Google has just announced Android 3.1, an update to the Honeycomb tablet OS that was first seen with the Motorola Xoom, and guess which device is getting it first? It only makes sense that the Xoom will, so other Honeycomb users will have to sit and wait until Google announces the availability of the new software for their devices.
Meanwhile, Android 3.1 brings a ton of new features and updates, along with new development tools:
- Open Accessory API. This new API provides a way for Android applications to integrate and interact with a wide range of accessories such as musical equipment, exercise equipment, robotics systems, and many others.
- USB host API. On devices that support USB host mode, applications can now manage connected USB peripherals such as audio devices. input devices, communications devices, and more.
- Input from mice, joysticks, and gamepads. Android 3.1 extends the input event system to support a variety of new input sources and motion events such as from mice, trackballs, joysticks, gamepads, and others.
- Resizable Home screen widgets. Developers can now create Home screen widgets that are resizeable horizontally, vertically, or both.
- Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) Applications can now receive notifications when external cameras are attached and removed, manage files and storage on those devices, and transfer files and metadata to and from them.
- Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) API for audio. Developers can directly manage on-demand or interactive data streaming to enable VOIP, push-to-talk, conferencing, and audio streaming.
Additionally, the UI has been cleaned up a bit – something which had been a problem for some users when Honeycomb made its debut on the Xoom. Many UI elements weren’t very clean or intuitive, so hopefully those issues have been resolved. Transitions and animations are said to be faster and smoother, so the overall user experience should be a step above version 3.0.
Android 3.1 also brings support for a number of USB peripherals such as keyboards and game controllers. Pretty nifty!
The new features in 3.1 are quite vast, so for additional details, be sure to visit the Android Developer site linked below.
[Via: Android Developers]