The Android 3.1 update that's been rolling out to Motorola XOOMs all week (yes, including the Wi-Fi versions) contains quite a few improvements to the Android experience, such as better stability, resizable widgets, and an extended app switcher. However, one thing this update does not contain (and actively cleans up if you had it before) is root.
This article deals with a couple of advanced topics. If you’re unfamiliar with some of the terms, hit up our primers here:
Yesterday Motorola officially announced that Android 3.1 would be hitting Verizon 3G XOOMs first, then WiFi and other variants "in the next several weeks." I'm not really sure how Motorola defines "several weeks," but it appears to be a little bit different than the rest of the world, as we're starting to see reports pop up all over the net that suggest the update may already be underway.
That's about as deep as the details go for now, but if you get the update on your XOOM, make sure to let us know!
Update: It doesn't get much more official than this:
It's about time a manufacturer started over-delivering for a change.
Ahh, Google I/O, how we'll miss you for the next 365 days or so. The last 2 days have been filled with anticipation, knowledge, surprises, excitement, and fun - the perfect recipe for happy developers. As a developer myself, I've picked up heaps of new information, especially from the SDK Tools and ADT session by Tor Norbye and Xavier Ducrohet, and viewing the keynotes was simply a blast.
As you may have seen yesterday, day 1 keynote and sessions were already posted last night, and now the same fate reached the sessions and keynote from day 2. As before, you can view the whole list by visiting the YouTube page of GoogleDevelopers or simply watch the embeds on this page.
Yesterday at Google I/O, The Goog announced the next version of Honeycomb (Android 3.1), and said that the first tablet to see the update would be the Verizon version of the Motorola XOOM. Motorola followed up that announcement with an official statement today, including when the other XOOM variants could expect to see to get some updated Honeycomb action.
XOOM owners will be able to enjoy some nice improvements with this update, including support for the new Moviesfeature in the Android Market, resizable widgets, full support for the newest version of Adobe Flash player (10.2), which brings drastic improvements to performance and stability; and support for USB peripherals like game controllers, keyboards, and mice.
The first day of Google I/O 2011 is now over (see our highlights) - in fact, the next one is starting in mere 7 hours (4 hours of sleep - check). That doesn't mean, however, that the information presented was lost forever - on the contrary, Google has archived most, if not all, of the footage and made it available to you on YouTube via the GoogleDevelopers channel.
You can find the full keynote, filled with Android goodness to the brim, along with the most interesting Android sessions below.
Keynote Day 1:
Fireside Chat with the Android Team:
How to NFC:
And, of course, Jane's Addiction live in concert at the after party (this was awesome):
While it doesn't affect those of you who have no idea what FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is, today's Android 3.1 announcement (see the SDK release here) will make a lot of people who gave up MP3s for FLAC files happy. Forget happy - think ecstatic. Unlike MP3s, FLAC is a lossless codec, meaning it does not degrade in quality after compression, making it the perfect solution for audiophiles who really care about the quality of their sound.
After staring at the issue (#1461) (and I'm sure working hard on implementing support for it) for over 2 years, the Android team finally added native FLAC decoding to Android starting with Android 3.1, the latest iteration of Honeycomb.
Google didn't leave us waiting long for the Android 3.1 SDK; hot on the heels of this morning's unveiling, the software development kit for the latest version of Honeycomb has landed. With it comes a boatload of new APIs (no wonder the API level is now 12) - most notably resizable widgets, improved animation frameworks, and, last but certainly not least, a host of options for interacting with USB devices. In fact, the last item is perhaps the most important, as it will allow users to connect a wide variety of USB accessories to their tablet and interface with them easily.
The popular do-everything notepad app Catch Notes received an update today that includes full Honeycomb support and provides some advanced features specifically designed for tablets. Among the new features is an improved UI that makes the app much more intuitive on the larger screen. You can now expect to see multiple views on the same screen, which will make note input a much more fluid task, along with an enhanced note editor that will allow for much faster note taking, and better overall organization.
Also included in this update is the addition of context-aware controls in the action bar and a more intuitive tagging process.
Well, we all saw it coming. After giving away phones the past two years (HTC Magic G2 in 2009, HTC Nexus One/Motorola Droid and HTC EVO 4G in 2010), Google I/O attendees will be leaving with shiny new Limited-Edition Samsung Galaxy Tabs. Here's our little (big) guy:
The Tab 10.1 will be available to the masses on June 8, but I/O attendees will be receiving it first. The Tab 10.1 of course will be running Honeycomb (and will be getting the upgrade to 3.1 in a few weeks), have a 10.1'' screen, 1Ghz dual-core processor, and sport 32GB of onboard memory.
When Google announced its new Movies service today, some of the details of the service's launch were omitted in the information overload that is I/O. But now that we've had a minute to regain our composure and, you know, investigate, we've got some exciting news about Google Movies: you can start renting and watching right now (note: only the United States is currently supported):
The catch is that you'll only be able to do it from your personal computer (via the Web Market or YouTube in the browser) or on a Motorola XOOM in the Videos app for the moment (we're assuming that means it's limited to Honeycomb Android devices for the time being).