A couple of weeks ago, word popped up of a UK site starting to take pre-orders for the Wi-Fi-only version of the Motorola XOOM, being available in early April. Not long after that images leaked of the same model showing up in a Sam's Club training center with a price tag of $539. Not to be outdone, yet another story arose saying office retailer Staples would be supplying the slate for $600 with employee training starting on March 23. Today the rumors take another step into becoming reality, as site B&H is now taking pre-orders for the Wi-Fi model of the Honeycomb debut for $599, making them the first American site (to our knowledge) to offer pre-orders on the carrier-free model.
Dolphin HD, one of the most popular Android browsers, has been pretty unusable on large tablet screens due to choppiness and lag caused by the CPU having to work with a much bigger area. For example, when we got a demo unit of the Galaxy Tab, the problem was quite apparent to the point of Dolphin being downright frustrating on relatively complex sites.
Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" came to the rescue with hardware acceleration capabilities, which allowed shifting all the UI processing from the CPU to the GPU. However, since the first Honeycomb tablet, the Motorola XOOM, launched 2 weeks ago, only the stock browser has been offering the benefits of hardware acceleration and allowing for very smooth scrolling, zooming (xooming?), panning, etc, while Dolphin remained as choppy as before.
In what is sure to ruffle a few feathers with Android users, a representative of a research company Wednesday sunk his teeth into Google's Android 3.0 'Honeycomb,' saying it is "by the geeks, for the geeks, and of the geeks" (we were confused, as we thought that was a compliment). The analyst left little hope for mass adoption of the new tablet-tailored version of Android.
In his note to investors, Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research said Android 3.0 is doomed to fail next to Apple's iPad 2. He blames Google's background on the web as the culprit for the spanking he expects the OS to take.
The Motorola XOOM: Ever since it was first teased at D: Dive Into Mobile, the Android community hasn't been able to take its eyes off the tablet's dual-core processor, gorgeous 10.1-inch display, and - last but certainly not least - Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) operating system.
Well now the device has officially gone on sale, and I've been
testing falling in love with a review unit for the last few days. Typically, I end up hating devices that I adore at first blush, but the XOOM is an entirely different story - the device is far from perfect (where are the tablet apps?), but I have yet to find anything truly upsetting about it.
Who needs to visit Disneyland to feel like a kid again? Google's collection of dessert statues that correspond to their Android releases has a new addition today, in the Honeycomb statue.
Less than a week later, we give you (drumroll, please): THE HONEYCOMB.
What's that? You aren't satisified with a still shot? Check out: VIDEO OF THE HONEYCOMB.
Families, you can proceed to change your vacation itinerary from Anaheim to Mountain View, as Google's kingdom just got a little bit more magical.
Earlier this month, along with the CNN app for tablets, Google demoed 2 3D games that utilized both of Tegra 2's CPU cores - Monster Madness and Great Battles. The former of these games, Monster Madness, just quietly crept into the Android Market with a hefty $10 price tag. The price of 2 Starbucks coffees is a bit steep for a game, but not unheard of.
So, what does Monster Madness offer you? Zombies, upgradeable weapons, power-ups, destructible worlds, and great 3D graphics, powered by Unreal Engine 3. Not a bad package at all, don't you think? Additionally, local co-op mode via Wi-Fi means you can gang up on those monsters with your friends who can jump in and out of the game as they please.
This one's for you, developers: XDA user adub007 just posted a full Motorola XOOM system dump. What new and unprecedented goodies does it contain? That remains to be seen... feel free to download the 112MB (183MB when unpacked) file and start digging for yourself.
Turns out yesterday's update to the Android 3.0 SDK introduced more than just finalized APIs - the folks over at Android Central have discovered seven completely new wallpapers as well as two higher-res versions of existing ones in the final SDK's Launcher2.apk.
At 1920x1280, the images are just the right size for showing off your Honeycomb love on any of your devices. If they catch your eye, be sure to grab them for yourself using the download link below.
It's definitely an exciting day for Android developers - first, Motorola confirmed that their XOOM tablet will be open for development, and now the the final Android 3.0 SDK is available. Additionally, the SDK tools and ADT plugin have been updated to versions r10 and 10.0.0, respectively, with the following improvements and additions:
- UI Builder improvements in the ADT Plugin:
- New Palette with categories and rendering previews. (details)
- More accurate rendering of layouts to more faithfully reflect how the layout will look on devices, including rendering status and title bars to more accurately reflect screen space actually available to applications.
That's right - unlike almost all other Motorola devices in recent memory, the XOOM will ship with an unlocked (or at least "unlockable/relockable") bootloader. That means modders will be free to create custom ROMs and kernels for the tablet - not as surprising as it would be were the XOOM not a flagship Google device, but still very reassuring.
Now, Motorola, about your other devices' bootloaders...
Source: Motorola (Twitter)