Android 3.0 Designed for Tablets

Right off the bat, Android 3.0 — designed specifically for tablets — looks impressive.  And from the reactions around the web, it’s been mostly positive feedback.

Honeycomb is the next version of the Android platform, designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. We’ve spent a lot of time refining the user experience in Honeycomb, and we’ve developed a brand new, truly virtual and holographic user interface. Many of Android’s existing features will really shine on Honeycomb: refined multi-tasking, elegant notifications, access to over 100,000 apps on Android Market, home screen customization with a new 3D experience and redesigned widgets that are richer and more interactive. We’ve also made some powerful upgrades to the web browser, including tabbed browsing, form auto-fill, syncing with your Google Chrome bookmarks, and incognito mode for private browsing.

What strikes me as odd, then, is this seems to be yet another example of Google having no integrated and overall product strategy.  They have Chrome OS for netbooks, Android 3.0 or “Honeycomb” for tablets and then whatever version of Android for mobile phones.  Watching the above video, Honeycomb doesn’t strike me as an OS fit for a mobile phone display.

Wouldn’t Google be better off spending their time working on one OS that can scale for netbooks, tablets and mobile phones?  Building out a refined user experience for playing media?  Leveraging YouTube as a video player for these devices?  Figuring out a way to incorporate a usable music player (with an easy way to get media onto these devices), as well as establishing a rock-solid online marketplace for apps, music, books, movies, etc.?

And yes, I get that this sounds an awful lot like Apple’s strategy.  But at least with Apple you never have to wonder what in the heck they’re doing (though I wish they would move their stores to a web address and strip down iTunes).  Google just seems scatterbrained, unfocused and throwing darts in the dark hoping to hit a bullseye.  And yet, they clearly have all the pieces of the puzzle in play, so what’s really going on up at Mountain View?

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