While we at Android Police don't exactly wait with bated breath to hear what Steve Jobs has to say at Apple announcements like the one for the iPad 2 today, we would be fooling ourselves to pretend that Apple products don't directly affect the market for Android devices. While an Android fan's first reaction to the latest iAnnouncement is often to (understandably) bash the smooth-talking fruit company from Cupertino, I believe that today's events could shake up the tablet market for the better.
Following an eerie silence regarding the Wi-Fi-only version of the Motorola XOOM after the launch of the Verizon model last week, we heard that it would (at some point) sell for £449.9 in the UK. How quickly things change: it now appears, in a new listing on PC World, that the price has been jacked up to £499.99. Pre-orders are now a go at the UK site, and they promise an availability date of "the first week of April."
Only UK customers can reserve their XOOM now, as we attempted to order from the US, and under the country code option, the only possible entry was "United Kingdom" (no surprise there).
After last week's launch of the 3G (soon to be LTE) Motorola XOOM, many of us began to wonder about that cheaper Wi-Fi-only model that has been promised. We are still (agonizingly) without a confirmed release date, but those sitting on the edges of their seats in anticipation may want to know that the UK version has been priced at £449.99 ($732).
PC World's website announced the arrival and pricing of the much-anticipated slate, also advertising pre-orders (which were not active yet).
If you thought Android powerhouse manufacturers Samsung and Motorola were going to rest on their accomplishments with the Galaxy Tab and XOOM (respectively), think again. In separate announcements today, it was revealed that both companies are already working on tablet sequels.
In a Facebook PR post for the upcoming "Samsung Mobile Unpacked" event on March 22, the Galaxy Tab maker posted an image of an unknown Honeycomb-running tablet with the numbers "78910" on the screen, accompanied by the question "What's your Tab life?" Whether these numbers refer to display sizes or not is still up for debate (let's just hope the figures aren't the price, shall we?).
In an investor call today, Motorola's CEO Sanjay Jha revealed two interesting tidbits: first, that the ATRIX 4G's Webtop app and accessory are going to be made available for more Motorola devices in the future, and second, that Gingerbread updates for all of Motorola's high-end Android devices are in the works.
On the former, it may be hard for some to get excited about more Webtop action, as the ATRIX 4G's has been dubbed overpriced and "gimmicky." However, it's important to realize that if Moto plans on continuing to offer Webtop accessories and software, they will also continue improving them.
That's right, folks. Sending in your XOOM to Motorola while it's rooted will get it sent right back. Motorola will not provide 4G LTE upgrades to XOOM devices that have been rooted, plain and simple.
A forum moderator in the same Motorola support thread indicates that it's not quite as hard-line as the first responder indicated, and that your XOOM simply must be stock in terms of software functionality when Motorola receives it.
You thought 1.2GHz was fast? That was just the beginning. The developer of the extremely popular SetCPU app has managed to get a 50% clock speed increase out of the XOOM's dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2, bumping it up to a screaming 1.5GHz. Now, this is sort of like attaching a very large turbo to your four-cylinder hot hatch - that is, your device life may be shortened a little if you're constantly pushing it to the limits.
If you're among the early adopters of Motorola's Atrix 4G, you can now install a custom ROM that may give you more flexibility with your snazzy new phone. Developer Design Gears' Adeo ROM is now available for download. While this may not be a ROM that will show any immediately mind-blowing changes to the typical end user, it gives you a reboot option, and more importantly, it's deodexed, which is an important first step that will allow developers and advanced users greater power to modify and replace apps APK files.
It's amazing how quickly the developer community gets to work after a new flagship device is released, and the XOOM is clearly no exception. First, ClockworkMod developer Koush managed to get CWM up and running on the tablet 2 hours after he picked it up, and shortly after, he released root instructions.
Now, SetCPU developer Michael Huang has pushed the Tegra 2 CPU in the XOOM up 20% to 1.2GHz.
We've already seen some surprisingly hot deals on the powerhouse of a phone that is the Atrix 4G, but LetsTalk/Walmart Wireless' latest offer tops everything. Thanks to them, you can now snag both the Atrix 4G and its laptop dock for just $250 - half of AT&T's price.