updated 02:10 pm EST, Thu January 6, 2011
Google demos Android 3 at Verizon CES opener
Google during the opening day keynote at CES showed off Android 3.0 in much more detail than what was shown with the Motorola Xoom. The company confirmed a previously only hinted at implementation of video chat and had a high quality full-screen conversation with Android UI team member Matias Duarte. The app is straightforward and lets users jump into either audio or video conversations with anyone who also uses Gmail.
The look also gave a clearer view of how multitasking works in the tablet-optimized OS. More like a desktop than a mobile platform like the iPad, it shows thumbnails of the actively running apps and lets users pick tasks visually, even if it's a demanding title like a game or a video.
The look also gave the opportunity to see the on-screen keyboard, which is large and cosmetically similar to that of its Apple equivalent. Android 3.0's home screen widgets are also much more powerful, Google said. As seen earlier, the browser is closer to Chrome and has borrowed features such as Incognito mode (private browsing) and bookmark sync with Chrome on the desktop. The e-book app has a carousel browser but behaves more like iBooks with virtual page turns.
Android 3.0 should be available in February when the Xoom ships and should find its way to many other tablets in the few months afterwards.