New User Features
New UI designed from the ground up for tabletsAndroid 3.0 is a new version of the Android platform that is specifically optimized for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. It introduces a brand new, truly virtual and “holographic” UI design, as well as an elegant, content-focused interaction model.
Android 3.0 builds on the things people love most about Android — refined multitasking, rich notifications, Home screen customization, widgets, and more — and transforms them with a vibrant, 3D experience and deeper interactivity, making them familiar but even better than before.
The new UI brings fresh paradigms for interaction, navigation, and customization and makes them available to all applications — even those built for earlier versions of the platform. Applications written for Android 3.0 are able to use an extended set of UI objects, powerful graphics, and media capabilities to engage users in new ways.
System Bar, for global status and notificationsAcross the system and in all applications, users have quick access to notifications, system status, and soft navigation buttons in a System Bar, available at the bottom of the screen. The System Bar is always present and is a key touchpoint for users, but in a new "lights out mode" can also be dimmed for full-screen viewing, such as for videos.
Action Bar, for application controlIn every application, users have access to contextual options, navigation, widgets, or other types of content in an Action Bar, displayed at the top of the screen. The Action Bar is always present when an application is in use, although its content, theme, and other properties are managed by the application rather than the system. The Action Bar is another key touchpoint for users, especially with action items and an overflow dropdown menu, which users frequently access in a similar manner in most applications.
Customizable Home screensFive customizable Home screens give users instant access to all parts of the system from any context. Each screen offers a large grid that maintains spatial arrangement in all orientations. Users can select and manipulate Home screen widgets, app shortcuts, and wallpapers using a dedicated visual layout mode. Visual cues and drop shadows improve visibility when adjusting the layout of shortcuts and widgets. Each Home screen also offers a familiar launcher for access to all installed applications, as well as a Search box for universal search of apps, contacts, media files, web content, and more.
The Android 3.0 platform includes an updated set of standard applications that are designed for use on larger screen devices. The sections below highlight some of the new features.
Camera and GalleryThe Camera application has been redesigned to take advantage of a larger screen for quick access to exposure, focus, flash, zoom, front-facing camera, and more. To let users capture scenes in new ways, it adds built-in support for time-lapse video recording. The Gallery application lets users view albums and other collections in full-screen mode, with easy access to thumbnails for other photos in the collection.
ContactsThe Contacts app uses a new two-pane UI and Fast Scroll to let users easily organize and locate contacts. The application offers improved formatting of international phone numbers as user types, based on home country and an international number parsing library. Contact information is presented in a card-like UI, making it easier for users to read and edit contacts.