Google may have unveiled the Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system designed specifically for tablets during CES. And the company may have already released a preview of the Software Developer Kit. But Honeycomb’s real coming out party started this morning when Google held a press event in California to show off some of the new features in the operating system.

As part of the demo, the company showed off a number of apps and features in the operating system, including a new notification system that allows for advanced functionality. For instance, you an see user avatars in the pop-up notifications at the bottom right side of the screen. A music app can provide a notification that lets you play or pause music playback from the notifications.

The company also showed how a new “app fragment” framework works, allowing developers to code apps with different portions that will display differently depending on the context.

For instance, you may want a single-pane Gmail view in portrait mode, and a two-pane view in landscape mode. This also allows apps to look one way on a tablet and a different way on a smartphone — all while running the exact same code.

Most apps that were designed according to Google’s existing guidelines should run well on Honeycomb, even if they were designed for Android 2.x and smartphones. Google showed off Fruit Ninja playing in full screen mode on the Motorola Xoom to make the point.

Google also showed off some third party apps that take advantage of the multitasking and 3D graphics capabilities of the operating system, including some pretty impressive games, the new YouTube app with a 3D wall showing videos, and CNN’s new Android tablet app with iReport functionality allowing users to shoot video and upload it to CNN.

Google also confirmed that video chat is coming to Google Talk.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...