This entire series of articles is deprecated! Newer ROMs and advanced procedures have replaced (or made obsolete) the information in these articles. This article is retained only for archival purposes.
Please check out our NEWER series of articles on the ViewSonic G-Tablet: http://bishoptec.com/series/gtab-2/
REVIEW: Honeycomb (3.0.1) ROM from Zyhong
This is a pretty amazing tablet – our iPad killer! Now, we have HONEYCOMB! I really like the Honeycomb interface but there are some caveats. You may want to see my recent comparison of three major Honeycomb ROMS here: GTabComb vs Illuminate HC vs Flashback HC.
NOTE: As of Sep 4, 2011, none of the HoneyComb roms (that I know of) support hardware acceleration. Also, Flash animation (including HD video) is difficult or non-existent. Finally, the camera is NON-functional on the GTab with HoneyComb installed. All of these will likely be resolved in the future but if any of them is a deal-breaker for you, then you should stay with a GingerBread Rom.
Here is my YouTube walk through:
Screen display is FANTASTIC! It is almost like I replaced the (already good) display with a SUPER display. It appears crisp, with very deep contrast, and vibrant colors. I am impressed. It may operate just a “tad” slower than the CM7 ROM but it is not really noticeable. Many items operate as widgets and many of those can be configured to be transparent. The entire display and user interface is “slick”!
User Interface takes some getting used to. Some of the controls and menus in the Froyo (2.2) and Gingerbread (2.3) versions of Android were less-than-obvious. However, I had almost everything figured out. Now, with Honeycomb (3.0) much of that has changed. The underlying menu structure remains pretty much the same but how to get to those menus is different. The first learning issue is the new style soft-buttons.
There are either three or four “soft” keys in the lower left corner (location is the same – regardless of orientation).
- The left pointing arrow is the “Back” key to take you back to where you were.
- The middle “Home” key is similar to the standard Android hardware key for “Home.” The Home key functions appear to vary according to what you are doing.
- The third key is the “Recent Apps” key. It appears as two overlapping rectangles. It pulls up a list of the currently running or recently closed apps that can be selected from their thumbnails.
- The fourth key is to the right of the Recent Apps key and is the equivalent of the standard “Menu” key. It does not appear all of the time but when it is available, it can be used to visit the settings for that application.
In the lower right corner is the clock and notifications bar. It includes a battery level indicator and the WiFi strength indicator. When you click on the clock, it enlarges and displays both the date and a “Settings” icon. Click the settings and you get to the normal Android Settings menus.
The top bar display changes according to what you happen to be doing. Generally, it disappears when you execute an application and displays app specific information. But while you are viewing the home screens, you will find:
- The “Apps” key (to select from all installed apps) is in the upper right corner.
- The Google Search widget occupies the upper left corner.
If you want to learn more about the UI, here is a link to Engadget’s tour.
The Changes: Beyond the general look and feel of the UI, several widgets are significantly better. The GMail widget allows you to scroll through your inbox without executing the app. Within the GMail app, the interface is MUCH better. See my video to understand what I mean. The Gallery widget is really cool – again, check my video to see it at work. The Bookmarks (Internet) widget is new and welcome, I demo it on the video as well. The internal BROWSER is one of the best features of HC. It appears to be a variation of Chrome and will sync with your desktop Chrome. I find it superior to any other (including Dolphin). Unfortunately, it still will not do Flash. You may wish to install the Opera Mobile web browser to accomplish those duties. I found Opera to be VERY sluggish on this version of HC but it does do Flash pretty well.
For some additional help with the interface and more Honeycomb tips, visit our “Tips for Android Users” page.
The Challenges: The learning curve is pretty quick. It took me an hour or so to DISCOVER the functions of most of the buttons. But, after unlearning the old interface, the overall feel of HC is simple and fluid. I will define the specific issues on our “How to Flash Honeycomb on a GTab” page. That way, I can keep them all together and keep them updated as we find solutions.
So, how do you get this on your GTab? Visit our “How to Flash Honeycomb on a GTab” page.
We welcome your comments about this review. If you have technical issues with ROM or with the installation, etc, please leave those comments on the “How to Flash Honeycomb on a GTab” page.