Yeasterday Google held a special event for Android 3.0, Honeycomb. This version of the popular mobile operating system is designed specifically for tablet devices. The Motorola Xoom is the device that currently has Google's backing as the Android tablet to pick up.
That said, Honeycomb is bringing a few things we'd like to see in iOS for iPad. Some of these features may be coming to the iPad 2, but we are already seeing them in action with Android.
1) Much of Your Relevant Info is Available In the Homescreen
We can appreciate the simplicity of the iOS homescreen. Still, we would be interested in having more information available on our lock screen. We've talked about this before when writing about things that need to change in iOS.
2) Video Chat on Tablet OS
While Apple beat Google to a built-in video chat, Google already has their video chat running on a tablet. The Honeycomb demo on the Motorola Xoom today showed this at work. Of course the fact that the Xoom has built-in cameras also helps it. That's something that Apple will definitely be doing with the iPad 2.
4) Non-Intrusive Notifications
This is another one we talked about when wishing for some changes in iOS. As much as we enjoy using iOS, we don't always like that notifications pop up in the middle of the screen, interrupting whatever it may be we are doing at the time. Sure, it's only for a second, but it's annoying in the middle of a movie or while reading the news.
5) CNN's iReport
This is an interesting idea, and while it's not actually something developed by Google, it's on their tablet first. This again has a lot to do with the fact that the current iPad is camera-less. The idea is that citizen journalists can capture videos and images with the App and submit them to capture news from their area. This is especially important with major events that happen locally. It'sa very important part of modern news gathering.
The Race Continues
This will be the first time that an Android tablet truly cometes with the iPad. Some may have thought we were just talking down Android as iOS fans when the Samsung Galaxy Tab was released, but we like both systems. There are things that each does better, and until Google released an OS designed for tablet devices, iOS was the better tablet OS. We will see how things go from here, but it's nice to see that consumers will soon have more choices.