Google has released further details of its Android Honeycomb operating system.

Designed to extend the Android platform into the tablet space, Honeycomb was first announced last month at the CES conference.

Google said that the operating system had been designed to help application developers better craft and deploy their products on the platform.

Along with support for current Android applications, Honeycomb will let developers add 2D hardware acceleration to existing code and will offer developers access to a new 3D engine known as Render Script.

“Our approach has been to equip developers with the best possible toolkit that we can build and then get out of their way,” said Android product management director Hugo Barra.

Graphics muscle was a chief selling point for Google. Honeycomb’s interface will support side scrolling of desktop screens as well as the ability to navigate between tablets and pages within each window.

Developers and users alike will be offered a new way to distribute their applications. The company announced the launch of a web-based version of its Android Market as well as support for in-application transactions.

Accessed through the browser, the Android Market Web Store will allow users to directly purchase Google applications to their devices with the need to connect with a PCfor syncing.

While Honeycomb has extended the Android platform into the tablet market, the move could create some issues for developers.

Lopez Market Research analyst Marible Lopez noted to that Honeycomb has been presented separate from Android’s smartphone platform.

“What struck me as notable was that Google is creating even further fragmentation by having a tablet OS versus a phone OS,” said Lopez.


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