This story was originally published and last updated .
Android's been around quite a while at this point (Google's Android turned 12 last year), and even Android phones have been around well over a decade now. And while obviously hardware like the HTC Hero matters in terms of where the platform got its start, and ones like the original Moto DROID mark its real entry into the marketplace in a big way, we think there are phones (and even A tablet) that are less remembered or less appreciated for their impact on the larger ecosystem.
After, when's the last time you thought of the Galaxy S2, or the HTC One M7?
It takes a lot of applications to build an ecosystem. Google has all the essentials down — email, calendar, contacts, productivity applications, and so on — but the company has always struggled with creative tools. Most notably, Google is still lacking a proper video editor for its own operating systems, which is becoming even more of an issue as high-end Chromebooks gain momentum.
Although development of Android for tablets has largely stagnated, mid-range media consumption tablets are still cheaply produced. The AT&T Moto Tab (stylized as 'moto tab') is technically Motorola's first tablet since the Xoom 2 (known as the Xyboard in the United States), though the design strongly resembles that of the Lenovo Tab 4 10. You can now buy the Moto Tab from AT&T for $299.99 upfront, or for $15/month for 20 months. This is $120 more than the Lenovo-branded tablet, though the two share more similarities in appearance than power.
Well, that was fast. Android 4.1.2 was just released to AOSP last week, and Motorola has already started pushing the Wi-Fi XOOM's update out to soak testers. This isn't a huge jump in terms of functionality, and the incremental update will bump the XOOM from build JRO03H (4.1.1) to JZO54K (4.1.2).
Of course, those who aren't soak testers are probably wondering how they can get this update now. The beauty of Google-supported hardware like the Wi-FI XOOM (which is, for all intents and purposes a Nexus device), is that Big G makes updates likes this one available almost immediately. Therefore, it can be downloaded and manually applied right now.
After Google's Ice Cream Sandwich announcement, the obvious question on everyone's mind was will my device get it? Motorola has started to address that issue, albeit very slowly.
A note about Ice Cream Sandwich:
We are planning to upgrade DROID RAZR, Motorola RAZR, Motorola XOOM and DROID BIONIC by Motorola to Ice Cream Sandwich. We will provide more precise guidance on timing after post-public push of Ice Cream Sandwich by Google, as well as any possible additions to this list of devices.
Therefore, we know at least three Moto devices that will see the ICS update. Of course, if you're rocking a high-end Moto device that was released in the past six months or so, I wouldn't sweat it too much.
Motorola is resurrecting the world's first Honeycomb tablet one last time before the next generation of XOOM becomes available, but this time it has a family-friendly twist. It's called the XOOM Family Edition, and it's basically the same Wi-Fi XOOM that has been out for months now, but it's packing around $40 of additional games and other software specifically targeted at kids. Among the bundled software is Zoodles, an app that locks the home button and only grants access to user-defined apps, so you can keep those kiddos away from apps that you deem unfit.
Also included in the bundle is a couple of popular games, like Asphalt 6 and Sim City Deluxe.
Update: So, today's the day. Who plans on living the tablet-less life for the next week?
Verizon Wireless has just announced in a press release that the Motorola Xoom's 4G LTE upgrade process can finally begin Thursday the 29th (tomorrow).
To get the upgrade, customers need only go to Verizon's Xoom upgrade page. Oh, and send off their Xoom for approximately 6 business days.
Verizon also announced that Xoom tablets with 4G LTE built in will be available starting October 13th for $499.99 on a new two year contract. Broadband data plans will begin at $30/month for 2GB of data.
Motorola's Xoom, the first Honeycomb tablet on the market, is still a powerful piece of technology, packing much of the same hardware we've come to love in other Honeycomb tablets. The Xoom's 32GB variant normally goes for a solid $499, but today 1saleaday.com is offering the original Honeycomb tablet for a discounted price of $399 with $5 in shipping charges.
For those who need a refresher, here's what the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi packs under its 10.1” frame:
NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor
Rear 5MP camera/2MP front-facing camera
1280x800 pixel screen at 150ppi
32GB Internal storage (with microSD port for extra storage)
Android 3.2 Honeycomb
If you've been waiting for your chance to get the Motorola Xoom at a discount, you've got until 12 midnight (EST) to grab this deal at1saleaday.
Yesterday a German court sided with Apple against Samsung, disallowing the sale of Galaxy Tab 10.1 units in the European Union. Buried deep within this filing is mention of yet another complaint -- but this one is against Motorola, allegedly over the design of the XOOM.
This has been a back-and-forth battle between the two companies for sometime now, with Moto originally going after Apple for violating 18 patents in iOS and some Macs back in October of 2010. Apple quickly fired back, accusing Moto of violating six of its patents in the Droid, Droid 2, Droid X, and other smartphones.
While the US variant of the Motorola XOOM recently received Android 3.2, the European version has been patiently waiting to leave version 3.0.1. That wait is finally coming to its end, as the official Android 3.1 OTA has started rolling out in Europe, according to Motorola EU's Facebook page. Of course, this is a staged rollout, so it may be days - or even weeks - before some users actually see it hit their device.