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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Android 3.0 verdict

Android 3.0: Verdict

In the end, Android 3.0 is an exceptional tablet operating system in almost every way. It runs fast on the Motorola Xoom, works well for browsing the internet, supports Adobe Flash, offers the best mapping technologies in 3D and Street View mode and seems poised to capture a vast market of tablet users who prefer the more open framework. It's great that you can email or copy an APK file to install apps.

That said, Android 3.0 is still a work in progress to some extent. There is no standard way to rent to purchase TV shows and movies, and that's more of a problem on a larger tablet screen than it is on a smartphone. Not having that system available makes Android 3.0 less compelling because one of the main uses for a touch tablet is consuming media from the sofa.

There are also precious few tablet apps available – no Skype client, no Pandora, no movie playing apps, and only a handful of games. Motorola doesn't provide an custom UI options like HTC Sense, although you can customise some settings.

Overall, Android 3.0 is powerful and fast. It looks closer to what you'd expect in the modern computing age and not as much like an enlarged version of the smartphone operating system. A few problems still exist, but they are relatively easy to overlook.

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.