Google reveals Android 3.1 for tablets and Google TV

All those lovely apps on Google TV this summer
All those lovely apps on Google TV this summer

Google has announced an upgrade to its Honeycomb OS, named Android 3.1.

"We've been busy," said Mike Claren as he opened his Google I/O keynote speech. He's not wrong.

The update is rolling out to Android tablets from today, starting in the US, but will also be heading to Google TV, bringing Android Market to your television.

Improvements to the OS include an expanded multitasking tool, which includes a system manager which handles your open resources for you so you won't run out of memory or be prompted to quit an application on the tablet.

No more midget widgets

Also getting some love are Android widgets; you'll now be able to expand the size of a scrollable widget that sits on the home screen, stretching it horizontally and vertically. Existing scrollable widgets can also be upgraded quite easily with a couple of lines of codes for the developer to add in.

The update will also allow Android devices to act as a USB host, so you can import your photos directly from a digital camera to your tablet; you can also use USB keyboards, mice, trackpads and game controllers with the device, so you aren't just stuck with a touchscreen.

Android 3.1 should be rolling out to UK Honeycomb-running tablets soon, and to Google TV this summer, although it's unlikely that Google TV itself will even be available in the UK by then.

News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.