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February 16, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Mobile World: Google shows its Honeycomb tablet OS

IMG_0415.JPGBARCELONA, Spain — Google showed its new Android operating system for tablets, 3.0 Honeycomb, at Mobile World Congress.

The Google booth was packed on Wednesday. Several app developers were in the booth showing what they were building for the platform, ranging from Intuit to weight loss apps and media companies. The booth had a playground slide built around a giant Android robot, a conveyor belt circulating the 100-plus devices that now run Android and a smoothie bar. Here is some brief footage of the conveyor belt.

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Device makers have also made announcements about new devices they will be building to run on the Android operating system, including the Samsung Galaxy 10.1, the HTC Flyer and the Huawei S7 Slim.

The first device to have Honeycomb — the Motorola Xoom — will come in the spring in the U.S. from Verizon Wireless. Honeycomb is similar to the Android operating system for smartphones, with icons and widgets. It’s has a carousel-like interface on some of the screens, unlike the iPad which has a more flat feeling.

It does not sound as if the price will be that competitive with the iPad, however. The least expensive iPad costs $499. Motorola said Verizon Wireless would set final pricing, but company representatives in the booth said they thought it would cost $699 or $799.

Microsoft has not announced any plans for a version of Windows targeted at tablets. In January, the company said the next version of Windows will run on chip architecture that will allow Windows to run on tablet devices, but it has said nothing more.

Here is a video of the Honeycomb operating system in action with Trevor Johns, a developer programs engineer for Google.

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This is a video of an app from Wired Magazine coming in the spring. Conde Nast also showed an app for The New Yorker magazine. Megan Edelson from Conde Nast is in the video. This is running on a Motorola Xoom.

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(Photos and videos: Sharon Chan / The Seattle Times)

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