So you’ve got yourself a Motorola XOOM Android tablet (with Wi-Fi only) and you’re sitting tight waiting for that update to Android 3.2 Honeycomb, yes? You’ve been first on the docket for every upgrade to Honeycomb (save for the 3.1 update, aka the only other update thus far, which went instead to the Verizon version of the XOOM,) and you’re pumped up to see what Android 3.2 will bring. Well what do you know, we got that update already and it’s time to let you know! Lets have a look at a guide on what you’re going to be dealing with in Android 3.2 Honeycomb, shall we?
Before we begin, take note: this guide isn’t going to be long, mostly because there isn’t just a whole heck of a lot of changes in this update. Only some bug fixes and a few possibly-gigantic upgrades are included, the biggest changes being left for Ice Cream Sandwich, I’m sure.
A New Kind of SD Card Support
SD card support is one of those things that tablet users have been waiting for since the dawn of time, that being since they first purchased their tablet, the Motorola XOOM being an excellent example here. The XOOM launched with a tiny tab in the upper right of the device that pulled out to reveal two placeholder cards: one SIM and one microSD. With Android 3.2 comes SD card support, but not in the way you’re used to. Where in the past, with handsets that is, you’ve been able both read and write to microSD cards, in Android 3.2 for tablets, you’ll only be able to read.
What this means is that if you’re used to downloading apps and placing them on your microSD card so your build-in storage can remain free and open, you’re outta luck. Unless you’ve got a way to download apps on your PC and save them to the card outside the tablet, you’ll be only able to use the card for storage of media such as movies, photos, and music, again placed on the card with your PC and a card reader of some sort.
Very similar to how the iPad handles apps made only for iPhone or iPod Touch, you’ll now be able to zoom in on your apps that normally wouldn’t get any bigger than their original handset size. This means some addition of pixels. Ever take a photo in Photoshop or Paint or any other photo editor in the world and make it much bigger than the original size? You know what happens? It gets weird, it gets what we in the industry call “pixelated” or “totally messed up.”
What’s going to have to happen here instead of this zooming in of apps is a change in the way developers make their apps, specifically in the area of images that aren’t vector based. When you make a vector-based image and have it in your app, no amount of stretching is going to matter because the lines are all based on mathematics instead of pixels which are either off or on.
See, I told you there wasn’t just a whole heck of a lot to it. Android 3.2 adds some additional bug fixes, as updates such as this always do, as well as some improvements that future tablets (before Ice Cream Sandwich is released of course) will appreciate. One of these improvements is added is build-in support for smaller tablets, that is 7-inch and 8.9-inch tablets mostly, giving developers the tools they need to develop for screen size-specific environments. Next, memory settings have been tweaked to improve how Honeycomb handles widgets on your home screens – those of you with a million widgets can now take comfort in knowing you’ll be rolling much smoother now. And finally a set of improvements that help with speed and stability, as they always say, are included in this update.
So now all you’ve got to do is wait for it! Fun!
ALSO If you want to get in on our original guides for Honeycomb, just head [here]