Smaller Google tablets coming soon
Google Android 3.2 has been revealed as the new version of Android Honeycomb that will run a range of new tablet sizes to rival the iPad
A new version of Google’s Android operating system, Honeycomb, will run on a range of new tablet sizes, it has been revealed.
Version 3.1 has been used on 10” tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1”, but now Honeycomb 3.2 will run smaller devices such as the newly announced Huawei MediaPad. The Chinese company claims that this will be the first Android 3.2 machine, and that it will launch by September. Honeycomb 3.2 will also allow existing devices such as HTC’s Flyer to be upgraded, if manufacturers are willing to invest in updating their software.
The Huawei MediaPad features a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, and two cameras, at 1.3mp and 5mp respectively.
At last month’s Google I/O conference, the company announced that it would release Honeycomb 3.1, with a range of minor updates including resizeable widgets, but that a totally new release, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, will follow in the last quarter of 2011. This will include new features such as face recognition for video-conferencing, and will be the first version of Android that will run on a range of tablet sizes.
Meanwhile, version 3.2 of Honeycomb is set to offer improved hardware acceleration and updates to Google’s music and movies applications, as well as improvements to widgets and Movie Studio. Details have not yet been announced, however.
The new form factors may not produce the Android tablet boost that some analysts expect, however. A new Bernstein Research survey claims, “we find that consumers are not interested in form factors that deviate from the benchmark set by Apple. Few consumers, less than 15 percent prefer the 7″ screen size versus the 10″ screen of the iPad. Over 50 percent of respondents are firmly in favor of the 10″ screen, which leads us to conclude that the 7″ tablet models recently launched, like the BlackBerry PlayBook, are destined for failure. Consumer’s preference for the 10″ form factor explains the lukewarm response to Samsung’s 7″ Galaxy tablet and the rapid introduction of larger screen models in that series.” The survey also found that over 50 per cent of respondents explicitly wanted an Apple device.