Google Android 3.0 Honeycomb isn’t due out until next year, but Android boss Andy Rubin gave a sneak peek at the OS at D: Dive into Mobile last night. The operating system will be optimized to run not just on smartphones, but also on tablets with larger displays, and Rubin showed how the Gmail app will look on the larger screen: It will have a two-pane view, with a message list on the left and the message you’re reading on the right, which is pretty much how the iPad Mail app works.
As for the Motorola Tablet, Rubin didn’t spill a lot of details, but he did say that it has a dual core NVIDIA chip. Odds are that’s an NVIDIA Tegra chip, although it’s not clear if the tablet will launch with the latest 1GHz Tegra 2 processor or one of the company’s upcoming chips.
The tablet doesn’t appear to have any physical buttons for Home, Back, Search, or Menu, which sets it apart from most Android devices I’ve seen. Rubin says part of the thinking behind removing the buttons is that you can hold the tablet in landscape or portrait mode without having to deal with buttons that move to the side. Instead, the buttons have been moved to a software bar which can disappear when you’re not using it.
You can check out a video of Rubin’s interview after the break.