Android Honeycomb 3.2 features: what to expect from this upgrade

Unlike past years Android strategy to name each version with a different codename (ex: 2.1 Eclair, 2.2 Froyo…) the Honeycomb started as Android 3.0 and stretched to 3.1 and 3.2 maintaining the same project code, so it’s hard to distinguish each version, especially since there aren’t many differences to talk about.

Here are a few of the features of the "Honeycomb 3.2":

SD card support

First and foremost, Honeycomb 3.2 adds SD card support, which means if you got a Honeycomb tablet with an SD card slot you can put it to good use now. But hold on, it’s not what you think: you can only read from those cards you insert in your tablet. I’m a bit puzzled by this, as pre-Honeycomb Android devices (including by 2.2 Froyo Samsung Galaxy S) are able to read and write from SD cards. The only reason I can see for this move would by Google trying to protect tablet manufactures so that adding more internal space would require getting a more expensive model.

Anyway, you can still add files to an SD card via your PC/Mac, so you can for example transfer music and videos to a card to listen/watch those files on your tablet. It’s the complete opposite mentality to Apple’s iOS 5, which will try and separate iPad’s dependence of a PC/Mac.

Zoom to fill

  It’s a new compatibility mode for apps not built for the native Honeycomb resolution. It is supposed to make apps look a little bit better, but don’t expect miracles. It’s physically impossible to scale pixels by zooming and get the same quality as a pixel per pixel image.

Support for 7 and 8.9 inch tablets

This is one of the most important things about Honeycomb 3.2 from developer’s perspective, who now have the tools to develop apps for lower resolution screens found in 7 inch and some 8.9 inch tablets.

Other optimisations

From the things you might not notice immediately there will be performance optimisations on the way widgets are handled, so those who use lots of screen widgets there might be an improvement in the overall operational smoothness.


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