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.
Sure, the first part of that title might sound like a Steve Jobs quote, but Motorola's latest tweet merits the expression:
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.
OK, so unboxings aren't exactly the most exciting videos on the web, but when they involve a certain tablet called the "Motorola XOOM," they're definitely worth a look. Such is Wirefly's latest creation:
Items of note:
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) - boot times seem really fast
10.1-inch 16:10 display - larger than an iPad
1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor
32GB of internal storage
2MP front camera
5MP rear camera capable of recording 720p HD video
Interestingly, the video mentions a slot for a 4G SIM card, which is odd since Verizon and Motorola say the XOOM will require a hardware software upgrade to connect to LTE.
Verizon's latest press release confirms rumors that the Motorola XOOM will cost $599 with a 2-year contract and $799 without (though we already knew the latter price thanks toVerizon's website) when it launches this Thursday.
Data contracts will start at $20/month for 1GB of data, with Verizon confirming once again that the XOOM will be upgradeable to 4G LTE in Q2 of 2011 at no extra charge.
Read more about it in the official press release:
MOTOROLA XOOM TABLET TO BE AVAILABLE ON THE VERIZON WIRELESS NETWORK ON FEB.
Update: If you're a Nexus One or Desire owner and you're feeling a little left out of the Honeycomb SDK fun, I have some good news. The folks over at XDA managed to get a port running on both devices over the weekend. Hit up the links below to check them out and remember, these ports lack the basic functions of a phone and should only be used by people who know what they're doing.
Wirefly just opened pre-orders for the highly anticipated Motorola XOOM, the world's first Honeycomb tablet, and like Best Buy, they'll be selling the device for $799.99 on a mandatory one-month contract that will cost a minimum of $20 (oh, and what's up with the "Switch My Existing Wireless Number to my new MOTOROLA XOOM" option?).
In related news, Wirefly lists a February 24th shipping date, though they note that this is "subject to change." Additionally, if you pre-order an unreleased phone along with your XOOM, your whole order will be held until both items are ready to ship (as opposed to something like Amazon's model, where your orders are shipped separately).
Thanks to Droid Life, you can now sift through that clumsy collection of instructions you never would have read otherwise. Nonetheless, go ahead and download the guide if you so desire; we didn't discover anything previously unknown during our preliminary reading, but who knows - something new and exciting could be contained within!
Toshiba has already spend a good deal of time talkingup its forthcoming Honeycomb tablet, but one thing the company hasn't mentioned - yet - is the device's name. However, if you believe Dutch website TabletGuide.nl, NVIDIA might have spilled the beans - at its MWC booth, the chip maker reportedly showed off a prototype of the tablet loaded with stock Android 2.2. And in the "About phone" section of the Settings app, the tablet listed "Antares" as its model number.
Told you so - the price of the XOOM will indeed be significantly less than $1,200 (at least according to Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha). In fact, if you decide to take the WiFi-only route, the tablet will cost just $600 - half of the price Best Buy put up (and subsequently took down). 3G connectivity will come with a $199 premium (jacking the price up to $799), though it's worth noting that the XOOM's radio will see an LTE upgrade sometime down the road.
Yesterday's announcement by Samsung of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 might have seemed like something of an echo of the Motorola XOOM. Well, with LG's recent unveiling of the Optimus Pad at MWC, we can still see some resemblance but with a few alterations making it worthy of further attention.
First up, the Optimus Pad refrains from the somewhat popular 10-inch screen diagonal seen on both Motorola and Samsung's tablets. If you have doubts about the handiness of a 10-inch device, it seems that LG shares your sentiments: the Optimus Tab scales the display back to 8.9 inches, while maintaining a similar 1280x760 WXGA resolution.