As we continue to dive deeper and deeper into the gorgeous mystery that is Honeycomb we are seeing more and more leaked information come across the speculation mill. At the Dive Into Mobile event where Andy Rubin was caught showing off the sexy Motorola Tablet with a sneak peak of Honeycomb, he showed us that there were no physical buttons on the device like we are used to seeing on other Android devices. Moving forward new information coming in suggests that Honeycomb does not require physical buttons on any future devices because they have been built into the UI, which for Tablet users offers the same button experience no matter the screen orientation as you can see below. It is definitely interesting to see how this plays out with all the new devices that are being designed to specifically run Honeycomb, especially the ones that we haven’t even seen yet. I do like the idea of having software buttons versus hardware buttons but will this take up too much precious screen real estate? I would imagine this may bring us less carrier nonsense and a more full-glass look to our phones in the future. Sound off in the comments and let us know what your preference would be in the battle for no buttons.
More and more info is coming to light about Honeycomb now that Andy Rubin’s full D: Dive Into Mobile interview is live. One piece of info emerging is that the Honeycomb Android OS update won’t require that a phone has physical or capacitive buttons. Instead, the Android Team has opted to move the traditional Home, Menu, and Back buttons directly into the UI of the interface. If we had to guess, that would be the three icons you see in the lower left corner of the tablet pictured above. Rubin explains the reason for this move is so that users will always have quick and easy access to the common OS commands regardless of screen orientation.
Of course, eliminating hardware buttons isn’t a requirement, and we are sure plenty of Android phones and tablets will continue to deploy some variation of the standard four Android buttons. Our biggest worry is that if and when Honeycomb makes it to smaller-screened devices that the software buttons will take up valuable UI space, eating away at the amount of information that can be displayed on a small display.
Google looks to be covering a full gamut of UI changes in Honeycomb, just as promised. While initial peaks at leaked screen shots look promising, we’ll have to wait for a full reveal before passing any judgement.
Category: Android News
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