Android 3.0 includes sweeteners for the enterprise

Honeycomb - Google's tablet-friendly Android OS - designed with CIOs in mind too?

Honeycomb - Google's tablet-friendly Android OS - designed with CIOs in mind too?

Google is adding enterprise-friendly features to the tablet-centric version of its Android mobile OS.

The OS includes new administrative policies, such as encrypted storage and password expiration, to help IT departments manage devices more effectively, Google said.

The new version of Google's Android OS - Android 3.0, aka Honeycomb - signifies a change of focus for the operating system, designed with larger screens, especially tablets, in mind.

Motorola's Xoom is the first tablet to run Android 3.0, which signifies a change of focus for the operating system

Motorola's Xoom is the first tablet to run Android 3.0, which signifies a change of focus for the operating system
(Photo credit: Josh P Miller/CNET)

Previous iterations of Android - most recently Android 2.3, or Gingerbread; and 2.2, Froyo - were not specifically optimised for tablets. Even so, that has not stopped mobile makers slapping Android 2.2 on a variety of slates.

Other additions to the Android platform coming with Honeycomb include a new 'holographic' UI theme; an email application with a two-pane UI for easier viewing and sorting of messages - similar to email on Apple's iPad; support for multicore processors; and higher performance 2D and 3D graphics.

The OS also beefs up the multimedia capabilities of Android, according to Google. The software behemoth has released a preview of the Android 3.0 SDK, to enable developers to start testing existing apps on the tablet form factor.

Enterprise interest in tablets is soaring, according to industry watchers. Analyst house Gartner predicts 80 per cent of enterprises will have deployed tablets by 2013, while professional services firm Deloitte estimates that more than a quarter of all tablets sold this year will be bought by businesses.