Android 3.1 Launched as Honeycomb Upgrade, "Ice Cream Sandwich" on the Way

Chris CrumTechnology

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Among its many Android-related announcements today, Google announced at Google I/O that Android 3.1 is rolling out beginning today.

Android 3.1 features enhancements to existing honeycomb features while also bringing some new things to the table. The features, as described by Google, include:

  • 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.

Many more details about 3.1 here.

Google also announced the next version of Android, called "Ice Cream Sandwich' which is scheduled for a Q4 release. "Our goal with Ice Cream Sandwich is to deliver one operating system that works everywhere, regardless of device," says Director of Android Product Management, Hugo Barra. "Ice Cream Sandwich will bring everything you love about Honeycomb on your tablet to your phone, including the holographic user interface, more multitasking, the new launcher and richer widgets."

Barra also shared a bunch of stats about Android's market performance, and Google introduced Google Music in beta and movie rentals in the Android Market.

Chris Crum

Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.