Honeycomb: Lots and Lots of Info From D

Andy Rubin showed off a Honeycomb tablet at D. None of the lazy Android bloggers did a breakdown of the video, so I guess it's up to me. After all, video is worth 30,000 words per second. Keep in mind this is honeycomb on tablets, and, layout wise, might not be indicative of what the phone version would look like. It's also not finished.

The Lockscreen

Other than the font, (which I have lovely nicknamed "Comic Sans Techno") you wouldn't peg this as Android device if you just took a look at it. Crazy. The status bar is now on the bottom (more on that later), and we still don't have lock screen notifications. The tablet has new email and a calendar reminder and the lock screen isn't providing any info about them.

It's interesting that Comic Sans Techno survived. They phased it out of the market redesign and one of the UX guys for Android said the font "looks a little dated" (he's being nice). Hopefully they aren't done with the lock screen yet.

If you touch the lock icon, a bigger circle appears around it; dragging your finger anywhere outside this circle will unlock the device. So those that liked the "rotary phone" unlock style from Android 2.0 can have that more natural unlock motion back. (In a one handed swipe, your thumb wants to go in an arc. Moving it in a straight line is less ergonomic.)

The Notification/Menu Bar
Take a look at this crazy thing! There aren't any hardware buttons on this tablet, so the main buttons now live on the bottom bar. Just like the current notification bar, the bottom bar stays on top of all the applications. It reminds me of the Windows task bar. This picture is a composite of a couple video stills, but representative of the real thing. 1, 2, and 3 are on the left of the tablet; 4, 5, and 6 on the right.

  1. Back
  2. Home
  3. Menu right? Nope. One of the interviewers accidentally hit #3 while on the homescreen. It brought up the tiny window you see on the right. The top title says "Apps", I can't make out the first items, but the second is "Gmail" and the third is "Talk". They all have thumbnails, which makes me think these are running apps
  4. Notifications! Yep they're down here now. No idea how you would get to the normal pull down that we're used to. You can make out a VERY faint mystery item, Gmail, and a Calendar reminder.
  5. A clock. It inexplicably fades in and out. Why would you want the clock to fade in and out?

  6. Signal strength and battery? It's very faint and I can never get a good shot of it. Signal and battery have to be somewhere. The first icon changes a lot during the video, suggesting it's signal strength. What do these blurry masses of pixels look like to you? Is the first one a "3" and a vertical battery? (You have 3 bars?) The second a "4" and a battery? No idea.

Applications can add items to the bottom bar when they have
focus. When Rubin turned on Google Maps, a 4th icon appeared next to back, home, and the Apps popup button. Maybe this is what they're using instead of a menu on tablets; just populate the bottom bar with whatever used to be in the menu. Or maybe this is a menu button and it only pops up when you can use it. He never touched it, and it disappeared when he closed maps.

For about 1 second, the tablet received an email while on camera. Here's what that looks like:
The Gmail app looks just like it the tablet web version, so that's not really news. The notification is in the bottom right.

The notification icons, clock, and battery(?) fade out, and the email notification fades in. You get a head shot, name, and subject. The app icon for the notification is on the right. The headshot pokes over top of the notification bar and overlaps the app. (cool!) Then it quickly fades out and goes back to normal.

Home Screen and App Launcher
On the home screen there's a top and bottom bar. If you can't make it out, the top bar has Google Search and Voice Search on the left, and the app tray and mystery item on the right. The rightmost icon looks like a gear with a plus sign next to it, so does that make it "Settings" or "Add a widget"? In the middle of the screen you get a calendar widget that doesn't suck (yeay!),  a bookmark widget, and the familiar maps icon.

For about 3 seconds, we saw the app drawer:

You can filter by "All" or "Downloaded" at the top. The app drawer is a 7 x 6 grid. The Music icon is now yellow instead of blue. There's a few icons I can't identify, but with all the apps available for Android it would be pretty hard to guess. (If you want to try, remember, they're alphabetical. So the thing between "Camera" and "Clock" has to start with a C)

Google Talk
You've probably seen the picture of this, but it's here for completeness. Those green, square blurry things are video icons. Bonus points to Google for consistency; it looks just like Gmail.

That's everything I could find in the video. Hope you learned something!