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MWC 2011: Google Music set for Android 3.0

Motorola says music service is part of Honeycomb

Motorola Xoom

A tablet world first from Motorola

Google looks set to launch an online music service, dubbed ‘Google Music’ as part of the latest version of its tablet operating system – Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).

Honeycomb – the name given to version 3.0 of the free Google Android operating system – is the first version to be optimised specifically for tablets, rather than smartphones.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Sanjay Jha, chief executive of Motorola Mobility, revealed that Honeycomb will feature a music service.

Jha said: ‘If you look at Google Mobile services [Android] today, there’s a video service, there’s a music service – that is, there will be a music service.’ Motorola’s forthcoming Xoom tablet, which we first saw at CES 2011, and which is also being heavily promoted at MWC 2011, will be among the first tablets to run Honeycomb.

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Google Music could be iTunes rival

Rumours have been circulating in recent months that Google is planning to launch a music service as a rival to Apple’s iTunes music store. Jha’s speech at Mobile World Congress, however, is the first indication that such a service would be rolled out via Honeycomb.

Apple’s iTunes store, launched eight years ago, now has a 66% share of worldwide online digital music sales, and Google Music would seek to capture share in the lucrative digital download market. By integrating its music download service into Android, tablets and smartphones running Google’s operating system would offer a similar music buying experience that iPhone and iPad users already benefit from via iTunes.

Android 3.0 tablets

Motorola’s Xoom is expected to launch in the US within the next few months, before arriving in the UK later in 2011. At Mobile World Congress a host of other Android 3.0 tablets have been revealed, including:

  • Acer Iconia A500 – dual-core 10-inch tablet 
  • LG Optimus Pad – 8.9-inch dual-core tablet
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 – dual-core 10-inch follow-up to the original 7-inch Galaxy Tab

Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Congress is the mobile industry’s annual trade show, and is the traditional home for most of the major mobile announcements each year. You can follow all the events on the Which? MWC 2011 hub or on the Which? Tech Blog.

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