Your Android Tablet Just Got Better: What's New in Android 3.2

Android 3.2 is an unexpected little update, especially with Ice Cream Sandwich coming later this year. But good on Google for making its less-than-amazing Android tablets a little bit better all the time until that major new hotness happens.


So! Here's what's new and better in Android 3.2, which is already rolling out to Motorola Xooms—other tablets will probably follow suit pretty shortlyish.

Zooming In

Android phones apps have, up to now, tended to squash and stretch themselves out to take advantage of all the disparate screen layouts you'll find on tablets. It's been a mess. With 3.2, that problem will be sort of rectified with the new zoom feature.

Think of how iPhone apps behaved on the iPad when it was first released. You had the option of choosing a 2x mode that scaled the app up the iPad's screen. Low-res and none too attractive, but functional. It's the same here. Apps that are known to struggle will, by default, have a button in the system bar that will allow users to toggle between "Stretch to fill screen," which is the same stretching business the app would have normally done, and "Zoom to fill screen," which will scale what you're looking at to your screen.


It Brings Everyone to the Party

Android 3.2 will finally go where no Honeycomb's gone before: seven-inch tablets. Where you once had an interface designed for 4-inch screens, now you have one that's actually designed for tablets. A blessing for everybody with an HTC View 4G, for example. It also supports new Qualcomm chips that'll be powering Android tablets in the near future—which means more tablets from more folks.


It's Just Better

In addition to all that goodness, Android 3.2's also got a ton of bug fixes and crowd-pleasers like improved hardware acceleration—faster faster kill kill—and proper SD Card support. Plus, updates to Movie Studio, Movies, Music and widgets to make them better.


[Android Developer Blog, This Is My Next]

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