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What's New : Honeycomb 3.1 Update

Android 3.1 is currently rolling out to the Verizon Motorola Xoom and will hit other tablets and Google TV devices later on. Check out the list of features below.

UI refinements
The Launcher animation is optimized for faster, smoother transition to and from the Apps list. Adjustments in color, positioning, and text make UI elements easier to see, understand, and use. Accessibility is improved with consistent audible feedback throughout the UI and a new setting to let users customize the touch-hold interval to meet their needs. Navigation is now easier: touching the Home button now takes you to the home screen most recently used.

Connectivity for USB accessories
Users can attach many types of input devices (keyboards, mice, game controllers) and digital cameras. The platform also adds new support for USB accessories.

Expanded Recent Apps list
For improved multitasking and instant visual access to a much larger number of apps, the Recent Apps list is now expandable.

Resizeable Home screen widgets
For more flexible Home screen customization, users can now resize their Home screen widgets using drag bars provided by the system.

Robust Wi-Fi networking
Android 3.1 adds robust Wi-Fi features, to make sure that users and their apps can take full advantage of higher-speed Wi-Fi access at home, at work, and while away. A new high-performance Wi-Fi lock lets applications maintain high-performance Wi-Fi connections even when the device screen is off. Users can now configure an HTTP proxy for each individual Wi-Fi access point. The platform also provides backup and restore of the user-defined IP and proxy settings, as well as support for Preferred Network Offload (PNO).

The Quick Controls UI, accessible from Browser Settings, is extended and redesigned. Users can now use the controls to view thumbnails of open tabs and close the active tab, as well as access the overflow menu for instant access to Settings and other controls. The Browser extends its support for popular web standards such as CSS 3D, animations, and CSS fixed positioning to all sites. It also adds support for embedded playback of HTML5 video content. Users can now save a web page locally for offline viewing, including all styling and images. Also , an improved auto-login UI lets users sign in quickly and manage access when multiple users are sharing a device. Browser adds support for plugins that use hardware accelerated rendering. Page zoom performance is also dramatically improved, making it faster to navigate and view web pages.

The Gallery app now supports Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP), so that users can connect their cameras over USB and import their pictures to Gallery with a single touch. The app also copies the pictures to local storage and provides an indicator to let users see how much space is available.

Calendar grids are larger, for better readability and more accurate touch-targeting. Additionally, users can create a larger viewing area for grids by hiding the calendar list controls. Controls in the date picker are redesigned, making them easier to see and use.

The Contacts app now lets you locate contacts more easily using full text search. Search returns matching results from all fields that are stored for a contact.

When replying or forwarding an HTML message, The Email app now sends both plain text and HTML bodies as a multi-part mime message. Folder prefixes for IMAP accounts are now easier to define and manage. To conserve battery power and minimize cell data usage, the application now prefetches email from the server only when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi access point. An updated Home screen widget give users quick access to more email and customization.


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