Tomorrow Google will be holding a special event for their newest version of their massively popular Android operating system. We can expect to see an in-depth look into Honeycomb, and possibly the announcement for a desktop Android Market, and Google Music. We’ll be there live, and we’ll be keeping you up to date the second anything is announced. The live blog, in case you were wondering, will happen here.
We’ve seen it in videos, and more recently on the Android 3.0 SDK preview, but tomorrow we should be able to get our hands on the real Android Honeycomb. That has to mean we’ll be treated to some fully functional Honeycomb hardware. Maybe we’ll even get word of an official release date for the Motorola Xoom? We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but we wouldn’t be completely taken aback if the Xoom makes an appearance tomorrow.
Honeycomb will bring us a holographic UI that’s never been seen on any sort of tablet device before, let alone Android. The complete overhaul that Honeycomb brings should show us just what a tablet-optimized OS should look like. This will be a big departure for Android 2.2 tablets, as they are nothing more than a scaled up version of the phone OS. Google has completely revamped many of their own apps to be more suitable for large screens, and so far we like what we see.
We’ve seen the Honeycomb music player emerge, which looks like it’ll fit in just fine with the new UI, and someone even got the SDK preview up and running on a NOOKcolor. We’re excited that we have seen some Honeycomb features trickle down into the world, but nothing beat the real deal.
Online Android Market
Many people have been waiting for an online version of the Android Market, and there’s a good possibility that we will see just that announced tomorrow. Early demos of the service suggest that not only will you be able to browse the Market through an online portal, but you’ll also be able to send applications straight to your phone, and have them download and install automatically without touching your phone. This is possible thanks to the Chrome to Phone API, which allows you to send websites, Google Maps directions, and more from your computer to your phone. Again, all without touching your handset at all.
The online Market will help users find the apps they want more easily, without having to sift through mounds of other applications. Discoverability has been an issue with the Android Market, and we expect that Google has been working on this with their new online portal.
While still a rumor, the only thing that may steal the show from Honeycomb itself is the introduction of Google Music. The cloud-based music service, while currently non-existent may be the only true competitor to Apple’s iTunes. We doubt that Apple will be dethroned in the digital music front anytime soon, if ever, but with more and more Android devices being shipped, if all were given their own Google Music store, many may rely less on iTunes.
One of the best features of Google Music will be it’s cloud-based streaming service, which will allow you to stream your home PC’s music library right to your phone, no downloading require. But say you do want to have a song on your phone, but you don’t want to connect the USB connector from your computer to you handsets and do the transfer from there. Well, just like applications with the online Android Market, you can purchase a song from Google Music (which will likely be implemented into the online Market) and send that song right to your device and have it download immediately.
Google Music looked like it was stumbling for a bit, but they very well could be right on track.
So if you’re wondering what else Google could announce that we don’t already know, well, there’s a lot. The search giant is getting more and more serious about mobile, and they are will likely try to keep their lead as long as they can.
Make sure to keep an eye on our live blog for all the latest coverage from the press event. We’ll hopefully have some hands-on demos to show you too.