- As rumored, Motorola XOOM is indeed going to cost $799 and will require a 1-month data package to unlock WiFi. February 24th remains the go-live date. Anyone still up for picking it up? Oh, and the same spelling errors are still present (/sigh).
- HTC Thunderbolt's regular, off-contract price is also confirmed at $749.99, just like we told you yesterday. Bummer. 2-year contract price is still $249.99.
HP's recently announced TouchPad is a genuinely exciting device - there's no question about that. In fact, with such features as a dual-core Qualcomm CPU and the fancy new "Tap to Share" technology, it might just be the most serious competition Honeycomb tablets will face in the first half of 2011, aside from a certain Apple product.
But is it enough to cause you, dear Android Police reader, to second-guess the XOOM or G-Slate? I know it isn't enough for me - and here's why.
Just look at the TouchPad - its design makes it clear that what HP has created is essentially the iPad's twin sister.
A leaked ad from Best Buy shows that the Motorola XOOM will be priced at $799.99. It also confirms rumours that the tablet will be available in-store from February 24th.
The ad seems to be the real deal (complete with the trademarked Best Buy yellow price labels), however we couldn't help but notice a few glaring spelling mistakes. Either the ad is a fake, which is unlikely at this point, or Best Buy needs to fire its current spell-checker.
In any event, the above confirms that the Honeycomb tablet will only support Verizon's 3G network at launch but will be upgradeable to 4G at a later date.
Remember the 15-second preview of Motorola's XOOM Super Bowl commercial that was leaked online a few days ago? Guess what - it's Super Bowl Sunday, the ad just aired in front of millions of people, and Moto immediately released the whole thing on YouTube, so that those of us who missed it could inspect just what exactly Moto's creative genius has been up to lately.
Unsurprisingly, the ad's 1984 theme (remember the teaser?) continues to implicitly take silent jabs at Apple, introducing the XOOM as "the tablet to create a better world."
So, does the full 1 minute ad impress or has Motorola failed to showcase the product properly?
It's pretty much universally agreed upon that Honeycomb's UI overhaul looks awesome, with its Tron-inspired holographic UI touching just about every part of the operating system. But what about the boot screen? It turns out that looks just as slick - TechCrunch managed to grab a video of it, and - despite the poor lighting - we can see that it looks nothing like previous versions of Android, which featured the Nexus "X" animation. Check it out in the video below:
Also noteworthy: The XOOM boots in less than 10 seconds. Mmm, Tegra 2 goodness.
Super Bowl XLV is going down this Sunday, and while most people can't wait to see the Steelers face off against the Packers, Android fans have another reason to be excited: Motorola plans to air a commercial for the world's first Honeycomb tablet during the big game.
However, for those of us who simply can't wait any longer, Motorola's released 15 seconds of the ad - check it out:
As you can see, Motorola has decided to take yet another jab at Apple and the iPad's lack of customizability - not exactly the most innovative approach, but so long as it piques the public's interest, it should suffice.
Earlier yesterday, Google demoed some of Honeycomb's most impressive features, however one of its best features seems to have slipped under the radar. While playing around with the Motorola XOOM, Engadget noticed an "Encrypt Tablet" option in the settings page.
At this time little is known about the encryption standard that will be used or whether the encryption process will affect the tablet's other features in any way. All that is known is that your accounts, settings, downloaded applications, media, and other files will be encrypted, and you will require a numeric PIN or password to decrypt the data. Additionally, it will take an hour (or more) to encrypt all your data.
Today has definitely been one of the more exciting days this year, at least in the Android department. Last week, Google sent out invitation for a Honeycomb-related event, where we, of course, were expecting detailed walkthroughs of Android 3.0 and hands-on with the Motorola XOOM.
Rumors of the web store that was promised almost a year ago as well as Google Music, teased at the same time at Google I/O last year, were flying, and one of them definitely came true today - we've finally got ourselves a web-based Market with over-the-air app installations.
Instead of Google Music, we got a different present in the form of in-app purchases, which will, hopefully, put an end to multiple variations of apps (Lite, keys, Demo, etc), help curb piracy, and allow for easier microtransactions within existing aps and games.
We can't say we didn't see it coming, considering we saw this preview of the tablet-optimized SwiftKey keyboard during CES, but what SwiftKey is announcing today looks quite a bit different, to say the least.
Allow me to introduce Swiftkey Tablet - a tablet-only Honeycomb keyboard set to launch around the same time as the Motorola XOOM tablet. Sticking with the 3-way-split design, the new holographic look reminds me quite a bit of Tron. If you watch the video below, you'll see that the UI is quite... magical, with suggestions floating up when clicked. The dual space bar design and the presence of arrow keys are very welcomed as well.
It appears that Motorola's ad campaign for the XOOM is underway, with the following ad released today by ShareMoto. As in the previous, and I would say much more successful Tablet Evolution ad, Apple plays a big part, being compared to the Big Brother from 1984. Motorola then flies some [impressive] specs around and... that's it. No pictures of the XOOM - nothing. If this is indeed their Super Bowl ad they are planning to air during the game this Sunday, I will be very disappointed. You can do better, Moto. You didn't let us touch or play with the tablet at CES - at least let us see it in your own commercials, OK?