Motorola has announced that the Honeycomb based tablet, the Motorola Xoom, is headed north to Canada this April. Unfortunately, Motorola is currently only making the Wi-Fi version available to Canadians. Although, the press release does state 3G is coming mid-year. So for those of you waiting for a 3G Xoom, hang tight! The Xoom hitting Canada in April is the same exact one we've come to know and love here in the US -- nothing new. Press release after the break, folks.
Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) provides full 2D hardware acceleration in applications, and Romain Guy explains the ins and outs of enabling it in your app at the Android Developers Blog. Mr. Guy is a software engineer for Google's Android project, and is heavily involved in the graphics rendering code for both Gingerbread and Honeycomb, and seeing him take the time to further application development for Android is great. He's also one hell of a photographer, and some of his work has been used as the stock backgrounds on Android phones.
Developers should check out the source link for all the details, but we'll keep it a little more end-user friendly here. Hardware acceleration has been around for a while in Android for things like OpenGL games, but now normally coded apps can use and benefit from it as well. On the Motorola Xoom, all the stock applications already use accelerated 2D graphics, and third party apps can take advantage of it with a single line added to the AndroidManifest.xml file in the source code. If the app is using the standard set of drawables, all operations will then use the GPU when drawing them on-screen.
There are some other things to consider if you've written custom drawing code, which is why hardware acceleration is disabled by default. Mr. Guy takes the time to explain what you need to do as well as what operations are supported if you need to go this route. Looks like we're going to be seeing some awesome third party apps coming up for tablets running Honeycomb. [Android Developers Blog]
If you are a Sprint user that has been eying the Motorola Xoom, and anxiously awaiting its Wi-Fi model release so you don't have to jump ship, a glimmer of hope has come for you. Sprint Users forums member rofl, who is apparently a rather trusty leaker of these types of things, has outed the Motorola Xoom showing a pretty Sprint logo. While we still have no release date, or real information on this device, it is a good sign to see that it is wearing the branding of other carriers. [SprintUsers via BGR]
Toshiba's 10.1 inch tablet (see our hands-on from CES 2011) now has its own sign-up page on Amazon.com. The Tegra 2 based tablet features "Adaptive Display Technology", which is video upscaling on the 1200x800 16:10 screen. Combined with a full-sized SD card slot, full-sized USB port, HDMI port and mini-USB, this one looks to be a very nice piece of hardware.
There's no word on pricing or an availability date, but if you're interested you can sign up to be notified from Amazon when more information becomes available. [Amazon] Thanks, Randy!
If you are looking to pick up a Wi-Fi Motorola Xoom, Staples has opened their pre-order form online, and they are showing a ship date of 3/25. While the estimated delivery dates are showing 3/28, the day after it will be available in retail locations, the good thing is that you will be guaranteed a device, and won't even have to leave your home. So, if interested in doing it all online, and not worried about having to wait an extra day, be sure to check out the Staples site. [Staples] Thanks, Danny!
While most retailers will have the Wi-Fi only Motorola XOOMready to go on March 27, Costco is taking pre-orders now and giving and expected ship date of April 1. So what exactly is the incentive in ordering from them considering you'll be waiting a few extra days to get one? Well, Costco will only charge you $589.99 and toss in a free gel skin case to go along with it. If you're not an impatient person -- that's one hell of a deal. You can place your pre-orders at the Costco website. [Costco via BGR]
Although we got a heads up from some leaked information, Motorola has gone ahead and made things all official like with the announcement of the Wi-Fi only XOOM. As expected the retailers such as Amazon.com, Best Buy, Costco, RadioShack, Sam's Club, Staples and Walmart will all have the XOOM available as of March 27. If you were holding out for this version expecting it to be cheaper then you may or may not be surprised -- the Wi-Fi only version will be priced at $599.99 across retailers. If you're still wondering what the Motorola XOOM is all about, check out our full on review. [PRNewswire]
Big, black and powerful. That pretty much sums up the Motorola XOOM (henceforth to be referred to as the more eye-friendly Xoom), the opening salvo in what is about to be a deluge of tablets running Android 3.0 Honeycomb. And the Xoom not only ushers in a major change to the Android operating system, it also launches a new era in mobile hardware, faster and more powerful than ever.
But for all that, the usual questions remain. Does the Xoom match up with the competition? And does it justify the price? And is the darn thing just too big and too heavy? All that and another picture or two, after the break.
Late last week we got word of an update for theMotorola Xoom rolling out, and while the main purpose that we saw for the update was the upcoming flash compatibility, the update appears to have done more then just this. Android Central forums member wnrussel3 noticed that after the update to HRI66, from the previous version of HRI39, Quadrant benchmarks on the device improved by 28 percent, jumping from 1775 to 2283. It's not necessarily indicative of an overall experience, but nobody wants lower benchmark scores. [Android Central Forums]
It looks like the Motorola Xoom is joining the HTC Thunderbolt in the "leaked docs from big box stores" department, as Droid Life got some goods from a Staples insider showing the long awaited WiFi-only model coming March 27, at a price point of $599.98. That works out to the same price point as the 32 GB WiFi model of the iPad 2, and should quiet the folks crying for a carrier free, WiFi-only model (like yours truly).
While we've learned that leaked sales ads and internal inventory screens don't guarantee anything, they are a good indicator that we're close. This should certainly help boost sales, and more importantly, developers who were waiting for the WiFi-only model can get to cracking. The inventory screen is after the break. [Droid-Life via Android Central forums] Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
When we first got a look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10-inch at Mobile World Congress, it was your usual trade show free-for all. But the upcoming Honeycomb device (when's this thing gonna drop, anyway?) has shed its Samsung shackles and apparently paraded around the streets of Paris for the AndroidHD blog, which churned out 11 minutes of quality video in return. Nothing too new here, but you get another good look at the hardware, a good look at the software and some sample pics taken from the 8MP rear camera. [AndroidHD]
If you have thought about how awesome it would be to use your Motorola Xoom as an in car media player, or for navigation, you are not alone. Android Central forums member 3800scpowered took to creating a custom car dock for the Xoom for this very reason. With the use of some aluminum, and the standard desk dock for the device, a rather unique, yet professional looking car dock for the Xoom was created. It's wired for power from the car to keep it charged while on the go. Hit the source link for more pics and all the details. [Android Central Forums]
Well, that didn't take long. Just half a day or so since Adobe announced that Flash Player 10.2 would drop for Android on March 18, and the darn thing's already leaked out. This is the version that the Motorola Xoom has been waiting for, of course. So we fired it up on a Xoom, and -- behold, Flash! It's also running decently on our CyanogenMod 7 device (that's Gingerbread for you teetotallers), and our man Alex has it on his Froyo'd HTC Desire. That's not to say there's not some stuttering, still, but who's to say if this is a final build -- or if it's early and busted. If you're the adventurous type, give it a shot. [via My Droid World] Thanks, Sean!
When Motorola announced that the Xoom Honeycomb tablet was getting an update to prepare it for Flash Player 10.2, it also announced that unlocked and rooted Xooms would have to be rolled back to stock and relocked for the update to take. (So much for open and unlocked, eh?) There's been a leaked .sbf file floating around, which you can flash via RSD Lite before relocking the device.
Or, if doing things the official way is more your speed, Motorola has now released the system images for the Xoom's original build, HRI39, so you can flash them yourself and relock your Xoom in preparation for the update. Instructions are after the break. [Android Central Forums]
Making good on their word, Motorola has just let everyone know that the first Motorola XOOM update is going to start rolling out tonight in phases. While Adobe Flash was missing at launch, Motorola did say it was coming later. No, you're not getting Flash tonight but this update will help that process along when it comes time. If you're rooted and what not, you'll likely want to hold off just a little bit so that the file can be looked at but, if that's not a concern for then by all means-- have at it should you see the update pop up tonight for you. [@Motorola]
*Update* Official word comes to us via the Motorola forums: "If you have unlocked/rooted your Motorola XOOM, you must restore it to the standard software load and relock your device to receive the notification."
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