Full Android 3.0 ‘Honeycomb’ SDK available to developers

23 Feb 2011

Google’s Android developer team has announced the first Android 3.0 software developer kit is available to developers to create compelling apps and widgets for tablet devices.

Android 3.0 is a new version of the Android platform that is specifically optimised for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. It introduces a brand new, truly virtual and ‘holographic’ UI design, as well as an elegant, content-focused interaction model.

Applications written for Android 3.0 are able to use an extended set of UI objects, powerful graphics and media capabilities to engage users in new ways.

Across the system and in all applications, users have quick access to notifications, system status and soft navigation buttons in a System Bar, available at the bottom of the screen. The System Bar is always present and is a key touchpoint for users, but in a new ‘lights out mode’ can also be dimmed for full-screen viewing, such as for videos.

In every application, users have access to contextual options, navigation, widgets or other types of content in an Action Bar, displayed at the top of the screen. The Action Bar is always present when an application is in use, although its content, theme and other properties are managed by the application rather than the system.

New developer tools including r10 and ADT Plugin for Eclipse

Together with the new platform, Google is releasing updates to SDK Tools (r10) and ADT Plugin for Eclipse (10.0.0).

New features include: 

·         UI Builder improvements in the ADT Plugin, including a new Palette with categories and rendering previews, more accurate rendering of layouts to more faithfully reflect how the layout will look on devices, selection-sensitive action bars to manipulate View properties and zoom improvements and support for gesture overlays.

·        Traceview integration for easier profiling from ADT.

·         Tools for using the Renderscript graphics engine: the SDK tools now compiles .rs files into Java Programming Language files and native bytecode.

Android 3


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years