Friday, July 8, 2011

The Android 3.2 update is coming soon; here’s everything we know so far

Android 3.2 is almost here, folks. Confirming the chatter we heard a few weeks ago, Google is about to drop a whole lot of Honeycomb goodness on us. According to a member of the Android team, the Motorola Xoom should be getting the 3.2 update over the coming days.

Android 3.2 won’t be a huge jump over version 3.1 in terms of features. In fact, Android 3.2 will still be considered Honeycomb. (Much like both Android 2.0 and 2.1 were considered Eclair). However, that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited about a new version of our favorite mobile OS.

The two biggest features (that we know of) coming in Android 3.2 are support for 7-inch tablets and Qualcomm processors. This should open up the Android ecosystem to a more diverse group of Honeycomb tablets. So far, it consists mostly of 10-inch tablets powered by Tegra 2. You can expect more and more OEMs to jump on the Honeycomb bandwagon with cheaper and smaller tablets like the Huawei MediaPad and the very affordable Archos 80 G9 and 101 G9 tablets.

By adding support for 7-inch and Qualcomm-powered tablets, Google also opens the door to tablets currently running Android 2.x. A prime example of this is HTC’s Flyer tablet. The device got great reviews at launch, but it doesn’t change the fact that HTC’s tablet feels a lot like an over-sized HTC EVO 4G. Hopefully, HTC won’t forget about Flyer users and will update the tablet to Android 3.2.

Moving on to the smaller improvements, Android 3.2 will also bring a bunch of bug fixes and improved hardware acceleration (which is always good). In other words, a faster more stable version of Android 3.1. What’s not to love? Finally, apps like Movie Studio, Movies and Music will be getting an update. We don’t know whether these will be small or large updates, but we hope they’re more than just a couple bug fixes. Widgets will also be getting a bit of polish according to TIMN, but we have no idea what Google will improve about them.

That’s pretty much everything we know about Android 3.2 at this point. But there’s always the chance Google surprises us with one more thing. What would you like to see Google announce with Android 3.2? Keep in mind they announced Android 3.1 a few weeks ago and Ice Cream Sandwich is coming in a few months. These are people, for God’s sake, not robots.

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