A Sneak Peek of Android 3.0, Honeycomb

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | 4:45 PM

The past few weeks have been exciting ones for the Android team: we recently released Nexus S and Android 2.3, Gingerbread, and we’ve even had some of our most popular team members take a trip to space. But we haven’t stopped buzzing with excitement: today at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, we previewed Android 3.0, Honeycomb.

Honeycomb is the next version of the Android platform, designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. We’ve spent a lot of time refining the user experience in Honeycomb, and we’ve developed a brand new, truly virtual and holographic user interface. Many of Android’s existing features will really shine on Honeycomb: refined multi-tasking, elegant notifications, access to over 100,000 apps on Android Market, home screen customization with a new 3D experience and redesigned widgets that are richer and more interactive. We’ve also made some powerful upgrades to the web browser, including tabbed browsing, form auto-fill, syncing with your Google Chrome bookmarks, and incognito mode for private browsing.

Honeycomb also features the latest Google Mobile innovations including Google Maps 5 with 3D interactions and offline reliability, access to over 3 million Google eBooks, and Google Talk, which now allows you to video and voice chat with any other Google Talk enabled device (PC, tablet, etc).

Please stay tuned for more Honeycomb news from the Android team. For now, you can get a taste of Honeycomb by checking out this video.



88 comments:

Words... said...

ok...cool video, but we need more specification...more&more, it's never enough :-)

Clint said...

Ok - #1 burning question: will 3.0 eventually work/port to phones?

Ulrich said...

bravo !

mackstann said...

I wonder the same as Clint: how does this relate to phones?

Simon said...

Can't wait until the Motorola tablet is coming

MirKanos said...

Amazing video... im crying...

Alex said...

Awesome! Now how about a 2.3 OTA for Nexus One?

john said...

I second Alex, Gingerbread for the N1???

RobAymett said...

Google Talk w/ Video Chat coming to Nexus S?

Prof. Gabriel said...

Can't wait for it... some people talk about this version is just for dual-core processor like Tegra. This is true?? my galaxy tab won't run it????

cerebrux said...

1) Do NOT let hardware companies to modify the user interface !!! (as you did with android 1.x and 2.x and fragmentation occurred )

2) Centralize Android Linux updates (as MS and Apple)

3) Last but not least .... I love the Tron:Legacy theme that you used in this video !!! :)

Mike Wood said...

Very cool video. Slick and I wait for more details. Oh and Google apparently can't force the phone makers to upgrade to 2.2 or 2.3. Each one makes their own flavour of Droid. With arguments like they can't upgrade because x.x won't run on it etc. (or won't with their handset maker bloatware installed).

Aindreas O Gallchoir said...

that's fairly awful.

there is just no design coherence. none. books rendered inside a wide cylinder for no reason, youtube videos rendered inside a wide cylinder for no reason, none of the sections look and feel like each other.. was there actually an interface designer involved in the high level execution of this effort at all? does google listen to or employ designers anymore?

That OS looks a complete mess. The email, messaging and youtube environments bear no relation to each other. There is absolutely no commonality, no prepared language, no common design or interface cues. Youtube appears to be in a blacked up HUD. the desktop (?) is neon blue, gmail meanwhile, happily ignoring all that, is classic google pastel. It's an unmitigated mess.

It's true to say that if you don't care a whit about design principles, you can look forward to bad design. Well happy birthday google - you now have bad design coming out of your pores.

Forgen said...

Other sites are definitely interpreting this as tablet ONLY, and likely needing a dual core tegra 2 or better... Sorry galaxy tab, but google told you to wait for a tablet version if android, now you have a really big smartphone. Don't worry though, independent droid roms will be released to port it to your tablet as week as all other android devices that are still popular. The new interface obviously neda a strong gpu and cpu, check out the video of the incredible windows multi touch interface company google bought up. (droptouch or something?). That one was a full 3d room with many similarities to those shown in the android 3 video!

Randall said...

Will Honeycomb come to phones? Or Will gtalk video chat come to phones?

Antony said...

I really hope you're using webm (vp8/ogg) as the codecs for video chat.

Teknisyan said...

Nice cool video... I wonder what will be the specs of the tablet in order to use all the features of Honeycomb?

http://www.teknisyan.net

Gamer_Z. said...

This looks AWESOME! I cannot wait to get my hands (literally) on Honeycomb!

But as people have been asking, will this run on phones? What about older phones like the Droid?

Winston said...

wow this is Google... Android Honeycomb is Amazing.... i gotta work for these guys one day.... thanks Andy for the Video.....

Aindreas O Gallchoir said...

it's not awesome! please stop saying its awesome. It's an example of terribly incoherent, badly though out interface design. It's completely all over the place. A company the quality of google should be completely embarrassed to be pushing out a brand new tablet OS with almost no coherent design consideration involved in it. It's near disgraceful.

LeoLeal said...

I share the same concern as Aindreas O Gallchoir... The programs seem disconnected from eachoter and all of them from the OS itself.

General OS UI = Works with a lot of transparency and degradeé effects, with refinement It's promising looking.

Youtube = Black UI

Chrome = Graphite

GMail = White

Google Books = almost no elements in the UI and gray colored.

Looks like all apps are each developed by different 3rd party companies with no communication within eachother...

The whole package seems to have No Visual Identity at all.

Also... will It adapt to phones?

Insane Ninja said...

wow.... retro-futuristic? The 80s would have thought this looked amazing.

Ravi said...

This is good... but have to give some demo of working device.. it looks for a trailer of a movie, which shows just the best part. I do hope its as good as I am hoping it would be. All the best guys..

sathya said...

I am really finding it very hard to understand all the whiners here! Stop whining about dissimilarities with individual apps, they are not developed by the Android team. I have the same issue with every app with different feel and look but this is not the place to whine about it. The corresponding team needs to address the issue. If you really have problem with this UI and interface go do a favor to yourself and the rest of the world and buy a gigantic phone (iPad) and drool!

This is awesome Google! HOneycomb seems to have all the components Something a tablet should with a flexible desktop to an elegant keyboard! Props to the Android team who has worked their way from ground up and today built an amazing futuristic OS for the world for free!

Raist said...

looks like nobody wants to answer if Honeycomb is tablet-only or for both phones and tablets.

magsuite said...

What happens to Chrome OS now? Sunset?

joshuadugie said...

What's the confidential "Death Ray" hardware mentioned in the emails in the video? :)

Aindreas O Gallchoir said...

no sathya that won't do - it's not whining, it's valid criticism and i would be surprised to find that google did not code its own gmail app, or its own youtube app.

this is deserved criticism of what is patently ill-thought out, incoherent design. Given that all a tablet really is is a window into software, the various environments for different functionalities.. to have something so discordantly all over the place speaks to a complete lack of regard for the core task of the GUI: to coherently present an intelligibly designed environment for the user. They've stuck up a bunch of random crap. For a company that so espoused minimalism and careful concern in its web browser design, for that company to now splurge out this mess o' stuff, it's not on. it's a mess.

there have been hints for a while now that google never has bothered to internalise the inherent need for good design. And well, if anything was going to bring that issue into focus, it would be the challenge of an effort like this. Again: this is an ungainly mess of a GUI/app environment, a mess in the most important way: in how it will be viewed and understood (or otherwise) by the common user, as they drag strange mini bookshelf icons into hexagnally off angle arrayed panels of apps and shortcuts, before heading into blindingly dissimilar scattershot interfaces.

It's. A. Mess.

Raist said...

It's starting to look like Honeycomb is indeed tablet-only. I do hope there's an equivalent version for phones.

Regarding the "incoherent" UI. It doesn't bother me, i.e., I don't find it incoherent. I guess being a PC user for several years, I've gotten used to the idea that not all apps look the same and feel the same. Even if they come from the same company.

Take Visual Studio, Expression Blend and Microsoft Office as an example. All were developed at Microsoft, but surely they were developed by different teams, each of which had their independent direction (creatively and technically). Hence differing UI's (controls and color schemes). e.g. Office has the Ribbon UI, Visual studio pretty much remains the same except it's now written in WPF, and Blend has the dark color scheme.

Some people may find it unacceptable, but for me personally, I don't. And I'm sure there are others who feel the same.

It's all about preference

BEP said...

Aindreas, your messages come off as very cranky, not a level headed criticism.

When I watch the video, I see a few different things than you: navigation is the same in Google Talk, GMail, and Google Books.

There seems to be a new multi-tasking visual concept for home screens and app management/switching.

These look like UI improvements.

I'm not a fan of the skinning, but I disagree that every app needs to have the same colors. Ever see MS Office? It's not too confusing for normal users to see that orange means PowerPoint, green for Excel and blue for Word. It's actually a UI choice to have work spaces that look different -- but that's only if it was a design choice rather than an option to toggle different hues for each app.

That's something I could see Android allowing, being excellent for customization.

The video doesn't explain whether we're looking at a skin, the default or if the apps have been tweaked. Because it's not a training video, it's a sneak peak.

The blog post gives us additional room for speculation -- 3D? How is that enabled/enhanced for UI interactions?

Aindreas O Gallchoir said...

why are the books in a spinning cylinder? why do the core apps look like they were designed completely independently of each other? why does that desktop look like it bears no relation to anything else? why would you want to grab a weird mini bookshelf like a rotating deck of cards and whack it on some off angle panel where it sets to doing a confusing animation?

Bep: how is the navigation in Gmail and Google books the same? google books has almost no interface. its just books in a weird cylinder environment with awkward title placement below which doesn't respect the semi 3d-environment. Gmail is traditional 2d ipad-ish two pane mail client. where are the similarities?

And please god let no one mention the ribbon. there should be a design geneva convention against mentioning the ribbon.

but hey - maybe you're right, maybe I should look to microsoft office interfaces as my guiding light.

aha ha. but seriously. I dont mean to come off crabby but..

I trained in design and typography for four years, I got a bachelors in it. i've worked professionally in broadcast design for fifteen years. I'm not saying I'm the worlds greatest, I really amn't but I can tell you one thing - I, like any designer, can see crazy all over the shop bad design. Its really, really easy to spot and there's no excuse for it.

Its just a bunch of stuff glommed together. You can argue about diversity or whatever, but this isn't that, this is a bunch of stuff glommed together without consideration, and that's bad. hence the criticism.

anyway that'll do me. I'm wildly over repeating now.

Avinash Agrawal said...

Nice, would Google voice (gmail phone call voip) work on it ? That would be a killer app.

Avinash Agrawal said...

Also, Google Voice and Talk w/ Video Chat coming to Nexus S? When is the ETA for honeycomb avl for users ?

himanshu said...

I like google android but i dont like its update thing. Once you buy eclair phone, then after 4-5 months, you friend shows off his froyo phone, you also want to upgrade, your device has capability, but you can't and you're stuck with eclair.
There should be a overall update system for google phones, like symbins.

Butter said...

"1) Do NOT let hardware companies to modify the user interface !!! (as you did with android 1.x and 2.x and fragmentation occurred )

2) Centralize Android Linux updates (as MS and Apple)

3) Last but not least .... I love the Tron:Legacy theme that you used in this video !!! :)"

+1

Derrick Lytle said...

I would rather have my android phone work consistently than have this.

Jesse said...

I agree with Andrias: it is very ugly and I, too, hope that Google has secretly employed some excellent designers, but are waiting to demo the real look of it. However, it looks to be a tablet OS that offers much more flexibility in utility than previous OSes. That's a huge plus. The fact that there's a "full web browser" is pretty awesome.

Wrex's World said...

This post has been removed by the author.

Wrex's World said...

@Aindreas O Gallchoir:
Your redundancy is awfully annoying. You're clearly an iPad troll and wouldn't know the definition of coherency, if it bit you in the butt. Go kick rocks somewhere else and STFU.

Maui said...

Whoa that's a lot of blueish colors ...maybe you were not cleaning up for honeycomb but instead painting all blue ;)

Amos said...

So I was correct that Honeycomb will have a 3D interface....

http://goo.gl/xc3H6

Bobert said...

I love google fanboy douchebag kool aid drinkers like wrex who cry like little bitches about people who disagree with android and sound like a spoiled brat by calling them apple trolls.
it looks like google is going the route of sorry consumers you're gonna have to upgrade your phone every 6 months.
google is like a child with ad vo ohd they go from 1 thing to another and just abandon it leaving customers in the lurch .
how embarrassing is the nexus S.
google will put their name on any walmart crappy ish phone .
it just shows they don't give 2 shits and furthers the apple cause

Rob said...

Is honeycomb the end to android smartphones... we shall see I guess.

Gingerbread for n1, k thanks bye.

Raist said...

Just wondering... why are Android/Google "haters" even reading this?

If you believe that Android can't hold a candle to Apple's product, then you wouldn't even bother reading this blog. You wouldn't be interested.

Unless, perhaps, you do believe that Android might actually become a viable alternative?

Ryan said...

HA! It's amazing how much you Android lovers get all excited about the same glitchy junk with a new paint job, when did Ballmer start runnin Google?

dilorenzo1987 said...

syncing with your Google Chrome bookmarks

FINALLY =)!

Hopefully the Nexus S will get the upgrade for Honeycomb.

Raist said...

Go ahead... keep trying to convince yourself that Android is junk. But if I believe that something is junk, I don't read a blog post about it. It's a waste of time.

Iain said...

I like it. It looks more computer to iPad's phone and that's what I want from a tablet. MY girlfriend has just picked up an iPad, and while I like it, I find it very limited.

I see another PC/Mac style war between form and function breaking out, can't we just accept from the off that different people like different things?

Also, some people seem to be complaining about the choice of wallpaper and the video graphics, these are hardly relevant to the discussion.

Shot said...

It's really awesome.
Keep this and i will need to have all my staff with android :)
Nice work :)

Janne said...

Looks cool!

Jamal said...

People talking and talking without knowing the fact that the design does not mean everything
What is important is that I can do what I want, not only as the iPad form of stock, but is subject to scratching and is not to develop or even possible to say that the iPhone only large .. I'm not stupid, so I run behind prison Apple, and pay only what I have for design, not the features ...
Android is an open source development = of the millions of developers = forms variety of different tastes,
This is the world Android .. You can do what you want and not what the seller wants you to

Akelarre said...

Awesome... but my Nexus One is still waiting for Gingerbread and you're already talking about Honeycomb... pfffff... bad, bad, bad...very bad... Fragmentation rules! is the Google's motto

Rupert White said...

I don't agree with everything Aindreas O Gallchoir said, but I think he's got a lot of good points going on there. It's not hating Android to point out what you think could be improved, and if you do design, that's what you'll be most aerated about. Calm blue ocean, people.

I've had two Android phones now (HTC Hero, Samsung Galaxy S) and neither have been that great - essentially they're too underpowered (even the Galaxy). I think it's a good idea to outline that Android tabs need to be hot machines - they'll work like crap otherwise. Google hasn't gone down the Apple route of custom building a chipset for it's OS, so it's got to work with lots of set-ups - so inevitably, it'll work best on the best.

As to whether this works on phones, who cares? Google will no doubt dev Android forward from what it's learned with 3.0 for future phones. Give the 'will it come to phones' whining a break. Google phones (bar new Nexus) don't run 2.2 or 2.1 very well, how well do you think they'd run this? Like shit, is how.

I think this *does* need some better design and more consistency - that's what made the iPad so great to use - in *any* app, homegrown by Apple or not. Maybe it doesn't need the major overhaul Aindreas says, but boy it doesn't look finished right now, does it?

Really I'm not 'hating' (horrid word). I think this looks great. Hopefully I can throw out my company's iPad in favour of an Android 3.0 tab this year. That would be great.

Stijn V. said...

In my opinion this looks much more interesting that the Apple iPad. The looks are similar to the BlackBerry Playbook though. I wonder how these larger screens will accomodate for the tiny apps. Will they enlarge 2x like the iPad does, or have you come up with an alternative solution?

Aindreas O Gallchoir said...

a last little - i would truly *love* Google's Tablet OS to blow Apple completely back on their feet, force them to consider their own approaches, their own methodology, make them think harder.

I should probably have said GUI design more often, I don't just mean type, buttons and gradients, but like, you know - the gestalt, the overall, or, to put it more simply: the visual identity.

That is not a designed OS, it has no coherent identity, it has some purchased 3D interface technology and a random grab bag of other stuff. Its not even badly designed per se, it's just not really designed at all. its just a mess o' stuff. And that is, in my humble opinion, a tiny bit of a disgrace really.

johnsmith said...

I am not sure why some android lovers have such a hard time accepting criticism. Aindreas has some valid criticisms about the look of the GUI and some people seem to get their panties in a twist for no reason (Wrex's World, Raist...)
Why do you think that he - or anyone voicing anything but 100% admiration and love for android is a apple loving troll that hates google. Is adoration of an Os really that important to you.
I am guessing from the fact that he, and the other posters here, are interested in google / android and want to see what it has to offer. And why play the "anyone who doesn't love google is an isheep" card. This is why you piss off so many other people on other blogs.
PS - the OS looks like a great work in progress. There are a lot of interesting feature and it looks like Android on tablets has a lot of possibilities for the futures.

ken said...

All you clever sods / jeallous so and so's who thought that honeycombe was only going to tabs must now be feeling a bit sick as its been confirmed by Google that this I'd not so ie its up to the manufacture of eg Samsung in the case of the galaxy tab.

Aindreas O Gallchoir said...

agreed Rupert White - I wouldn't argue for some crazily complete overhaul, and really I am in no way addressing other fundamental strengths of the platform - Google's attitude towards and implementation of multitasking was pretty much wholesale adopted by apple. There are tons of wildly impressive aspects to Android as a platform.

But I have real problems with the Kerazzy stuff in that vid.
Look: Google do have a visual identity. Its somewhere in their DNA, its how they see the world, its how they solve problems, its in their kooky one off Google logos, all those various threads of what google are, together can be divined into a coherent Visual Identity. It just hasn't appeared and is nowhere in that mess of an OS.
What I'm saying there goes really more towards brand than interface, but in google's case there should be some kind of relationship between the two. I should sense aspects of who google are by how they present themselves, by the clothes they wear, in other words.

And so as not to sound like a total crabby troll, I should at least attempt to pitch some kind of what the hell am I talking about thing, so...:
To hazard a guess, you would say that a potential solution comes more out of the clean lines of say the gmail client on show there, its pale, uncluttered, there are some pastels, how would that environment tool up to take on larger scale duties at the desktop system tools level? what kind of consistent movements and animations would secure the user into a predictable environment? What is the topology between the desktop/springboard and the application?

and lastly, and I don't know how, but the occasionally hand drawn scibbly google logos speak in a way to the honesty and straightforward unvarnished aspects of google, they're charming and they mean something larger and should be seriously thought about.

there: that was my shite attempt to think about it, but that was only in how it might look and feel sort of, which is, indeed, going at it ass backwards.

Chosen_1 said...

I agree with John Smith. If you want something to succeed, then you want ti to reach it's potential. In this cas,e people feel the OS could look better. Google did say that, starting with 2.3 they would be working on the UI. What I have seen from Google in regards to working on the UI is ALOT of eye candy regardless to whether it improves the app or not.

Just look at the music player for 3.0. All I see is eye candy. Yeah, we can ooh and ahh, but that doesn't change the fact that function wise, it is one of it not the worst mobile music player on the market (and that is saying ALOT coming from a blackberry).

I would love for Google to put more focus into function as well as UI enhancements. But I want the UI enhancements to add function also. Look at Compiz for linux. It adds looks but I swear it adds functionality at the same time.


Adding 3D just for the sake of adding 3D does not make me ooh and ahh. I want to know will it add to my overall experience. And that is where iOS gets it. It wins in ease of use. Sure I can install Launcher Pro (I have it on my Evo) and customize it to meet my needs.

But when the OS I WANT looks like it NEEDS Launcher Pro instead of Launcher pro needing the OS, then I do somewhat have an issue. I want Android to succeed. And yes, I demand better form it because we all should know what Google is capable of by now

Bhairav said...

Does Anybody Notice that the whole thing seems copied from Nokia's Maemo
Lets hope thats not gonna be googles
Modulus Operendi
in the future

Scott R. Frost said...

Is it JUST FOR TABLETS or can we expect to see it on our android phones as well at some point?

oposasa said...

I have to agree with Andreas on this one. I was disappointed to see the incoherent interface design.

I am not a fanboy by the way. Apple has pushed us designers away with their anti-Flash and dictatorial politics. I support Linux/Android these days but I'm a designer by profession and, like Andreas, I have much higher expectations for the GUI.

Google. Please get this right.

Don't be evil? Ummm, don't be ugly!

Russell said...

I have to partly agree with Aindreas, but I also need to say that i love Android. That's right I said love...Google has always had issues with bad design. Just look at gDocs, bland design passed off as 'minimalist'.
To me, this new UI just looks like they are trying to hard to make it 'cool', and the design is a product of the functionality. Those navigation button on the bottom left are ugly. I think Aindreas criticisms should be welcomed, otherwise nothing would be improved. He never compared Android to iOS, so pinning him as an Apple fanboy(though if he studied design, he probably is)and calling him names because he criticized the design, is rather unproductive.

displayname said...

@ the incoherency

its eclectic. I like it, each element designed individually in a way that suits it. Currently, on a web browser, my gmail looks nothing like youtube or even google search... but somehow we all manage just fine.

I'd be interested to see if there's any release for current tablet PCs? Got an acer myself, and the linux drivers are readily available.

Aindreas O Gallchoir said...

I'll go you one further - in single task situations, deriving a design solution for say, oh I don't know, a mapping system? In this Google are peerless.

Look at this:

http://www.41latitude.com/post/2072504768/google-maps-label-readability

That represents some of the hardest blood sweat and tears thought and problem solving; regarding legibility, information hierarchy, and visual economy/emphasis.
google are five star ninja generals here in this example. Because they clearly understand the design imperative as it relates to legibility. They just somehow lose all that understanding at the OS GUI level. It's crazy.
I also *adore* the tabs behaviour and orientation in OSX chrome browser. Apple had a nervous breakdown trying to adopt that tab behaviour into safari 5, they just had to stop and go back to the way they had had them before. They couldn't adopt the thinking without directly copying google.
the implications of vertical tabs and their natural tearoffability - brains gentlemen! real brains.

Think about those examples, and then go back and look at that mess o' stuff in the video. does it look like hard coherent thought has gone into it? does it look like it has a clear sense of itself?

I *am* a fan of apple software/hardware/GUI design.
Of course I am, apple have been producing peerless design solutions since about 1850. but, like intelligent extraterrestrial life, I would like to see another example.

Apple cannot be the only company to get its act together this way. Basically I would love to see another company execute on the same scale, but from a completely different perspective. I have been buying apple clothes for a long, long time. They're gorgeous, but I would Not Mind A Change. But that thing in the video? Please. Google should hang their heads.

RBB said...

I agree with some of the comments about design coherence above, but I think this can be fixed. The more troubling thing (and it's hard to know if this is an artifact of the video or a genuine issue with the OS) is that the animations and scrolling still seems jerky - as it is on many Android devices. While I LOVE how customizable my Droid2 is, my girlfriend's iPod touch is smoother when scrolling, zooming, etc. This video suggests that Honeycomb has some of the same slightly choppy animation. Please fix this... I want the look and feel to be smooth as buttah!

Scott said...

Android 3.0 looks cool, but I really like the simplicity of the phone version of Android. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is an excellent example of an Android tablet. I like the idea of being able to transition from my phone to a larger version of the same interface.

Brian said...

I'm also interested in how this relates to phones, particularly the dual-core "requirement" (no one will answer if it is). Are you splitting the trunk? Are you going to continue work on a similar/alternate version for single-core phones?

For Pete's sake -- say _something_.

Ravi G said...

Nice interface - seems like the BumpTop acquisition from April 2010 has at least "inspired" the desktop design. Looking forward to more information on what Tablets beyond Motorola Xoom can run 3.0

SDEV said...

This looks great and really promising. Two questions:
1. Will it also work for phones and be eventually rolled out to Nexus One and Nexus S?
2. Will there be a 'Pure Google' tablet similar to the Nexus phones?

Mehdi Tey said...

is there any support to right2left languages and unicode like Arabic and Persian Languages in Android 3.0?

eric said...

Regarding the UI design inconsistency I'm wondering what influence Matias Duarte had on UI design if any. I thought his role was to clean up this sort of thing.

I'm sure Google has put a lot of work into this OS to make it competitive with that "other" tablet OS. By summer after the next iPad release and GB running on some real life hardware we should have an idea of how the competition stacks up. Presumably GB will not be on a 3 iterations/year release schedule?

Jason said...

It's simple. GOOGLE ROCKS!
Cutting edge and on top. Love seeing what they create next as I'm sure it will be better than the last.

Lucio said...

Fu ck it Google. F#ck Google maps! GIVE SUPORT IN LATIN AMERICA! NO NAVIGATION SYSTEM/SUPPORT BECAUSE YOU SUCKS!? FCK IT!

Raist said...

if you're criticizing something because you want it to improve, then you present it in a positive manner (i.e. constructively), the way some people's comments did.
if you come out saying "it's awful" and "it's a complete mess" and continue with that theme for the entire comment, then it doesn't appear to be constructive at all.

Read all posts before commenting about people not being able to accept criticism.

I doubt that there are a lot of people here that can accept criticism that's given in an antagonistic fashion.

Aindreas O Gallchoir said...

and my very, very last line of bull -

google's true strength, their nike moment awaiting them in terms of self perception, is in the scrupulously true nature of their various problem solving efforts. gmail is a boon to my world. so is maps. I wander around london secure in the knowledge of google maps and the hive of data around it. as an entirely failed catholic, i trust those two entities more then rome.

I haven't even mentioned the shagging search engine - and that is a societal motor. Google have crafted a million good metaphorical running shoes: they have paid their dues in good faith but yet they still lack a coherent identity. Ok -they're kind of gauche but fine - they have intent...

So... when they come to derive an operating system, and they're on ten inch screens now.. they're approaching the brass ring, they can speak now to what they really feel about all that pre-history mythology of xerox, jobs and gates...

and this is what I get? this crappy mismatch of cylinder projections, crazy visual cues, lunatic mini book animations and godawful clocks? this is what google have to say? seriously?

Balls. for gods sake - balls.
it's not on this, it's just not on.

Niels said...

Just to help you guys out, here is a definition of awesome:

awe·some
/ˈɔsəm/ Show Spelled[aw-suhm]
–adjective
1. inspiring awe: an awesome sight.
2. showing or characterized by awe.
3. Slang . very impressive: That new white convertible is totally awesome.

And for amazing too:

a·maz·ing
/əˈmeɪzɪŋ/ Show Spelled[uh-mey-zing]
–adjective
causing great surprise or sudden wonder

Now that we have that cleared up, can you folks tell me what was actually awesome or amazing about that video?

If I try to put my "factual/non-emotional" goggles on, what I saw is a quite messy UI that showcased that Google has optimized some of their own services (Talk, Maps, Mail, YouTube) for use on a tablet device. Actually what they should have done when the first Android tablets launched that some wise men said were MUCH better than that silly old iPad (after all, they ran Flash!! And they were "OPEN"!).

Now before you file me away as an AppleTroll (for disclosure: yes, I do own an iPad), I am all for Android to succeed: gives me as a consumer more to choose from and competition keeps all the vendors sharp, hungry and motivated to deliver great products.

But from this video, I really have no idea what people think is either awesome, amazing or great...
And this is not the message Google should be getting when showcasing this beta version to the world.

Fri13 said...

"1) Do NOT let hardware companies to modify the user interface !!! (as you did with android 1.x and 2.x and fragmentation occurred )"

No!

The problem was not that the OEM's made own modified GUI for the Android what they shipped.

The problem was that OEM's made own modified GUI for the Android what they shipped and they integrated it so deeply to the Android and blocked the possibility to install other home screens and GUI's.

Just to be accurate and tip:

UI = User Interface stands for everything what is about human interaction with the machine. From hardware design to hardware material and GUI and CLI what is made by software and shown up on the screen. UI = everything, all buttons, jacks, plugs etc etc.

GUI = Graphical User Interface is everything graphical what is shown on the screen. Like dialoges with nice buttons and wallpapers and so on. GUI is used with mouse/touch etc.

CLI = Command Line Interface is everything what is happening only in a text mode and you need to use keyboard to type commands and so on.

OEM's are needed to customize the UI so they can actually make wanted designed devices with wanted hardware functions.
They need a change to make a custom GUI for the device if wanted. Yes, it probably makes most things just worse by some OEM's but many will get new ideas and things what others then can copy and everyone are happy.

But they should not, ever, never force the customer to use only their GUI!!!! Customer should have a change possibility to switch home screens etc.
So OEM's shipped devices should come with their own custom GUI (if wanted) and default Android GUI. And allow users to install any other GUI if wanted.

Thats why every use would be happy as they could choose what to use for their own purposes.

Aaron said...

Design Critics:

This is a Sneak Peak video, perhaps the lack of coordination between the apps was intended to represent the flexibility and diversity of what the platform can accomplish. I doubt very much that Google will let it ship like that, but if everything they showed us looked and worked the same, it'd make for a pretty dull "sneak peak". I doubt a lot of other developers have products mature enough to showcase Honeycomb so Google did the next best thing and threw some design study mocks of their internal stuff up there.

It's all speculation - I'm sure we'll see a more polished product before it ships. Look at it right now for the possibilities and discuss what you did / did not like throughout each of the different tools. Perhaps thats the most valuable part of this for Google.

Aindreas O Gallchoir said...

yes, i know what you mean about the possibilities for change after the sneak peek, but I don't actually think that's the case: Google and Motorola demoed the xoom tablet with identical GUI and functionality on the last day of CES and declared that it was shipping Q1. I think this is it.
This thing actually represents Google's formal effort.

Antonio said...

It completely blows me away how so many people cannot fathom open source. If you want forced uniformity then I would suggest an IPhone. Hopefully Android will not go the way that Apple did. If you want to live in their confined box please do and allow Android to have the freedom to have each and every application be a unique experience.

Aindreas O Gallchoir said...

@antonio - arguing that an open source operating system prepared by a single vendor cannot by its nature have any coherent visual identity, seems to be conflating two very different arguments.

Aron said...

@Aindreas O Gallchoir

Mr "Caught up in an Apple world" why dont you just apply for a job at google?

Android OS is the way it is because thats what the people want. Its a free os, what do you want? its open source. go edit it the way you want it.

Mirek2 said...

A bit disappointed by this.

One thing that bothers me about some of the apps is that they rarely put text on any of the buttons. A lot of apps seem to rely on symbols, which, frankly, aren't always that distinguishable. At the very least, you have to think about what an icon means before you click it, which means you do things slower than if there was some clear text near the icon.

The bottom panel's not the elegant solution that I was hoping for -- it wastes a lot of space for three buttons, a clock, and some indicators. I'd say that iPad's single-button solution is better. The Google Books app makes it very long and painful to find a book because of its cylindric design and huge covers (you see only 6 books at a time). The GMail and Google Talk apps look good, tough. The cylindric layout of the YouTube app bothers me, otherwise it's OK. I don't get the GUI of the browser -- it's a lot uglier than Chrome, the icons use different symbols than Chrome, and it's strange to see search and bookmarks buttons separate from the omnibox.

Overall, it just seems that the whole experience is built around flashy effects, and not much thought has gone either to usability, appealing design, or basic GUI principles.

Aindreas O Gallchoir said...

@ aron - saying I should get a job at google, or redesign the OS myself is somewhere towards an ad hominem attack.
I'm criticising the lack of design coherence, or even basic design thought in that OS. Its valid criticism, I stand over it, and there's nothing wrong with criticism.
Google have a design problem.

Aindreas O Gallchoir said...

that bottom bar boggles my mind too. I can't actually believe a designer did that. The back and home icons are massive and seriously ugly. And then there's the insane lcd clock wedged in, with the wifi and battery indicators like two lost pimples beside it.

And hey - if you've got trouble reading the insanely large lcd clock why not stick a really naff tron analogue clock on to its own panel that you can flick to, to confirm that the time on your insanely large lcd clock is correct? Fab!

The thing is - I don't think designers did much if any of this. I think engineer higher ups said they were going to differentiate from the ipad by removing the physical home button, which was really stupid, so then in order to replace it the virtual buttons had to be really quite big and persistent, which then gives a weirdly big slab of black, which they then bodged the world's largest stupid lcd clock into, then they remembered that this used to be the status area, so they dropped in the two pin prick status indicators for battery and wifi, randomly, awfully placed vertically in the corner of a horribly confused, exploded status bar.

Bleecchhhhh!!!!!!!

I could rant about the awful stuff in this OS until the rapture came and the dead floated into the sky.

Mirek2 said...

@Antonio: I don't think you're quite clear about open source. If you would take a look at basically any Linux distribution with basically any DE, you'd see that Linux applications actually conform waaay more to basic interface principles of the platform than Windows applications, especially those that are bundled.

I'm typing this under Ubuntu, and every application (except Chromium) uses the exact same type of title bars, menu bars, fonts, and even icon schemes.

Being open-source has nothing to do with not following basic design rules.

Jarcikon said...

The smartphone market is much, much bigger than the tablet market, so why aren't smartphones the focus of Android 3.0? At least make two versions of the GUI (smartphone-friendly and tablet-friendly) so all Android users get the benefits of Honeycomb and future OS updates.

I personally would not even think about buying a tablet. I already know it can do nothing my smartphone can't and no where near what my laptop can. How does this merit spending hundreds of dollars? When E-ink/OLED hybrid screens are perfected there will be something there because it could also replace an E-reader. Until then, do your tablet GUI but don't forget about smartphones.