Google dazzles CES with Android Honeycomb preview

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter


LAS VEGAS (CNNMoney) -- Google showed off a preview of its hotly awaited, tablet-optimized Android 3.0 -- nicknamed Honeycomb -- in a demo on Thursday at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Android-based tablets have been a big focus at the massive CES show this year, and companies including Motorola Mobility (MMI) and Toshiba had said they would wait to unleash their new tablets until Honeycomb was released.

The tablet-oriented Honeycomb is meant to improve upon previous Android iterations. In a blog post Thursday, Google highlighted features including a holographic user interface, home screen customization, desktop-like Web browsing and simpler multitasking.

Thursday's demo was led by Android developer Mike Cleron, who said Honeycomb development "focused on what people were already loving about Android." The demo took place on the Xoom, a new tablet that Motorola unveiled in a CES presentation on Wednesday.

Cleron showed off virtual controls at the bottom of the tablet's screen, rather than physical or touch buttons. He then launched into the user interface, including a native Gmail widget, a calendar widget and bookmarks.

The highlights of the presentation were, unsurprisingly, two native Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) apps: Talk and Maps.

"Android has always had great apps, but it's about a great communication tool as well," Cleron said as he showed off a video chat via Google Talk.

The audience "oohed" when Cleron used the recently released Google Maps 5.0, which rotates to show buildings and other landmarks in 3D. "Yeah, it's pretty awesome!" Cleron quipped after the audience's response.

The new update will feature several powerful Web browser updates, including tabbed browsing, form auto-fill, Google Chrome bookmarks sync, and an "incognito mode" for private browsing.

Cleron also showcased tablet-optimized versions of Google's e-book library -- which syncs to multiple devices, including the last page read -- and a flashy YouTube search screen.

Honeycomb will "bring a desktop experience" to tablet Web browsing, Cleron said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Google's Honeycomb demoer as VP of Engineering Andy Rubin. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,400.25 -278.45 -1.58%
Nasdaq 4,699.74 -72.02 -1.51%
S&P 500 2,034.25 -22.84 -1.11%
Treasuries 1.79 -0.04 -2.02%
Data as of 1:10pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Microsoft Corp 42.88 -4.13 -8.80%
Bank of America Corp... 15.70 -0.15 -0.98%
Apple Inc 111.14 -1.96 -1.73%
Intel Corp 34.16 -1.65 -4.61%
Cisco Systems Inc 26.95 -1.02 -3.65%
Data as of 12:55pm ET

Sections

Big companies are giving big red flags about their profit and sales outlooks for 2015. More

You need a lot less to get into the Top 1% in Arkansas than you do in Connecticut. More

Google to bring high-speed Internet service to Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham. More

On demand delivery startup WunWun is expecting its order volume to double by the time they close up shop on Monday. All thanks to a blizzard. More

CNNMoney/PayScale's top 100 careers with big growth, great pay and satisfying work. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2015. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2015 and/or its affiliates.