We've clearly got a little bias on the subject, but Android has a long and storied history filled with its own triumphs and pitfalls. It's been well over a decade now since that first HTC G1 landed, the inaugural Android smartphone, and things have changed drastically since then. Being "first" might make you think the G1 was the most influential Android phone — but was it, really?
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.
Yesterday PayPal updated its Android app to take advantage of Xoom, a service that allows you to transfer money internationally. PayPal acquired Xoom back in 2015 and only began integrating Xoom's features into its own services late last year. With Xoom users can send money to people in over 62 countries via a few different means, including topping up prepaid phones. Anyone who may be regularly sending cash to friends or family abroad will likely welcome the new Xoom integration.
Of all the Android ROMs out there, few receive even a fraction of the love that CyanogenMod does. For users that like to flash ROMs and experiment with all Android has to offer, getting official Cyanogen support can be like Christmas morning. Today users of the HTC One XL and the old Verizon Motorola XOOM get to do a little happy dance as CyanogenMod 10.1 nightlies have become available for the XOOM, while an experimental build is up for the One XL.
Definition: A "nightly" is a bleeding edge release that is built on a daily basis, usually at night after a full day's worth of new code has been committed.
Don't you just love when your device gets a new version of CM? It's like getting an update from the Android gods, because who knows when the manufacturer/carrier is going to send one out.
Today, four new devices are added to the CM10.1 list:
XOOM Wi-Fi (wingray)
XOOM 3G (everest) Note: Not compatible with the Verizon variant!
Samsung Fascinate (fascinatemtd)
...and a newcomer to the scene, the ODROID-U2 (odroidu2)
That's excellent news for the owners of those devices, but we're sure there's one question on everyone's mind here: what the hell is an ODROID-U2? We wondered the same, but a little digging turned up the answer: it's an Exynos4412 dev platform with a couple gigs of RAM and a Mali-400 GPU.
Earlier this evening, CyanogenMod's Google+ page published an announcement that read "Who says Everest is in Nepal?". That's right – the Motorola Xoom 3G (GSM) variant has joined the list of CM-supported devices, getting its first experimental build dated 10-17.
Steady Hawkin, in a comment to the announcement, notes that the experimental build is "still a WIP," and encourages users to report any issues they may encounter.
If you're a Xoom GSM owner looking for some CM10 action, just keep an eye on the CyanogenMod download center's Everest page (linked below) for the latest builds. As CM's announcement notes, mountaineers need not apply.
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.
In a post to Google's Android Building group today, Jean-Baptiste Queru once again acted as the bearer of good tidings for developers and tweakers everywhere, announcing that "a new set of proprietary binaries for Jelly Bean are available."
The new batch of binaries includes those of the Nexus S and Nexus S 4G (Crespo and Crespo4G respectively), the latter of which we just recently saw added into the AOSP fold.
The set also includes updates to the both the GSM Galaxy Nexus (maguro), and Verizon's Galaxy Nexus (toro, which itself is ever so close to full AOSP support).
Conspicuously absent from the party is Sprint's variant of the Galaxy Nexus, but there's no surprise there.
Update 7/26/12: It looks like the JRO03H update was final after all and has now started rolling out to everyone. Grab your XOOM and taste some Jelly Bean (thanks, @Fdiazreal and @iphilluv).
The Wi-Fi XOOM Jelly Bean update is almost here - after a brief delay it's finally rolling out to a limited group of soak testers who volunteer to provide feedback and test release candidates early. If all goes well, we should expect a wide release probably in the next few days, although if you're feeling brave, you can attempt to flash the update zip over your stock IMM76 build using a USB-OTG cable and these instructions.