Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb won’t come to smartphones

Android 3.0 Honeycomb won\'t be coming to smartphones
Android 3.0 Honeycomb won\'t be coming to smartphones

If you were hoping to get that Android 3.0 Honeycomb goodness on your smartphone, you’re out of luck. Google said that version will be tablet-only for now but features should trickle down to smartphones. Can you say, “fragmentation?”

A Google spokesperson told PC Mag that Android 3.0 Honeycomb won’t be coming to smartphones but that “features will arrive on phones over time.”

In many ways, this makes sense because the Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system has been optimized for the larger form factor that a tablet provides. When we look at the SDK for our preview, we wondered how this would ever really translate to phones.

Still, this means that the fragmentation problem (or at least, the perception of it) will only increase. This doesn’t represent a fork for the platform but it could lead to more consumer confusion.

Google may have already shown off the tools to address this tough, as the Android 3.0 Honeycomb demonstration showed off APIs that enabled developers to create apps using “fragements.” This means an app maker could create portions of apps that scale appropriately depending on what size screen or version of the platform the consumer is using.

Lastly, what does that mean for the numbering for the little, green robot on phones? Gingerbread is called 2.3 and we have heard that the next version, Ice Cream, will be 2.4. What happens when we reach 2.9?

To be fair, Apple had some platform pains when it came to the iPad. The iPhone 4 featured multitasking for months before the company’s tablet did and you never heard too many complaints about the pains of the ecosystem. Apple eventually unified the platforms with iOS 4.2.

So, what do you think, friends? Are you upset that Android 3.0 Honeycomb won’t be coming to smartphones or did you expect that? Heck, I know many of you are still just waiting for Froyo.

[Via PC Mag

  • Anonymous

    have froyo….ill be happier once i get the thunderbolt from my x…..but…. still maybe 3.5? were catching up to google and the ipad is the ipod touch or iphone just as a tablet…

  • Katypee

    Lol fragmentation is a”problem” steve jobs made up. How does the fact that phones won’t get a tablet os translate to a consumer issue? Author =fanboy

    • it’s not a consumer issue so much (although i guess in theory you could have more issues with using your smartphone and tablet two in tandem) but it’s certainly a development issue. Testing and development time i.e. cost increases with each fork in the android platform.

      • Anonymous

        The author clearly doesnt know what he’s talking about. Fragmentation refers to the fact that carriers are behind on updates and make changes to the OS for certain phones. Google will do just fine maintaining a tablet and phone version.

        • Anonymous

          Doesn’t matter if Google does a fine job maintaining tablet and phone versions if the end users deal with the fragmentation through the carriers and handset makers. Google could do a better job working with its partners on getting those updates out at a faster rate – for example, I talked with Toshiba about their upcoming Honeycomb tablet that had Froyo on it and during CES, they hadn’t seen Honeycomb at all. This is a major product for them that’s expected to come out in a few months and absolutely nothing from Google on the tablet-optimized version of the platform.

          Also, did you see that Spurs game last night? Broke my heart.

  • Oh… so sad. I still hope it comes to my Galaxy S

  • Dave

    As we continue to see new versions of Android we see comparisons to iOS and Windows Mobile 7, etc.. Anyone can start an argument for or against any one of them. The fact is they are all different, period. One is better than the other, blah, blah, blah. All we really need is for our smart phones to save us time at our jobs and help us stay connected through our social lives. If updates fix things that are less than acceptable on our phones then we should get those updates immediately. You name the desert, it doesn’t matter.

    The feature on the phone that is being updated matters. They should do away with OS versions and focus on actual features, the core of the user experience. With such an open source things will always be fragmented. The UI is defined by the user feedback and engineers. Every one has an opinion about how apps should behave. How can fragmentation be avoided? I’ll tell you how, close it up and give everyone just one bite. Just like the Apple logo represents. One bite, that’s it.

    Tablets will continue to evolve with different OS versions monthly. Whether those end up on phones is not important. They are completely separate devices.

  • And lo, the Dorktide rose, eclipsing the sun and bringing community managers and technical support staff to their knees. “Captain,” they would scream to their superiors, “our vague-itudes and halfhearted reassurances are doing nothing!”, to which the stalwart social marketing middle management could only reply, “Then may God have mercy on our souls.”

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