We’ve been hearing about Google Honeycomb for quite some time now. This 3.0 operating system is alleged to have all kinds of new features that will make the mouths of consumers water, while — Google hopes — making Apple feel the pain. Now, as we approach CES and start seeing a wide array of Honeycomb models, the observed details are hitting the rumor mills, creating a lineup of supposed system requirements and features.
According to a report from Engadget, Honeycomb requirements offer several “surprises.” The first is hardly a surprise to those paying attention: We’ve confirmed that this is a tablet only update. Considering the fact that Honeycomb has already been presented in advertisements as the “Android OS specifically made for tablets” (such as with the CES ad from Motorola), this really shouldn’t be stunning. What you’ll need inside that tablet, however, just might be.
The current report says that tablets will need a “dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor” to run honeycomb, and the alleged source is Enspert, who’s manufacturing parts for upcoming Android tablets. Additionally, the screen resolution for these tabs will set a higher industry standard — with 1280 by 720 showing as the rumored minimum. Of course, resolution will vary in difficulty for manufacturers depending on the actual screen size, so it’s likely that all tablets for Honeycomb will be seven inches and up.
These requirements, if true, raise several issues. Two are prominent. First, what will happen to the huge number of Android tablets that don’t meet these requirements? Honestly, it seems likely that the answer is “they’ll never get updated.” And second, what about smartphones? Will we ever see Honeycomb for the handset platform? In this case, I feel the answer is a simple “no.” It’s more than likely that the handsets will continue to follow the 2.x series while tablets start running down the 3.x line.