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All posts tagged "xoom"

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?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Head to Head Battle: iPad 2 vs. Motorola XOOM

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Motorola XOOM" @ 07:30 AM

This is a head to head comparison video between the Android 3.0 Honeycomb-based Motorola XOOM and the iOS 4-based Apple iPad 2. Each tablet has pros and cons, and I discuss my findings after using both of them for a while. Chime in with your own thoughts!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What Features do Android Honeycomb 3.1 and Ice Cream Sandwich bring to the Table?

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 04:00 AM

"Google's upcoming Android 3.1 is coming for tablets, of course, but it's also improving Google TV's interface. Even better, Google TV gets the Android Market as well."

"The Ice Cream Sandwich release, on the other hand, doesn't have a release date, but will put all of Honeycomb's new features into phones. One new feature is facial detection with the camera, so video chat will automatically focus on the speaker who's talking (if there are multiple ones)"

This week at the Google IO conference two significant new versions of Android have been officially announced. One is Android 3.1, the next version of the tablet optimized Honeycomb OS, and the other is Ice Cream Sandwich, which has no version number right now but is expected to be something like 3.5 or 4.0.

Android Honeycomb 3.1 is rolling out now to Verizon 3G Xoom tablets and will be available for WiFi Xooms in the coming weeks - though we don't know exactly when. Honeycomb 3.1 adds re-sizable widgets, a re-written multitasking and task switching engine, USB host support, USB input device support, and support for the hardware graphics acceleration of Flash content available to tablets in Flash 10.2 which is available in the Market now. Version 3.1 will also bring more features, including the Android Market, to Google TV devices.

While we don't know much about Ice Cream Sandwich we do know that its main goal, or at least one of them. It is to combine the two forks of Android, the one for phones and the one for tablets, into a single OS that provides different display optimizations depending on the device display size. This should make things easier on developers and hopefully combine the best of both worlds in a way that makes each better than it is on its own.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Motorola's XOOM: Promising, But Not Ready For Prime Time

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Motorola XOOM" @ 08:00 AM

At first I was somewhat paralyzed. Then I pulled the trigger on the XOOM and I unboxed it. And now it's time for the review!

Here's the rundown on the hardware: this version of the XOOM has 32 GB of storage and no integrated 3G/4G; like other XOOMs, it has 1 GB of RAM, a microSD card slot (that unfortunately doesn't work right now), Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, a 5 megapixel rear camera with dual xeon flashes, and a 2 megapixel front camera. The 10.1 inch screen is 1280 x 800 resolution, and there's a 3.5mm headphone jack - along with a microHDMI connector for video out, and a microUSB connector for synchronization. It has a special power connector though and won't charge over USB. It weighs in at 681 grams (1.5 pounds), and is 249 mm across, 168mm tall, and 12.9mm thin.

Now, on to the two-part review!

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?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Which Honeycomb Tablet is the Best?

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 07:30 AM

"The Android Tablet Battalion has finally arrived. In the span of just three days, the number of Honeycomb tablets has ballooned from one to four. In addition to competitive pricing (read: cheaper than the iPad 2), they provide a whole host of special features including full SD card readers, 3D, full USB, stereo speakers, full HDMI, HSPA+, and even a full keyboard."

The Android tablet onslaught has begun. There are now four Honeycomb running tablets available. The Xoom, G-Slate, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, and the Acer Iconia Tab A500. They're offering some new features like 3D video recording and playback as well as an attachable keyboard with an extra battery. Besides new features, there are lower prices, going as low as $400 for the Transformer. Are any of these tablet's just what you've been waiting for? Follow the "Read" link below and see which one and what features are your favorites then let us know! Do you think the new low prices and features will affect sales of the iPad 2? Check out this link for some thoughts on that.

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!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Motorola's XOOM Slate: Unboxing and First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 07:00 AM

Last week I picked up a Motorola XOOM WiFi edition. The XOOM was announced with much fanfare at CES 2011, and while it was heralded as the best hope for challenging the juggernaut that is the iPad, a few things have soured since then.

First, that when Motorola first shipped the device through Verizon in the USA, it would cost a hefty $800 if you got it without a Verizon contract - but you couldn't use the WiFi on it until you paid for at least one month of Verizon's data service (which was $50 or so, making the price $850). What? Yeah, exactly! Then it was revealed that the XOOM would start to ship without the ability to play back Flash, which was one of the original advantages over the iPad - you can download Flash now of course, but at launch this key element was missing. The first tablet to offer 4G would also only offer it after the user shipped it back to Motorola for a hardware upgrade - oh, and the microSD card slot still doesn't work to this day (a future firmware upgrade will fix that). More than a few negatives!

In Canada the XOOM is $599, Flash is available in the marketplace, and lacks the cellular radio, so there's no need to ship it back. So, other than the non-functional microSD card slot, the XOOM I bought is in slightly better shape right out of the gate than the XOOM people bought from Verizon in February. Read more...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Doom and Gloom for the Xoom

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 10:00 AM

"No tablet besides the iPad is selling in volume at the moment. The Galaxy Tablet, Samsung's big hope, sold about 250,000 units in the high selling fourth quarter even though stores had around 2,000,000 to sell. Motorola's Xoom supposedly shipped in similar numbers and since it has launched sold around 100,000. This is against 300,000 for the iPad 1 over its launch weekend and most estimates have the iPad 2 at around twice that during it's launch weekend and Apple appears to be selling every one of those they can build."

It seems that everyone has become an expert on mobile device market share. Here's a story from a somewhat well-known analyst opining that, while devices are available, and have been shipped to retailers, only a fraction of them are selling. Gosh, why could this be? Maybe because the economy is still struggling, and that consumers are finding it hard to plunk down their hard-earned money on relatively unknown devices? iPad 2 devices are selling, maybe in part because they're known to the consumer, and are a 'safe' purchase. Look at the UI of an iPad vs. the UI of the Xoom. The iPad whispers "friendly and uncomplicated," while the Xoom screams "techie and Android." Standing at a Best Buy several days ago, the iPad 2s were being swarmed by potential buyers, while the Android area had a teenager playing and game on a Xoom, and me. Several Galaxy Tabs were there, but drew no interest. Admittedly non-scientific, but observation can be a powerful tool. What does Motorola need to do to get potential buyers interested in the Xoom? Technology comparisons just aren't working. Ideas?

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!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Still Only 50 Native Apps for Honeycomb

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

"50 apps is a pretty small number, and the actual total may be even smaller. The official Android online market, as well as other online message forums for Android enthusiasts, place the number of Xoom apps somewhere close to 50."

Ars Technica has a right up about the fact that after one month of the Xoom being released there are still only 50 native apps available for Honeycomb. It's a good write up with some good points but I disagree with the overall theme. The fact is, while most apps may not be optimized for Honeycomb many of those will work from my understanding. Also, you still have a large screen for viewing photos, videos, web pages, documents, and books. Besides that Android has the huge advantage of having Widgets which means you can actually view data from more than one services/source/app at a time. To me this is something every tablet needs. What good is a big screen if you can only ever look at one thing at a time. I can not imagine being without that ability on my phone. Anyway, check out the article and let me know what you think! Does the lack of native apps bother you with the Xoom if you have one? If you don't have one, is the lack of native apps keeping you from buying one? On a side note I finally got to try out a friends Xoom a few days ago and thought it was great! I was actually surprised because of all the bad things I had read about it. Another friend has ordered one and I can completely understand why! I love the size, the interface, and nothing crashed when I was playing with it. Before I thought I would want a 7" tablet because I don't like the size of the iPad but to me, the Xoom felt great in hand.

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?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Xoom Review Shows Promise

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 06:00 AM

"The Android tablets out on the market have been weak in the face of the iPad. But after testing out Motorola's Xoom, it's clear the first Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet has what it takes to compete head to head. Though it's got some growing pains ahead, the young tablet is already a contender. All that's needed before it can really gain momentum is a lineup of killer apps — and a better price."

I think this is a very well rounded and fair review. I still don't understand why a device that doubles, or more, all hardware of the iPad is "over-priced" when it's only $100 more at worst and the OS is much better tailored to a tablet form factor. Anyway, check out this review and give us your thoughts! Did you buy a Xoom? Tell us what you think of it so far. I've seen some reports of it freezing fairly often. If that's the case it will have a hard time catching the iPad.

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?

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