05:52 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Connect Directly

Android 3.0 Honeycomb's Weakness: No Media Support

Google today detailed Android 3.0 Honeycomb for tablet devices. While the platform has some nice feature, it is what Google didn't announce that's more important.

Google today detailed Android 3.0 Honeycomb for tablet devices. While the platform has some nice feature, it is what Google didn't announce that's more important.My colleague Gina Smith gave a good run down of today's announcement, but there are some key features missing in Android 3.0 Honeycomb -- and the greater Android ecosystem.

First, no music store. Google did not launch Google Music today. One of Android's continued weaknesses is its lack of a unified music experience. It has no iTunes to call its own. The best option is the Amazon MP3 store. While users can easily use Amazon MP3 to download songs to their device, there's no way to transfer them back to their PC easily.

Second, no desktop support for media. While it's great that Google syncs vital user data to the cloud, users don't have a desktop client to use for syncing their details nor their media. Sure, alternatives such as doubleTwist help to fill in this gap a bit, but it would be better for Google to provide the tools to manage this. Besides, doubleTwist isn't perfect.

Third, no movie store. Android users, even those sporting a spiffy Honeycomb tablet, don't have a central place to purchase video content. Google needs to create an ecosystem that can consistently deliver a good movie experience to tablet devices. It hasn't done that yet. Sideloading movies onto mobile devices is no fun, no fun at all.

The Honeycomb YouTube experience does look compelling, and the user interface tweaks certainly will be embraced by end users, but the entire user interface still lacks the polish of iOS, for example.

A device such as a tablet is begging to be used as a solid media device, and not just a browsing and video chatting device. I love watching movies on the iPad, and syncing it with iTunes is an absolute breeze. Android needs this power!

Google also failed to mention any enterprise-specific features, such as security and IT management support. Will Honeycomb include all the IT features baked into Android 2.2? How will this device be managed by IT -- if at all? Does Google even expect business users to flock to Honeycomb devices?

Despite some of the whiz-bang features that look good, Google left plenty unanswered about Honeycomb.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July10, 2014
When selecting servers to support analytics, consider data center capacity, storage, and computational intensity.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join InformationWeek’s Lorna Garey and Mike Healey, president of Yeoman Technology Group, an engineering and research firm focused on maximizing technology investments, to discuss the right way to go digital.
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.