CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tablets

Android apps buzzing on to tablets as Honeycomb SDK released

Google has greenlighted Android apps for tablets with the release of the final Honeycomb software development kit.

Google has greenlighted Android apps for tablets with the release of the final Honeycomb software development kit. The Honeycomb SDK gives software developers the tools to make apps specifically designed for the extra screen size and processing power of tablet PCs.

Honeycomb is version 3.0 of Google's mobile operating system Android, featuring cool new 3D graphics and roomier layouts. The SDK allows app developers to build software that takes advantage of the extra screen space and fits larger displays, rather than just scaling up apps designed for phone-sized screens.

It also offers an onscreen Action Bar so users can control devices that don't have any physical buttons.

On the developer side, an app's activities can be split into separate processes. That means the app can have more than one pane, and each pane runs in a different process or fragment. That also helps apps scale smoothly between larger and smaller screens. New icons and widgets are available, all of which should make apps more useful and versatile.

Anyone can build an app and make it available through the Android Market, which means there's a vast range of possibilities. Unfortunately, that also means there's no guarantee of quality. Apple's App Store may be a tightly guarded walled garden, but at least you know apps have been checked for at least a basic level of quality.

The first tablet slathered in Honeycomb goodness is the Motorola Xoom, hitting US shops tomorrow. It'll be followed by a swathe of Honeycomb slates. Support for Adobe Flash video isn't ready yet, so the Xoom will arrive without it. Flash support -- one of Honeycomb's biggest advantages over the iPad -- will be added within a few weeks.

If you're ready to blow our minds with a tablet-tastic Android app, download the Honeycomb SDK and get cracking.

Which apps do you want to see making the most of Honeycomb's extra screen space? And which Honeycomb tablet are you most looking forward to?