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Google's next version of its mobile operating system, Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb), just got a promotional video from the search giant itself. The video of the tablet-friendly OS was posted by the Android Developers account, but was then set to private. Thankfully it has been reuploaded all over the Internet so whether Google meant to post it or not, the video is now widely available.
Version 3.0 is supposed to be a huge upgrade for tablets, and some rumors even claim it will be exclusive to the form factor, meaning not available for smartphones at all. The text "Entirely for Tablet" seen early in the video seems to support this. Beyond tablet exclusivity, the video shows the user interface, browser, e-books, optimized Gmail, redesigned YouTube, Google Talk, and Google Maps. Frankly, it doesn't even look like the Android we currently know.
Android for tablets will surely start to take off with Honeycomb, but what really has us interested is what this means for the mobile operating system as a whole. If Android 2.x is for smartphones and Android 3.x is for tablets, will Android 4.x converge the two? Google has some explaining to do!
"Many of Android's existing features will really shine on Honeycomb: refined multi-tasking, elegant notifications, access to over 100,000 apps on Android Market, home screen customization with a new 3D experience and redesigned widgets that are richer and more interactive," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "We've also made some powerful upgrades to the web browser, including tabbed browsing, form auto-fill, syncing with your Google Chrome bookmarks, and incognito mode for private browsing. Honeycomb also features the latest Google Mobile innovations including Google Maps 5 with 3D interactions and offline reliability, access to over 3 million Google eBooks, and Google Talk, which now allows you to video and voice chat with any other Google Talk enabled device (PC, tablet, etc)."