Google unveils next-gen Android platform for tablets

February 2, 2011 7:07:17 PM PST
Google was doing a full-court press Wednesday morning to provide developers to create new applications for tablets. The company is unveiling Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the latest version of its mobile platform, designed specifically for tablets. In a demonstration for media at its Mountain View headquarters, Google is showing that it is anxious to take on Apple's iPad, currently the market leader in tablets.

"Well, I think it's an entirely different experience; Android is different from all the other platforms out there, we have our unique character, and you'll see that continued in Honeycomb as well, and we hope that users enjoy it," Google Director of Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer said.

Honeycomb appears to be strong on graphics and video. It can handle both 2D and 3D graphics. Google has redesigned its email service, GMail, so it is more fluid on the tablet screen. It will support both a front-facing and user-facing camera. A game maker is already working on adapting existing games to take advantage of Android 3.0's features. CNN gave a sneak preview of its forthcoming Android app for accessing news and for creating user-generated content for its iReport service.

To encourage developers to jump on board, Google announced that it is adding a web-based version of its Android Market for purchasing apps.

"You can buy an app on the web and it magically shows up on your device a second later, so that integration... that cloud integration that Google likes to talk about so much, I really like what it does for the user," Disney Mobile General Manager Bart Decrem said.

Disney Mobile was at the event to announce it is bringing three of its popular apps to Android -- Radio Disney, Jelly Car and Tap Tap Revenge 4. Disney Mobile says it has sold 60 million mobile apps on other platforms, and it is looking forward to expanding to Android-powered devices.

Disney Mobile, like ABC7, are part of The Walt Disney Company.

Disney Mobile is also demonstrating a new trend in purchasing mobile apps, known as in-app billing.