Google bumps Android Honeycomb to version 3.1

Google bumps Android Honeycomb to version 3.1As you'd expect, there's a lot going on over at Google's I/O Conference in San Francisco, and a lot of it has to do with Android.

First up is the Android Honeycomb update inadvertently leaked by Adobe last week – version 3.1 – that may not be enough of a bump to warrant a fresh sweet-toothed moniker all of its own, but still brings plenty of new features to the tablet OS.

Among the enhancements are a more powerful task handler that allows for immediate shutdown of any idle tasks without any user intervention, which has been a bugbear for some time on Honeycomb slates.

Also new is the widget resizing feature, along with direct phone-to-tablet USB support and well as USB input from external hardware such as controllers and keyboards.

As with the original release of Honeycomb, Android 3.1 will be headed first to the Honeycomb poster child – Motorola's Xoom tablet – with US Xoom owners on the Verizon network set to receive the update today, before it trickles out to other devices in dribs and drabs in usual Android fashion.

Android 3.1 isn't just being targeted at tablets, either: the Google TV platform, which hasn't exactly been a hands-down success story over in the States, will also move onto the latest Honeycomb release over the summer, and will be opened up to Android Market too – which could well be the shot in the arm the service needs.

Read more about: Android

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