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All posts tagged "motorola"

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Xoom 2 Gets Looked Over

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 05:00 PM

"The Xoom 2 is another 10.1-inch widescreen Honeycomb offering, looking to make up for the lost opportunities of its predecessor -- slimmer, faster and certainly packing more vertices. While we put it through its paces, we thought you'd appreciated some close-up shots with what appears to be the final retail model. First impressions? Those corners certainly do help keep it in our hands, and performance seemed suitably speedy."

While Apple may dominate the tablet market, that is not stopping other companies like Samsung and Motorola trying to carve out their own market share. If Apple is not your cup of tea, the Xoom 2 may be your kind of toy productivity tool. The great thing is that we are seeing a wonderful amount of choice when it comes to tablets now, though prices seem to be largely the same for most of these higher end tablets. If only manufacturers would take a lesson from HP and learn that the best way to get sales is to slash prices and sell them for way below cost!

Motorola Xoom 2 Reviewed!

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 06:30 AM

"What's this oddly curved box we see before us? Ah, yes, it's Motorola's (joint) second attempt at the Android tablet game."

Engadget has their review up of the Motorola Xoom 2. Is it the tablet you're eyeing this holiday season? If so, check out their thoughts and let us know what you think!

Tags: motorola, xoom2

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Will a Google-Motorola Merger be a Disaster?

Posted by Jake Ludington in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 10:00 PM

Integrating the software engineering culture of Google with the hardware manufacturing business of Motorola Mobility will certainly face some challenges, but will it go down in history as one of the biggest merger disasters of all time? Henry Blodget seems to think so when he says, "But if Larry plans to keep Motorola and operate it as a stand-alone business, as Google said on the conference call yesterday, look out. This deal could easily end up in the same Hall of Shame that enshrines AOL Time Warner and many more of the worst mergers in history."

Patents may be the only part of this deal Google cares about. If it's about patents, there's really nothing interesting to talk about and a disaster is highly unlikely.

From an Android OS perspective, Google owning Motorola won't change much. While Google may insist on a more specific Android experience on Motorola hardware, it still needs HTC and Samsung to make sexy devices or the market for Android phones won't grow. Maybe Google will subsidize Xoom sales to grow the Android tablet market. The biggest problem facing every Android tablet I've tried so far is that it feels unfinished, which is partly due to the fragmentation. Having Google dictate a software release schedule for a set of tablets would push the other tablet makers to keep pace with adding Android features. I'm guessing here, but none of that sounds like a disaster.

The Motorola set-top box business looks like a bigger opportunity than phones. Google hired away some of the people who built Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV product back while I was consulting for Microsoft IPTV. If Google can provide a mature enough TV experience with in-house set-top boxes, they may be able to steal some business from Microsoft, assuming Google has patience for the lengthy sales cycle. The cable companies all buy either Motorola or Tatung set-top boxes, so Google has a great in to offer their own complementary software. Or maybe we need to imagine an Adwords business that offers more direct television ad buying where Google cuts the cable providers in for a slice of the action. Again, nothing that sounds like disaster.

Blodget may be right that the Motorola culture won't mix with Google. But if Google isn't trying to mix culture, there is opportunity for Google software business units to work directly with Motorola hardware business units. What do you think? Will buying Motorola break Google?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Latest Xoom 4G LTE Upgrade Rumor Says September is the Magic Month

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 10:00 AM

"We just received word that Motorola XOOM 3G owners could will see an email from either Moto or Verizon today with details about their 4G LTE upgrade. According to our source, the email will inform them that the upgrade will not happen until September"

If you were one of the first to buy the Xoom you're probably disappointed that you've had to wait this long. The good news is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Verizon has announced that the LTE upgrade will be available in September. At least the Xoom did get Gingerbread 3.2 and it has at least some support for use of the MicroSDHC card slot. If you have a Xoom I would be interested to know if the lower bandwidth of 3G has been a real problem for you. Do you think it's holding you back or are there a lot of things you're not downloading because it would take too long?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Motorola Releases Update for the Xoom

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 07:00 PM

"A Motorola XOOM update will be made available [today] that brings a bunch of fixes to the device including Bluetooth support on Google Talk and for a mouse, proxy support, and a new picture transfer protocol."

A PDF from Verizon introduces the latest update for the Motorola Xoom Android tablet. Is has a number of fixes like for HTML display of POP3 email as well as a few new features like support for a Bluetooth mouse. I'm not sure how Android would be with a pointer but it would be fun to at least try. I wonder if they have a way to do two finger gestures with the mouse, like rotating the display in Google Maps...anyway, it's great to see that so many issues are addressed. The update is only 28MB, which doesn't sound too big to me. Unfortunatly it doesn't add support for the MicroSD card slot. I'm not sure what's up with that since apparently the MicroSD card slot is fully functional out of the box on the Asus EeePad Transformer. Please let us know if you give this update a try. Does it work as advertised, do more, or less?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Honeycomb Tablets Being Delayed?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:49 PM

"Potential iPad competitors are reportedly delaying the launch of Honeycomb-powered tablets as faltering Motorola Xoom sales fail to meet industry expectations. According to DigiTimes, Google has allegedly failed to resolve a number of issues affecting Android 3.0, including brand image, pricing, lack of apps and "unstable" OS performance."

This is definitely not good news for HTC, Asus, and the other tablet manufacturers: Google seems to have really dropped the ball on this one. The Digitimes article is light on specifics, but it seems the poor sales of the XOOM have other tablet makers spooked - and the lack of tablet applications and missing features of the XOOM at launch (the non-functional microSD card is apparently Google's fault) have made for an unstable ecosystem for Android tablets. I think it would be a shame for the other OEMs to delay their products though; the only way to work through these issues is to get the products out, establish a baseline pool of customers for developers to target, and build from there. When the iPad first launched it had virtually no native apps either, but within a few months there were hundreds (if not thousands). You've got to start somewhere!

Tough Android Tablet To Be Beta Tested By Motorola

Posted by Karey Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 08:30 AM

"We've been keeping our eyes on Motorola's plans to sink its claws into the enterprise market for at least the past couple of months, and it looks like the company is ramping up its efforts with a rugged Android tablet fit for the workplace."

Of course Motorola couldn't keep themselves from developing an Android tablet as tablets become more and more popular. Word has it that Motorola will be beta testing a new durable tablet that will withstand drops up to four feet, water splashes and excessive dust and temperatures. Along with those features, the tablet has been rumored to include Gingerbread, a 7 inch screen, rear and front facing cameras, 1 GB RAM and Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Sounds like Motorola is trying to appeal to customers who live rugged lives or have jobs outside of the office.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Is the Xoom Incomplete and Overpriced? I Hope You Try It Out and Decide for Yourself!

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Talk" @ 05:00 PM

"When Apple products come to market, they are complete. They have a full set of included applications that make them useful, and the key parts that folks want are finished. They also come out at premium prices, which typically set the most you can charge for a similar product."

The quote above gives you an idea of what to expect. I've used the Xoom and I think it's a great device. I think it has better hardware than any iPad. Some of that is fact like screen resolution, cameras, and RAM, and some of that like size is personal preference. I've used the iPad and I don't think its OS is very well designed for a tablet. Bad notifications, no widgets, and requiring another machine with iTunes for some functions are just a few critical flaws in my opinion. Anyway, if you're thinking of buying a Xoom it may be good to read a viewpoint from an Apple die-hard to see what an iPad user thinks of it. That may give you a more balanced view of the Xoom and fewer surprises. I don't agree with his point on sales numbers at all. I don't agree with a number of his points actually but I'll let you read it for yourself. You can let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Today's Smartphone is Tomorrow's Laptop

Posted by Kevin Jackson in "Android Talk" @ 05:00 AM

". . . the Atrix does take one giant step towards allowing us to work and play without an x86-based desktop or laptop. By plugging the Atrix into the proprietary $400 laptop dock depicted here-which lacks a CPU or storage, and only has a chiclet keyboard, touchpad, battery (which automatically charges your phone), and an impressive 1366x768 screen."

Here is a review of the Motorola Atrix 4G from Maximum PC. A lot of ink has been spilled over the phone and its shortcomings, but one thing really stands out about this device; I believe that we are seeing the next generation of mobile computing. Smartphone processor speed is quickly catching up with many lower end laptops and netbooks (Netbook? What's that?) and with cloud storage becoming ubiquitous, it is only a matter of time before we slip our primary computer (at least the brains of it) into our pockets when we leave the office or the house. The Atrix 4G, with all its inadequacies, is just an early step in this convergence.

How about you: will you give up your laptop for a smartphone and a dock? Let us know if the forum.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WiFi-Only Xoom at Staples on March 27

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 07:00 AM

"So as was mentioned previously, it was looking like Staples was going to be selling the wifi-only XOOM some time in early April, but from the flyer above it looks like it may be sooner on March 27th."

Unlike some others out there I actually think the Xoom is a good device. It may have been released a little early but I don't mind waiting for some updates and in my mind it has no competition - there is no other official Honeycomb tablets and I don't think iOS is worthy of running a smartphone let alone a tablet. Yeah, I understand I'm in the minority. Anyway, I'm not sure how official a picture of a newspaper ad is but it looks pretty official to me. Will you be running to Staples on March 27?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Verizon is Pushing out a Xoom Update to Prepare for the Xoom Flash Update

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 01:00 PM!5780984/

"Verizon Wireless is pushing out a software update for Motorola Xooms today, which will allow users to download Flash Player 10.2 from the Android Market when it becomes available next Friday, the 18th of March."

This is a good thing! While it's a little odd that an update is required just to prepare for another update it does suggest they're pretty serious about Flash coming out in the not too distant future. Did you get the update on your Xoom? If so, have you noticed any changes or fixes that squeezed their way in with it?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Xoom Review at Ars Technica

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 11:00 AM

"Although the Xoom has a lot to offer, the product feels very incomplete. A surprising number of promised hardware and software features are not functional at launch and will have to be enabled in future updates. The Xoom's quality is also diminished by some of the early technical issues and limitations that we encountered in Honeycomb. Google's nascent tablet software has a ton of potential, but it also has some feature gaps and rough edges that reflect its lack of maturity."

This is a very in depth review just as you would expect from Ars. If you're considering buying the Xoom you should definitely check out this review first to get a better idea if it really is the tablet for you. While many great features are pointed out there are also a lot of warning signs brought up.

Good News for Xoom Hackers Who Want LTE

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 07:00 AM

"Happy news for Android tinkerers everywhere -- Motorola has officially confirmed it will attempt to perform its 4G upgrade on all Verizon Wireless-riding Xoom tablets it receives from users, whether they've been rooted, repainted, or accessorized with fluffy dice."

This is some good news! Motorola doesn't exactly have a great reputation for being friendly to modders. Many hold the e-fuse boot loader drm thing against them and even if it's a function of the CPU or chipset from TI, Motorola did still choose to use it. Anyway, in this situation Moto is stating they will upgrade your Xoom to LTE no matter what. The only catch is depending on your mod they may not be able to install the updated software that goes along with the new LTE radio. If you want to be sure you'll get the software upgrade they ask you to put it back to the original firmware. That sounds as fair as possible to me! Does this improve your view of Motorola?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Motorola Xoom Fails to Impress

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 04:00 PM

"The number one reason I’m returning the device is because I’m simply not using it as much as I had expected to. The user experience still some rough edges and I just don’t have the patience to wait for the Honeycomb ecosystem to evolve. When I plunk down $800, I want something now…not ‘soon.’"

The Apple iPad is the tablet to beat, and while Motorola has come out swinging, it looks like it might be a swing and a miss. It looks like Steve Jobs may be right to an extent, that we are living in a post-PC world. I do not mean that the traditional computer has gone the way of a dinosaur, but specifications are becoming less important. With ample computing power, even for mobile devices, does it really matter if the CPU is 1Ghz, 1.2Ghz or 2Ghz? If that tablet provides a buttery smooth interface, does it matter if it is dual or quad-core?

Hardware will always matter, of course, but most manufacturers have access to the same sources so that they all have similar guts. The best way to differentiate yourself in that kind of environment is through service, support and polish. The Xoom, as impressive as it is, appears to lack that polish. There are some arguments that theiPad also lacks some polish as well, so it seems to come down to what frustrations you are willing to live with.

Tablets as the are now, with their touchy, feely interface, are still relatively new. That and the increasing use of the cloud means that we probably are still another year or two away from having a truly smooth customer experience where we can pick up a tablet, log in, and have everything at our fingertips. Until then, we will have to deal with a few rough edges.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Loving That New Xoom? Get Ready to Ship it Away.

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 05:00 PM

"As expected, the upgrade will be free to everyone and will be available approximately 90 days after launch, so we’re looking at May before this thing will be cooking up those 4G speeds. And as we were told by Motorola at CES, you will have to send in your device and will be without it for 6 days while they upgrade the hardware and software."

This is different and would be very annoying if you didn't realize it at the time of purchase I think. The Motorola Xoom will need to be sent away for a week to receive the 4G LTE upgrade. At least it will not cost you any shipping fees but it's still an inconvenience and possibly a big one. You can get details about the upgrade process here.

I think the Xoom seems like an excellent tablet. You do need to wonder if they released it a little early. This is the third significant feature I'm aware of that will not be enabled if you buy it now. Those features are Flash (though I think this is due to Adobe more than Motorola), the MicroSDHC (or will it be XC?) card slot, and 4G LTE. Do you think Motorola should have waited to release the Xoom? What are your thoughts on the ship to upgrade process? If you have a Xoom are you happy with it?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Motorola is Seriously Screwing Up The Xoom

Posted by Jon Westfall in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 04:00 AM!5766073/motoro...flash-at-launch

"Some disappointing news for those awaiting the arrival of Motorola's tablet: its new page on Verizon's site suggests it won't have Flash at launch. A bit of tiny text on the product page says "Adobe Flash expected Spring 2011," presumably meaning that Moto's waiting for Adobe to roll out the mobile-optimized Flash 10.2 before supporting it."

OK, so let me get this straight. The Xoom is going to cost a bunch of money ($800, it isn't worth it), it's WiFi is going to be locked down until you pony up the activation money, and now we learn that one of the geekly talking points of Android, Flash, it doesn't have. Motorola, take a hint, you really don't do upscale consumer devices well anymore. Stick to feature phones.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Price Tag Makes Xoom Not So Fast

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:00 PM

"The Motorola Xoom may be priced on the high side with an $800 price tag for launch on February 24th according to an advertisement from Best Buy. The Android 3.0 Honeycomb capacitive touchscreen tablet will initially launch with Verizon Wireless’s 3G CDMA/EV-DO support and will have the radio be upgradeable to 4G at a later date. At $800, the price point may be comparable to the highest end iPad model–the iPad 3G at 16 GB retails for $629, 32 GB for $729, and 64 GB for $829."

Sure, the Motorola Xoom has some impressive specifications and looks like it is a great device to have, but ouch. That price is high enough to make me seriously reconsider a purchase at least seven or eight times. They say that tablet sales are cannibalizing notebook sales and no wonder! I imagine that a great deal of people are unable to afford anything after buying a Xoom and its requisite data plan. All I can think of is that $800 these days can buy a pretty powerful notebook, even one that is portable and lightweight. Does the Xoom really command that much desire in people? What about you? Is the sticker shock enough to turn you away or will you be buying the Xoom regardless of how many children you have to sell?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Xoom at Best Buy on February 17

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

" internal Best Buy document that's just dropped into our inbox, which explicitly pinpoints February 17th as the launch date for Moto's highly touted, Honeycomb-equipped tablet. Stock is expected to land at the big box retailer on February 16th, with the big party going down the day after."

It looks like the wait is soon over for a Honeycomb Tablet! Apparently it will have 32GB of built in storage and the price will be $700. Is the the tablet you're waiting for? What do you think of the price?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Motorola Tablet Teaser

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

What do you think? I like it and am looking forward to seeing Motorola's tablet. Are you waiting for a next-generation Android Tablet? What's one feature you would love to see in a new tablet with Honeycomb?

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