by Will Park

If you haven’t yet noticed, Android 3.0 Honeycomb just got even better with the new Android 3.1 update. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the latest version of Android tick and how it’s a major step forward for Honeycomb tablets like the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer.

Google is always working to tweak and improve the Android OS experience, and we’re seeing the fruits of that labor with Android 3.1. With boosted 3D graphics performance, hardware acceleration for Adobe Flash, snazzy new homescreen widgets and support for USB peripherals (like cameras and game controllers), the new update will make that Honeycomb tablet of yours rock!

So, what can you expect in Android 3.1 for your Honeycomb tablet?

Faster, smoother UI

You’ll notice that the entire OS runs smoother and faster. Android 3.1 further improves responsiveness and transitions, so scrolling and transition animations are smoother. Switching between apps and swiping through the homescreen is faster and more responsive. Menu interactions are also more responsive, lending to a more cohesive Android experience on your tablet.

Up to 30 percent better 3D graphics performance

One of the benefits of having a Tegra 2 dual-core processor, equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GPU, in your Android Honeycomb tablet is that you can count on class-leading 3D graphics performance in apps and games. But it’s not enough to simply have the right hardware to do the job – the operating system also has to be optimized to take advantage of what’s ticking underneath.

The Android 3.1 update boasts 3D graphics performance by 30 percent. That means you’ll see higher frame rates in 3D games and a richer gaming experience with Tegra-optimized gaming titles.

Hardware accelerated Adobe Flash content

There are tablet operating systems out there that don’t support Adobe’s Flash web technology. Thankfully, Android Honeycomb has full support for Adobe Flash.  Google and Adobe engineers further optimized Android 3.1 and Flash Player 10.3 to deliver the kind of Flash experience you expect on your desktop.

Android 3.1 adds hardware accelerated Flash into the mix. This latest version of Honeycomb leverages Tegra 2 to display fullscreen Flash videos. That means you won’t have to worry about the video lagging or frames dropping when playing the videos in fullscreen. It also means you can stream Flash videos in full 720p HD resolution from,, and more.

Support for USB peripherals

Android 3.1 also supports USB On-The-Go (OTG) protocol. So, you can connect accessories like keyboards, mice, cameras and even joysticks and gamepads to your Honeycomb tablet.

Want to comfortably type out longer emails on your Honeycomb tablet or use your tablet more like you’d use a laptop? Simply connect your Bluetooth keyboard and Bluetooth mouse and you’re good to go.

Looking to offload some photos from your camera? Simply plug your camera into the tablet and see them pop-up automatically in the Gallery.

Or, maybe you simply want to get your game on with a comfortable game controller. Thanks to Android 3.1 and USB OTG, you can enjoy your game to the fullest by using Bluetooth game controllers, Logitech Dual Action gamepads, or any other standard joystick or racing wheel.

If you’re going to be in Taiwan at Computex 2011, make sure to stop by and check out what NVIDIA’s doing at the show.