It's launch day for the XOOM, and already the major news outlets have had a chance to spend a few days with the much anticipated device. Not only does the XOOM bring a new standard in high-end to the masses (a la Tegra 2), but it's also the first device to ship with Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) on board. It's also really the second major Android tablet to launch (the Galaxy Tab being the first), and the first to match the 10" form factor of the iPad.
The raw power behind NVIDIA's soon-to-be ubiquitous Tegra II chipset makes for some interesting possibilities when it comes to gaming. However, there are certain pitfalls when one manufacturer leap-frogs the competition. Being the first to market in this latest generation of system-on-chips, NVIDIA has developers and exclusives pretty much at their beck and call. Who are you doing to develop for, the company with a multitude of devices hitting the market right now, or the "other guys" without any firm release date?
You would think that large hardware manufacturers, such as HTC and Motorola, would dedicate at least a few hours to trademark searches before naming their products and investing millions of dollars into promotional efforts for said products. That would be a fair assumption, right? It seems like the answer sometimes is: not exactly.
Last week at MWC, HTC unveiled 6 new devices, one of which was bearing the name ChaCha (that's one of the Facebook phones).
This one's for you, developers: XDA user adub007just posted a full Motorola XOOM system dump. What new and unprecedented goodies does it contain? That remains to be seen... feel free to download the 112MB (183MB when unpacked) file and start digging for yourself.
For anybody who is planning to buy a Xoom tomorrow, we finally have an idea on how the upgrade to 4G LTE compatibility will work. Instead of just being a simple software update, you'll have to send your device to Motorola, which, while free, will take "up to 6 business days." The process will be available approximately 90 days after the Xoom is released, and will remain available for six months.
Turns out yesterday's update to the Android 3.0 SDK introduced more than just finalized APIs - the folks over at Android Central have discovered seven completely new wallpapers as well as two higher-res versions of existing ones in the final SDK's Launcher2.apk.
At 1920x1280, the images are just the right size for showing off your Honeycomb love on any of your devices. If they catch your eye, be sure to grab them for yourself using the download link below.
Sure, the first part of that title might sound like a Steve Jobs quote, but Motorola's latest tweet merits the expression:
That's right - unlike almost all other Motorola devices in recent memory, the XOOM will ship with an unlocked (or at least "unlockable/relockable") bootloader. That means modders will be free to create custom ROMs and kernels for the tablet - not as surprising as it would be were the XOOM not a flagship Google device, but still very reassuring.
OK, so unboxings aren't exactly the most exciting videos on the web, but when they involve a certain tablet called the "Motorola XOOM," they're definitely worth a look. Such is Wirefly's latest creation:
Items of note:
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) - boot times seem really fast
10.1-inch 16:10 display - larger than an iPad
1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor
32GB of internal storage
2MP front camera
5MP rear camera capable of recording 720p HD video
Interestingly, the video mentions a slot for a 4G SIM card, which is odd since Verizon and Motorola say the XOOM will require a hardware software upgrade to connect to LTE.
Verizon's latest press release confirms rumors that the Motorola XOOM will cost $599 with a 2-year contract and $799 without (though we already knew the latter price thanks toVerizon's website) when it launches this Thursday.
Data contracts will start at $20/month for 1GB of data, with Verizon confirming once again that the XOOM will be upgradeable to 4G LTE in Q2 of 2011 at no extra charge.
Read more about it in the official press release:
MOTOROLA XOOM TABLET TO BE AVAILABLE ON THE VERIZON WIRELESS NETWORK ON FEB.
Verizon just updated its product page for the Motorola XOOM, and in the process, the tablet's release date has been made official. Just as expected, you'll be able to buy the Honeycomb-loaded beast this Thursday (2/24), but unfortunately, Adobe's Flash Player won't be included out of the box. Instead, the page's fine print says, the software is "expected in Spring 2011."
Engadget speculates that Verizon / Motorola are waiting for Flash 10.2, which is supposed to launch in the coming weeks, and I would say that's a pretty fair assumption.