Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” Tablets Coming in 2011

The Samsung Galaxy Tab may not have reached iPad sales levels. But that Android tablet sold over a million units in 2010, even though Google insists that Android 2.2 “Froyo” – the then-current version of the Android operating system, that the Samsung Galaxy Tab runs – is only designed for phones.
Now in 2011, Google’s got Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” in the works, a new version of the Android operating system which will have special support for tablets. Meaning, just like how iPhone developers can write special versions of apps that are made for the iPad’s large screen, now Android developers will be able to write apps designed just for tablets. Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering at Google, demonstrated how Honeycomb works, showing sliding side-menus that work like the ones on the iPad.

Android phone makers like HTC, LG and Motorola are already gearing up, to make Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” tablets. So, what do they have in the works? Let’s find out!

Motorola Xoom

I’m sure Motorola has a reason for releasing an Android tablet that isn’t a Droid. Maybe they didn’t want to pay Lucasarts’ licensing fees. Beyond that, the biggest rumors I can find about this Android tablet are regarding its technical specs (really good) and whether or not it will use Verizon 4G LTE. Right now the people on the rumor sites don’t seem to think so, but they think that you might be able to plug in a 4G USB modem.

Pretty much all we know for certain is what the Xoom Android tablet’s not meant to be, thanks to an official promotional video released by Motorola. Besides being kind of funny, as it goes through “tablets” throughout the ages, it criticizes the iPad for being just a big iPhone, and points out the the Samsung Galaxy Tab’s shortcomings. If the iPad is just a big iPhone, though, then what is an Android tablet if not a big Android phone? We’ll see Motorola’s answer in 2011, it looks like!

Unnamed LG tablet

There have been rumors of an LG Android tablet for a while; it was supposed to come out for this Christmas. Apparently LG’s not big on making “just a big phone” tablets either, though, and decided to wait for Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Their upcoming dual-core Optimus 2 phone may well steal the show in 2011, but if the rumors about the LG Android tablet having a 3D display are true, that just might wow some people.

HTC Thunderbolt

The photos we’ve seen of the HTC Thunderbolt Android tablet make it look for all the world like a big Android smartphone. As you can see, though, it’s definitely got 4G wireless, plus the kickstand looks like a nice touch! HTC’s got an official site for more info, if you’re interested … which I am, just because they make the classiest Android phones in my opinion. (I use an HTC Aria.)

The Upshot

Will any of these Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” tablets beat out the iPad? The answer, I think, is “not likely.” But the real answer is, “who cares?” The iPad is not going anywhere, and neither is Android it looks like. But thanks to Android, the iPad’s no longer the only way to get a tablet. And that’s good, for the people whose needs are not met by it.

What do you think? Which Android tablet are you most looking forward to? Scroll down and leave a comment … and whatever you use in 2011, I hope you have fun with it!

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