In case you haven't heard, Google previewed its upcoming version of Android today, Honeycomb. This version is geared towards all of the also upcoming Android tablets that are due out this year. Naturally, its largest competitor will be Apple's iPad running iOS.
From what I saw today, I believe that Honeycomb will make the iPad drop its crown as the tablet king. Let's take a look at a few of the major reasons that I think this will happen.
Honeycomb looks like a computer that the majority of consumers are used to. And for nerds like me, it offers quite a bit more functionality. For instance, the notification bar on the bottom has icons for special applications like music. You click the icon down on that bar, and it gives you a little pop-up menu to manipulate whatever that app is doing. The buttons along the other side of the bar are replacements for your hardware buttons. One of them brings up an enhanced multitasking viewer, in which you are able to see the states of those multitasking apps.
Honeycomb is going to be running on tablets for the most part, meaning that there will be some more screen real estate to play around with. Because of this, Android's incredibly famous widgets are improved upon, as well. They offer more functionality like swiping and rotating the widget for more information.
Eventually, I believe that this could be how apps are opened on Android. For example, you can swipe the email widget on Honeycomb to see all of your emails. Cool. But then you have to click on your email app's icon to see that message. What if you could simply pinch that widget and open your email client that way? Same goes for the YouTube widget we saw. You could start playing a video in the little widget, but then pinch to go fullscreen.
There are obviously more spectacular features of Android 3.0, but those are the ones that the iPad and iOS are going to have to go up against in 2011. We really have no idea what Apple's planning for iOS 5, but it's got to be better than what we have now, or I'm going to the G-Slate.