Android Honeycomb opens up a wild new world - one that's poised to explode over the next few months. Since the launch of the Motorola Xoom, numerous manufacturers have been scurrying to get their own tablets onto the market. Scurrying just as quickly are the countless developers working to get their applications ready for Android tablets.
Honeycomb tablets can actually run any Android apps, even those created for earlier smartphone-focused versions of the platform. But apps made specifically for tablets tend to deliver far better results, since they're optimised to take advantage of the larger screen size and the new tablet-friendly features that Honeycomb provides.
The number of tablet-optimised apps for Android is still fairly small, but it's growing with each passing week. At the recent CTIA mobile tech show in the US, we got a glimpse at some of the latest and greatest Honeycomb creations - some already available, and some set to launch soon. Here are 10 we think you might like.
Galaxy on Fire 2 ('Ultra High-Res' edition)
You may have seen Galaxy on Fire 2 before, but you haven't seen it like this. Game developer Fishlabs is preparing to release an 'ultra high-res' edition of its space simulation game for Android Honeycomb tablets with Tegra 2 processors (such as the Xoom). The new version makes the iOS equivalent look like child's play: The graphics quality is four to six times greater, thanks to the added processing power the superspeedy chips provide. As one nVidia team member put it, the iPad version seems almost "cartoony" in comparison.
Galaxy on Fire 2 will launch for Android tablets in about three weeks. It will be available in the Android Market for $10 (about £6.25).
Opera Browser for tablets
Opera takes the honour of being the first third-party browser to offer a tablet-optimised edition for Android with its new Opera Mobile web browser, available as of this week in the Android Market. Opera Mobile provides several features not found in the stock Honeycomb browser, including a 'speed dial' home page that stores your favourite bookmarks and integrated syncing with any desktop-based Opera browser. The program also has an optional 'turbo' mode that forces pages to be compressed remotely on Opera's servers, leading to smaller data transfers and faster load times.
Opera Mobile web browser is a free download.
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