December 19, 2014

Google: Honeycomb "is a Tablet Operating System"

Image: Wildxplorer

Apparently contradicting what Google’s Matias Duarte said at CES, an unnamed Google spokesman told TechRadar that “right now, [Honeycomb] is a tablet operating system.”

TechRadar takes this to mean that Honeycomb may never come to phones, but their source’s words about the future only seem to muddy the waters:

“I think that coming together [of 2.x for phones and 3.x for tablets] is a good idea. What we’re trying to do here I make a base platform that’s so good, that others only need to add native elements in their core areas.”

Which sounds like good news as far as discouraging OEM skins, but sounds unclear as far as when phones will see Honeycomb– or if the “coming together” will be in a version down the road.

On the other hand, when asked if Honeycomb was exclusively for tablets at CES, Android Director of User Experience Matias Duarte said that Honeycomb “is absolutely the direction for Android” on all form factors.

So in conclusion, who knows?



  • Martin

    Given a choice between a second-hand quote from an “unnamed Google spokesman” and a direct quote from “Android Director of User Experience Matias Duarte” it’s definitely hard to decide to which quote we should give more credence. (Caution: sentence contains sarcasm).

  • JaylanPHNX

    Not to mention Andy Rubin saying the same as Duarte. Thing is, they can say its just tablets but will be merged eventually, because Honeycomb is not done yet. Perhaps what is meant is they started with tablets and will integrate phone support into the OS before it’s done.

  • ersouza

    This doesn’t seem that hard to parse… “>>>>RIGHT NOW<<<< [Honeycomb] is a tablet operating system"

    As in, it will initially be released on tablet devices. Given that Android handset makers have typically been a version behind in their device releases anyway, not a surprise.

    • B

      Seriously, why isn’t this obvious point made clear in the article?

  • Jake

    I interpret this as meaning that for the moment Honeycomb is exclusively for tablets. I understood Duarte’s comment that Honeycomb is the direction that Android is headed for all devices as meaning that the same mentality and attention to user experience that went into developing Honeycomb would be applied to post-Gingerbread versions of Android for smartphones. It’s possible that some specific apps/elements of Honeycomb will come to smartphones down the line. In other words, the next Android OS for smartphones will be more like Honeycomb, and that OS may be for both smartphones and tablets.

  • BKdroid

    It’s funny that we, as a bunch of phone geeks with no real market experience, can quickly comprehend what these guys are saying about Honeycomb, while “Tech insider” websites continually misunderstand the quotes… What’s with that?

  • Cotillion

    Why can’t both be true to a degree? Honeycomb can simply be the name for the tablet version and they can convert it to phones and call it something else while maintaining all the features. They don’t have to bind themselves the way everyone seems to think.

  • RoyalWitCheese

    Wouldn’t this mean that Honeycomb is being designed to be a tablet OS that will be put onto phones (small tablets), rather than a phone OS put onto a tablet (ie – iOS)?