As Android has advanced for tablets: 5 years of Honeycomb
Android had a stage in which the development for tablets and smartphones was different, each one had its branches: we are talking about Honeycomb, versions between 3.0 and 3.2.4 of Android. A development between February 2011 and February 2012 that ended with Ice Cream Sandwich, and that gave a lot of talk at the time.
Honeycomb meant the arrival of Android tablets, a revolution at that time knowing that the most we had was Android 2.3 Gingerbread. A rival for that iPad that Apple introduced in 2010, and that later has evolved with the many tablets with Windows 8 and Windows 10 equipped.
Five years have passed since Android 3.0 Honeycomb
We talked about all this because Android 3.0 Honeycomb, that version that began the journey of the android on the big screens, has just turned five years between us. And we, as a tribute to that version that went unnoticed by many, we want to make a review of Android travel for Tablets.
What you see above these lines is the video that Android released to present Honeycomb: a system specialized in bringing Android to Tablets, with special importance in giving the best possible experience in a large screen format. Even the YouTube application was completely redesigned to fit the huge screens that carried devices such as the Motorola Zoom, the first device that carried Android Honeycomb in its gut.
Actually, the relationship between Android and tablets has always been complicated, has been full of potholes and feelings that Android has never been made for tablets. And it will not be because Google has not put any effort, because it takes a few updates of systems in which Android for tablets has benefited.
Ice Cream Sandwich unified designs, Lollipop improved them
Ice Cream Sandwich, in addition to bringing us the first Google design lines for applications, that Holo design that began to put some order in Android, brought us the unification of mobiles and tablets. Yes, Honeycomb and the dream of an Android for tablets touched its disappearance with Ice Cream Sandwich, a version that unified the development of both mobile phones and tablets.
This unification meant much more than it seems, really. The buttons on the screen came to the mobile phones, imposing a standard, a navigation bar design arrived, some lines arrived so that all the applications were together with the operating system. A change for Unify the entire Android experience, which ended with that differentiation. From here, and for the system, the change from smartphone to tablet is another configuration.
In addition, the tablets did not get rid of Material Design, because Google thought about them when we saw the update to Android 5.0 Lollipop, Android L for friends. With Lollipop also came changes for tablets, and Material has done enough for the big screens, although these changes were minor.
Multi-window, multi-user … do the functions designed for tablets work?
Actually, and although it may not seem like it, Google has also tried to think of tablets with system updates. Functions such as multiple users, using several profiles within Android for different users, first came to the tablets, and then perfected and expanded to other devices.
And speaking of exclusive functions for tablets, we cannot forget about multiventana, something that takes time on Android thanks to layers of customization like TouchWiz, but that is not natively on Android. I lie, yes it is available, but It is considered an experimental function, not suitable for daily and constant use. A function that would come from pearls on a tablet, but that is only available for those users who know how to activate it.
Android and Tablets, an impossible relationship so far
With HoneycombAndroid on tablets promised a lot: an operating system specialized in tablets, made to work on large screens. With Ice Cream Sandwich we found an update made to unify all Android experiences, and with Lollipop came a breath of fresh air in design that suited the big screens very well.
Unfortunately, Android's relationship with large screens has always been bumpy and uncomfortable. Android becomes an operating system too small for the possibilities of a tablet. The possibilities open with Honeycomb were many, but in Marshmallow we are almost the same, with very few real changes.
Moreover, we can take the last tablet that Google presented to us along with Nexus devices, the Pixel C, and see that Android makes no sense to make it work. The most logical thing is to think that it was a device with Chrome OS that had to turn towards Android abruptly, something that would explain many of the failures that have been found to the Pixel C in the analyzes: excellent parts working with an operating system that It is not up to scratch.
Even so, there is still hope: Android can continue to improve with the future update to Android 7.0, more with the rumors – denied a priori by Google, but more alive than ever – that Chrome OS and Android will come together to give rise to a unique operating system for desktops and mobile devices. That may be the way to give prominence that tablets deserve, but only time will tell us.