CNET News Video
Android Honeycomb previewAt Google's Android Honeycomb demo day, CNET's Donald Bell gives the Motorola Xoom tablet a test-drive and runs through Android's latest features.
-Hey, I'm Donald Bell for cnet.com. We are at Google's Android Honeycomb event. There is some Motorola Xoom tablets inside that are running Honeycomb. I'm gonna go inside and check it and see what Honeycomb can do. -Sounds this is CES, but you can actually-- -Uh huh. -attach your player on a bit. As you can see, there is a notification window and that's now kinda got the general-- -Yeah, exactly! -settings down here the bottom too-- -Uh huh. -so, you don't have to dive into the actual full settings menu. -Yeah, exactly! -And it's cool too. You're getting a 2-pane view of everything. -Exactly! So this is again using the [unk] of the fragments which break up the screen into multiple pieces. -Yeah. -So, you can jump between them. Here is another actual example [unk] job locations. You can see that there is kind of almost a [unk] Chrome navigation that you got input through and you can jump back to applications, jump to storage and get that. So, navigation is fully-- it's kind of-- it's fully been rethought-- -Uh huh. -once again. -This music interface is a new interface for you guys too-- -Yep. -right? -Thought of, you know, having the 4 buttons [unk] out of their tabs. You have this kind of drop-down navigation. But, really it's kinda of, again, rethought-- -Uh huh. -in terms of, you know, how does this work in larger space. So, the interesting thing about notification-- -Uh huh. -is actually-- this is something that's changed in the past. The notification was always there. -Uh huh. -But now if you press "Home" for example or jump into another app, the notification appears in the bottom-- -And here is a-- -Yep! -combined. -So, you've got your quick controls for play, pause and skip? -The menu key has become part of this top application bar. -Uh huh. -And some of them are just more important than other. So, we decided that-- -They are up here. -that we will put them in front-- -Yeah. -immediately visible on the screen. And the secondary item, that's kind of what are-- what's relegated to this-- -Like this key? -the secondary menu. -Right. -So, this is kind of where the menu buttons gone. -That would be [unk]. And so-- and all of the Google mobile sweet kind of apps like these-- -Yeah. -Gmail, maps-- -Yes. If you jump that to calender is another example of fragments in the actual bar. So, again, you have this fragment in the right. You have this kind of main fragment, and then you have that actual bar over the menu buttons. -Is there anything that you guys have done, I mean, obviously, the keyboard is a lot larger. -There have been some changes to the actual keyboard functionality like there is multitouch now. You can have, you know-- -Wow! -you can see [unk] things like that. At the same time, there are some other changes there and they're kinda more minor-- -Uh huh -but the keyboard has had a big kind of rebound. -So, that was Android Honeycomb on the Motorola Xoom. I gotta say first impressions, the hardware is beautiful. The screen is really responsive. The touch accuracy is really good. The OS itself, Honeycomb, on the tablet, it does a lot of stuff that Android hasn't done, well, historically on the tablet size devices yet. It's killer e-mail, web browsing is really great. The actual repositioning of apps and widgets on the screen, you know, the drag down different UIL [unk]. The reposition of the settings down in the corner and the contactual mini buttons at the top. Overall, we can tell a lot thoughts gone into it. I'm really excited to see this into a formal CNET review hopefully soon. For cnet.com, I'm Donald Bell coming to you from Goggles Android Honeycomb demo.