Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) review

Google's powerful new Honeycomb tablet OS takes on iOS 4.3

Android 3.0
Can Android 3.0 match the usability of iOS 4.3?

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Customisation and personalisation

One of the major advantages of using an Android device is that you can customise the interface. Accessing these customisations is not that intuitive – you have to long-press on an open area of the Home screen.

Once you find them, they are easy to use – you can chose a different wallpaper or use a live wallpaper that has a subtle animation, such as shifting lines that grow and expand. We figure Google will continue to release new live wallpaper animations, which look especially attractive on the larger screen.

android 3.0 clock

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Android 3.0 beats the iPad 2 in customisations – you add widgets on up to five Home screens, and group app icons anywhere you want on those screens.

While some Android phones provide rich customisations, including the unique Sense interface on HTC models and several extra widgets, Motorola has provided the basic Android 3.0 interface on the Xoom.

android 3.0 settings

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There are no extra UI options beyond the standard offering, and that's not necessarily a bad thing: it could mean consistency across Android tablets, so if you pick up a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet sometime down the road you will know exactly how it works.

Third-party apps that allow customisations are barely available – there are a few apps that let you stream music, but nothing that lets you tweak the interface. There isn't even an app to rent or purchase TV shows and movies like there is on the Samsung Galaxy (the Media Hub app).

John Brandon

John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.