Android platform that is designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. It introduces a new
“holographic” UI theme and an interaction model that builds on the things people love about Android — multitasking, notifications, widgets, and others — and adds many new features as well.
Besides the user-facing features it offers, Android 3.0 is also specifically designed to give developers the tools and capabilities they need to create great applications for tablets and similar devices, together with the flexibility to adapt existing apps to the new UI while maintaining compatibility with earlier platform versions and other form-factors.
It's still going to be a little bit before you can get your hands on a Xoom, but if you'd like to start playing with the Honeycomb SDK right now -- and hey, developers, we'd encourage you to do just that -- Google's now made it possible. A version of the Android 3.0 SDK billed as a "preview" is now available for download, featuring "non-final" APIs and system images that will help would-be Android tablet devs get their feet wet as they prepare for an inevitable onslaught of these things over the next few months. So go on, get it while the gettin's good.