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Google announces Honeycomb 3.1: Plug external keyboards, mice and Xbox 360 controllers into your Android tablet

We’ve barely gotten ourselves a real taste of honeycomb here in the UK and Google has already announced updates to the next version.

Android 3.1 Honeycomb has just taken flight and will be hitting Motorola Xooms on the US Verizon network today. Google didn’t mention at it’s I/O conference exactly when it’d be rolling out to the rest of the world other than a vague ‘summer 2011’ date.

Described on the Android Developer’s Blog as an “incremental platform release” much of 3.1’s changes are little refinements and tweaks to the UI and the standard apps (browser, calendar and gallery).

The real big deal about Android 3.1 is that you’ll be able to plug in and play with a wider range of devices through USB ports than you could before. External keyboards and mice of “almost any type” will be supported. You can even connect PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers, as demonstrated by Google’s Anand Agarawata in the screengrab above.

This could give a whole new dimension to gaming on tablets – Dungeon Defenders played with a PS3 Sixaxis anyone?

Gaming aside, the real million pound question is… will you be able to get a USB missile launcher working on your Motorola Xoom?

Screengrab taken from the livecast of Google’s keynote speech at Google I/O 2011 in San Francisco.


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