There's been talk of Sprint selling the Motorola Xoom for several months, and Sprint just made it official -- the wifi only model will be available through all retail channels on May 8, for $599.99, just as we reported earlier today. A carrier selling something you can pick up from a big box or electronics store may sound a little strange, but it should make it easier to get the Xoom in more peoples hands, which equals more developer interest. We all like that.
No official word on any plans for a 4G model from Sprint, but I certainly wouldn't put that, or some sort of 4G Overdrive MiFi bundle package, out of the picture just yet. For now, you have a new storefront to get your Xoom from, and that's just fine by us. The full announcement is after the break.
When is the ASUS EeePad Transformer, one of the hottest Honeycomb tablets available, not actually one of the hottest Honeycomb tablets available? (Read our full review) When it's shipped still running some pre-release firmware identified as Android 2.2. Craziness!
That's what happened to moago, who was lucky enough snag one at launch this week, only to find it not running Honeycomb. That sort of thing, of course, attracts hackers and nerds (and us hacker/nerd/journalist types) like Donald Trump to a camera, and hijinx ensue.
So congrats to moago for getting that little treasure, and good luck getting it updated. For the rest of you, once you're actually able to get the Transformer, you'll just have to be content with having the newest version of Android. Life's tough like that.
You all remember that Sprint brandedMotorola Xoom right? Of course you do -- back then, we had no idea of when it would be showing up on Sprint for people to purchase but now, that's a slightly different story if the info seen in this image is any sort of accurate. May 8, is the expected release date for the WiFi only Motorola Xoom on Sprint but again that $599 price tag is lingering. With other tablets such as the HTC Flyer and the ASUS EeePad Transformer now or soon to be on the scene, is anyone still going to be picking up a Xoom from Sprint?
A 17-year-old in Virginia is making headlines by being the first to create a digital record of every Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran buried in Arlington National Cemetery, a task aided in part by his new Motorola Xoom. Richard Gilleland III, a high school junior in Stafford, Va., began the project last year, and has maintained preserveandhonor.com, a digital directory of recently fallen soldiers, the only one of its kind. As today’s Los Angeles Times points out, Gilleland is now using his Motorola Xoom, which he received as a gift for his 17th birthday, to help with the ongoing project. Hard to think of a more honorable way of putting the Xoom to good use.
Although the rumblings of a forth coming update for the Motorola Xoom have been out there for a few days now, it's never actually been announced by Verizon in any sort of manner. Unless of course, you consider posting up the .pdf with the change log a quite unveiling. While we still don't have a date for when it's to be release -- it's coming at some point so we'll just have to wait it out. In the meantime, the changes are listed below:
Web Browsing and Data Access
Access and stay connected to Wi-Fi networks with added Proxy support.
SSL data transfer with websites is now supported.
WPA Pre-Shared Key pass-phrases are now supported when using the device as a Mobile Hotspot.
Supports Google Widevine DRM and HDCP.
Email and Messaging
POP3 HTML emails will display in their entirety.
Bluetooth® is now supported in Google TalkTM.
Additional Device Features
Encrypted passwords can be entered during power up.
Calendar events will remain up to date after an installed software update.
Application storage errors will not appear unless the device has reached maximum storage capacity.
Safely dock the MOTOROLA XOOM into the docking adapter without interruption. + Ability to add and use a Bluetooth mouse. + A shortcut key for the Bluetooth keyboard has been added. + View and import pictures from digital cameras with Picture Transfer Protocol.
When using the device in accessibility mode, menus will no longer prompt with sounds.
Rather large update that fixes quite a few issues really. Hopefully we'll see a roll out soon since it's been quite a while since Xoom owners have felt the update love.
IDC and Appcelerator have released the findings of their survey of nearly 2,800 developers concerning interest in working on various mobile platforms. Unsurprisingly, Android and Apple's iOS were well ahead of all others. Android phones had 85 percent and Android tablets saw 71 percent of developers being "very interested" in developing for each platform. iOS was still king by a slight margin with 91 percent for the iPhone and 86 percent for the iPad. Windows Phone 7 grabbed the number five spot at just 29 percent, barely beating out BlackBerry at 27 percent.
While both Android and iOS saw slight dips in developer interest in the latest survey, Android took a slightly larger hit. Still, only six percentage points separate Android phones from the iPhone. Tablets are a different story as developers seem uncertain which tablet to focus on. The current front-runners are the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom, but no single Android tablet has really broken through in the minds of mainstream consumers. In addition, Android tablet sales have yet to take off like Android phones did back in 2010.
The biggest issue in the minds of developers interested in Android development is fragmentation of the platform. Having multiple versions of the OS on devices along with all of the different hardware and custom software running on devices simply makes it harder to develop (bug-free) applications for the platform as opposed to the one-size-fits-all approach of Apple.
Still, it is clear Google needs to find a way to solve this issue if it wants Android to be the number one choice for developers in the long run. As for Microsoft, RIM, and HP, well, they have a lot of work to do if they want to become the clear number 3 choice behind iOS and Android. Check out another graph showing interest in each mobile platform after the break.
Although we've already done the review for the ASUS EeePad Transformer, we're still waiting for it to actually become available in the U.S. but today is supposed to be launch day. Some savvy Android Central readers however, have let us know that it's now showing up on Amazon, albeit off and on. Some folks are saying they managed to place their orders, while others are saying it's now showing as no longer in stock. As you can see above, I was able to add it to my cart and before doing so there was 3 left available -- but, now they are temporarily out of stock. Try your luck at it and of course, we'll let you all know when it does show available for all. [Amazon] Thanks, everyone who sent this in!
Here's the deal regarding online availability of the ASUS EeePad Transformer: Like we told you last week, it'll be available starting tomorrow at a handful of online retailers. (See the full list here.) And when we say "tomorrow," we definitely mean April 26, and ASUS confirmed as much, saying the product pages shouldn't be live before then. A quick reminder on official pricing: $399 for the 16GB version, $499 for the 32GB version, and another $149 for the keyboard dock.
Oh, but that picture you see above? That's from the military Exchange Online Store, which apparently already has the Transformer up for grabs as Android Central reader Danon points out. So if you have access to AAFES and have a hankering for that 10.1-inch Transformer and can't wait a few more hours, get to ordering. That's an order. (See what we did there?) A couple more pics are after the break. [AAFES] Thanks, Danon!
Those barmy chaps at the Carphone Warehouse have taken their battle-testing of the Motorola Xoom to the extreme, starting off using Google Maps on the back of a motorcycle and culminating with some light 3G browsing on the wings of an airplane. In the video, which we've embedded above, they also put Motorola's Honeycomb tablet through its paces on horseback, speedboat and see-saw. Not quite an Android in space, but very nearly as awesome.
Honeycomb finds itself on a double threat: Thin, light Android tablet doubles as a capable Android laptop
Is it a tablet? Is it a netbook? Is it a tablet? Is it a netbook? Is it a laptop? What, exactly, is the ASUS EeePad Transformer? Sitting here with it on my lap, typing away on the full keyboard, it's easy to forget that I'm using an Android Honeycomb tablet. With a keyboard. And a trackpad. Like a laptop. With Honeycomb.
So here's the general idea: The Transformer is a 10.1-inch tablet running Android 3.0.1, the most recently released version of Honeycomb. It's got a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor running at 1GHz. Sound familiar? It should, as those are specs shared by the Motorola Xoom, the first (and until now the only) available Honeycomb tablet. But the Transformer gets its name from the optional keyboard accessory. And it's not a Bluetooth keyboard. It's not using some janky tethering system. It's a full-fledged (if slightly undersized) laptop-style keyboard, complete with hinge, that turns the not-so-mild-mannered Android tablet into so much more.
We've heard it before -- tablets are killing netbooks. There's no reason to carry around a full-size laptop anymore. And so on and so forth. Neither statement is true. But whereas other tablet-keyboard combinations have come up short, the ASUS EeePad Transformer (henceforth to be referred to by its surname) is the most viable Android laptop we've seen yet. Our full review's after the break.
Here we go, folks, your first hands-on with the ASUS EeePad Transformer. It's an Android tablet. And an Android laptop. It's a Honeycomb tablet. And a Honeycomb laptop. Hell, we can't decide which to call it.
Fact of the matter is, the EeePad Transformer is one hell of an Android tablet and laptop, which is saying something considering the number of Honeycomb tablets out there, which isn't all that great.
Anyhoo, check out our hand-on video above and be sure to check out our further coverage.
Sometimes you just have to have that desktop experience. I use a laptop for my everyday computer. But when I can, I use it in the more traditional sense -- with a full keyboard and mouse -- plus a nice, big second monitor. And that's another feature that we're loving in the ASUS EeePad Transformer -- proper USB support.
The Transformer's got not one but two USB 2.0 ports for you to use on the keyboard dock. (There's another reason to shell out the extra $149, eh?) Friend or a co-worker have something to show you on a flash drive? Just pop it in. Want to use a USB keyboard or mouse? Go right ahead.
And it's that simple. You just plug them in, and they work.
So now that we've written a word or three (thousand) about the ASUS EeePad Transformer's life as a Honeycomb laptop, let's put it up against one of our old netbooks, the 10-inch ASUS EeePC 1000HE.
And what a difference a couple years makes, eh? On the Eee PC you've got an Intel Atom N280 processor at 1.66GHz. The EeePad Transformer sports an NVIDIA Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor. They've both got 1GB of RAM, but the Eee PC's can (and should) be upgraded to 2GB. And, of course, the Transformer runs Android 3.0 Honeycomb while the Eee PC sports Windows XP (or Windows 7 if you feel like upgrading).
The Eee PC wins in the storage department, with a 160GB hard drive. The Transformer has to make do with either 16GB or 32GB.
But it's the size that really knocks you out of the park. The Eee PC is downright portly when compared to the Transformer. It's like comparing a Macbook Air to that 7-pound monster laptop your day job forces you to carry around.
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