updated 08:55 pm EST, Mon December 27, 2010
Honeycomb media player app caught on video
Google's plans to revamp the Android interface in Honeycomb were exposed in more detail this evening with the posting of a pre-release version of the platform's media player. The unfinished app primarily shows a much more polished interface with transparency and a much more visual album picker. The XDA-Developers copy noticeably includes a menu button like that from the Motorola tablet demo, suggesting that Google is aiming to improve interface consistency by putting more onscreen.
The app is just one component and doesn't provide a complete look at the interface but, by scaling to phone size, implies that Google will bring Honeycomb to all devices and not just tablets. Its goal has long been known to be adding visual polish to bring it closer to iOS as well as to reduce the need for the custom interfaces that are common on Android phones. On tablets, it will move virtually all the navigation buttons to the main screen, eliminating the need for hardware buttons on the front that are still needed even on competing hardware like the iPad.
Honeycomb, possibly called Android 2.4 or 3.0, is known to be getting its first public showing at CES next week, where Motorola's 10-inch tablet and possibly other devices will themselves show for the first time. Actual finished products may not show until at least March as it would be waiting on the software to be finished.