Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) is for tablets only, right? That has been the word so far, with the Honeycomb operating system only seeing its home on as-of-yet unreleased tablets. But while digging around in the Honeycomb SDK, something interesting was uncovered. When you switch the default emulator screen resolution from the WXGA 1280×768 default to a more smartphone friendly WVGA, a new UI shell is triggered looking much less like a version of Android built specifically for tablets and a little more like something we’d see on a smartphone.
It’s hard to tell if this is a sign of early work being done to bring the current Android 2.x line of smartphone operating systems into sync with Android 3.0, or merely left over vestigial traces of the OS Honeycomb was built up from. The actual Android launcher crashes, so a replacement like Launcher Pro is needed to even explore this down-sized version of Honeycomb.
Gone are most of the tablet-friendly additions and back is the standard smartphone lockscreen. The new browser works fine, however, despite a lack of visible tabs. That status bar returns to something looking even pre-Gingerbread, so it is possible what we are seeing is just the starting-off point from which Honeycomb was born.
What do you guys think? Is this a sign of things to come or merely a sign of where we have come from? More images at the source below.