Honeycomb Is Just A New Skin On Top of Gingerbread?
There has been some debate over exactly how long this has been common knowledge, but until this video was posted on YouTube via the XDA forums, it hadn't hit any of the tech news sites. It looks as though the Honeycomb UI was built on top of Gingerbread (which itself was a minor upgrade over Froyo,) and not built from the ground up. As you can see, if you change the pixel density to higher than 160DPI, the UI on Honeycomb (Android 3.1) reverts to the Gingerbread UI (Android 2.3.4.) If that's confusing, just watch the video.
Now, no one is going to start using Gingerbread on their tablets instead of Honeycomb, but it does give you an idea that Google had long ago thought about how they would merge their multiple operating systems into a singular OS in the upcoming release of Ice Cream Sandwich later this year. For the initiated, every new Android OS update is given a dessert name that ascends in alphabetical order. It all started with Cupcake (don't ask me why it started with the letter 'C',) and we'll see Ice Cream Sandwich by the end of 2011.
It's nice to know that there is a plan going forward and that the internal codebase for Gingerbread and Honeycomb isn't so different after all. And with the next version of Google TV coming this summer and an the convergence of the not-so-disparate Android OS' soon afterward, it looks as though Google already had a head start.