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Google made a surprise appearance at Verizon’s CES 2011 keynote on Thursday, and it turned out to be the hit of the event. Google provided a 10-minute live demo of Android 3.0 Honeycomb in action, running on the Motorola Xoom tablet.

Jason Hiner, the Editor in Chief of TechRepublic was sitting in the front row at the event and took this video clip of nearly the entire demo.

The video shows:

  • The ability to open multiple smartphone-size apps at a time and stack them next to each other (something iPad doesn’t do)
  • A full-size horizontal keyboard similar to the iPad’s
  • A slick visualization of Google Books in action
  • A tablet-optimized email client similar to the Web version of Gmail for iPad
  • A cool new tablet UI for YouTube
  • A full screen video call using GoogleTalk
  • A tablet version of Google Maps with 3D modeling and StreetView

Notice that all the apps in the demo are internal Google software. That points to the fact that Google is still at the early stages in its tablet OS development and probably hasn’t unleashed this on third-party software partners yet. However, the company needed to show that it’s making progress in the tablet-focused UI and this demo is a first step.

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