Mobile

Android 3.0 for tablets looks like a leap beyond iPad for Google (video)

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Google today previewed its upcoming tablet-friendly Android 3.0 update at the Consumer Electronics Show, and it looks unlike any version of Android we’ve ever seen.

The video shows off a slick new user interface that Google describes as a “truly virtual holographic interface” built specifically for large-screen devices. We’re not sure if that means it won’t be available for phones, but I would honestly find it surprising if Google made that sort of restriction. At the very least, much of what we see in Android 3.0 will make it into the next major update for Android phones.

Android 3.0 will sport a revamped home screen, browser, and email all optimized for tablets. Additionally, there’s a new YouTube interface and support for the new version of Google Maps that first appeared on Android 2.3. The OS will also let Google Talk users video chat between tablets and computers — a feature we definitely expect to see on phones soon as well.

Most impressive to me is the vast leap Android 3.0 demonstrates beyond earlier versions of Android running on tablets. With Android 3.0, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab will be much more compelling and an actual competitor to the iPad — something that will hold true for all Android 3.0-powered tablets.