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."
NVIDIA and Sony have announced that the latter will be bringing its PlayStation Suite software to Tegra-powered Android phones and tablets later this year. PlayStation Suite was announced at Sony's PlayStation Meeting 2011 earlier this year, and will bring classic PlayStation titles to Android devices along with new games created especially for the platform.
Sony also revealed that certain PlayStation 2 titles will also be making their way to the PlayStation Suite, in addition to PS1 titles, as announced back in January.
The arrival of PlayStation Suite on Tegra devices should clear the way for Sony's rumored S1 tablet, which is said to be due in late 2011 with a Tegra 2 chip and PlayStation support.
Sure, the Motorola XOOM has a microSD card slot. But since it's not currently enabled for end user use one has to make due with the 32GB of on board storage that Motorola has included. Although if you're looking to expand upon that 32GB or want to use a USB keyboard, a method of enabling USB host capabilities on the Motorola XOOM is available to anyone who is either wanting to -- or already has rooted their device. You'll need to follow the instructions carefully and need an OTG cable in order for it to work but that's all minor pieces of the puzzle at this point. The hard work has already been laid out for you. So how is it done? Jump on past the break to find out for yourself. [SlateDroid] Thanks, djunio for sending this in!
The Barnes & Noble Nook Color is a great little $250 e-reader to turn into a decent little Android tablet. But maybe you went just a little too far and borked it. Or maybe you just want to go back to stock because your wife is tired of you monkeying with things. No worries. Android Central Forums member lancelot916 has whipped up a great post describing some issues that may force you to reset things, and he's got great instructions on how to do it. [Return your Nook Color to stock and re-root if you want]
A few days ago we reported that Google is looking into optimizing Google Voice to run on the Motorola Xoom, and Honeycomb in particular, but that just wasn't good enough for Android Central forums member Elysian893. The fact that it wouldn't work was enough to get them thinking, and look for a way to fix the issue. With the use of their Droid and Titanium backup they installed Google Voice on the Droid, backed up the application and settings and then restored it on the Xoom.
Upon first launch it force closed, once permissions were granted for it to access the Google account, it launched perfectly. While you can't quite use the Xoom to make calls, you can still use it for SMS, or use it to call through another device. If you are interested in getting Google Voice running on your Xoom, be sure to check it out. Takes a couple steps, but it gets the job done. [Android Central Forums]
Since the Motorola Xoom can be rooted and unlocked it was only a matter of time before someone tried loading an OS that shouldn't be on there, onto one. As such, the above video shows us that Ubuntu can indeed be loaded up on the Motorola Xoom and while it's certainly not running at optimal speeds the fact it loads at all gives hope to some. If you fancy jamming Ubuntu onto your Motorola Xoom hit up the source link for the full installation instructions. [TRSohmers via Xoom Forums]
Those who have picked up a Motorola Xoom upon launch have noticed the absence of an extremely popular app from the Android Market: Google Voice. You can sideload it onto your Xoom, but it will crash when launching (see picture above).
The good news is that the app is currently being developed and optimized for Honeycomb; the bad news being that we don't know when we can expect to see it. Here is what Google employee Zeke had to say in the Google Voice forums.
Glad to hear from so many Xoom early adopters! As you've noticed, Google Voice isn't available for Honeycomb yet. We're working on it, and I'll update this thread as more info is available.
Motorola and Google made the Xoom with an unlockable boot loader (thanks for that!), so it's great news when the hacking community has a way to roll things back to stock. You never know when your experiments with Android get you so far off base that you need to return to something stable, or when you might need to prepare for any future OTA updates. That's why we're really happy to see the stock SBF file leaked out -- it allows anyone and everyone to go straight back to the software the Xoom was shipped with, using RSD lite.
We're unsure about Motorola's feelings about this one, they usually don't take kindly to their factory SBF files getting leaked, so this might not last long. You can get the download links, and a bit more information at the source link. [XDA-Developers via Android Central Forums]
Good news for those of you who might have unlocked and/or rooted your Motorola Xoom -- to the surprise of few of us here, you should have no problem with Motorola upgrading it to LTE. That's in contrary to a story that circulated earlier this week. Originating from the "Moto Xpert" DansDroid on the Motorola Support Forums, it was said that "If your Xoom is rooted it will not be upgraded by Motorola."
We'd been waiting on official word from Motorola but now have semi-official word through the same Moto support forum, this time from the infamous forums manager Matt. And he states:
All Motorola XOOM tablets on the Verizon Wireless network are eligible to receive an upgrade to support 4G LTE. This includes those that have been unlocked; however, those units must be submitted for upgrade with the original factory software reinstalled and the device relocked in order to receive the upgrade.
For devices that are returned unlocked, Motorola will attempt to complete the upgrade, but may be unable to update the software. In these cases, the device will be returned to the consumer with just the 4G LTE modem installed.
Apple's recently-announced iPad 2 will provide some strong competition to the current crop of Honeycomb tablets, and it looks like manufacturers are already taking note of the threat posed by Apple's latest tablet.
Speaking to a Korean news agency, Samsung executive Lee Don-joo acknowledged that the iPad 2's low price point and thinner chassis were the biggest obstacles facing the company as it prepares to launch its 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab. In future products Lee says Samsung "will have to improve the parts that are inadequate," likely referring to the 10.1-inch Tab's additional heft compared to the new iPad.
Most interestingly though, Lee adds that Sammy may be reconsidering the launch price for its new tablet, saying "the 10-inch (tablet) was to be priced higher than the 7-inch (tablet) but we will have to think that over." The 7-inch Galaxy Tab currently retails at around $500, the same as the cheapest iPad 2. A 10.1-inch Honeycomb-powered Galaxy Tab at this price point would be a tantalizing prospect, if Samsung is willing to be as competitive with its pricing as Lee's comments would suggest. [Yonhap News Agency]
Following yesterday's price and availability announcement for the UK Wi-Fi Xoom, the Carphone Warehouse has updated its preview page with pre-order pricing and other info for the UK 3G version of Motorola's Honeycomb tablet. Carphone has priced the 3G Xoom at £599.99 (~$960) SIM-free, a £100 bump from the Wi-Fi-only version. There's been no mention of any subsidized on-contract prices, however the retailer is sweetening the SIM-free deal with the inclusion of a free charging dock worth £34.99. The shipping date has also been updated from "April" to "early April", so it'll likely arrive around the same time as the Wi-Fi version, which will ship during the first week of April. [Carphone Warehouse]
No, your eyes do not deceive you. What you see here supposedly is a display at a Sam's Club trainer store (a faux store where they show real stores how it's done) with a Wifi-only Motorola Xoom. At least, that's what the display says. No telling when it might actually be coming, and considering the price tag shows it running Android 2.0 "Homeycomb" -- there's a Photoshop contest waiting to happen -- well, we'll just have to see, won't we.
Looks like the price that briefly leaked yesterday for the British Wi-Fi Xoom was just a little too good to be true -- precisely £50 too good to be true, in fact. PC World updated its Wi-Fi Xoom pre-order page today with a price of £499.99, compared to the £449.99 that was listed for a couple of hours yesterday. The retailer says it'll begin shipping Wi-Fi Xooms to Brits during the first week of April, and that these lucky folks will be the first in Europe to own the device.
If you're holding out for the UK 3G version, the Carphone Warehouse says these will be arriving in April, and has a page where you can register your interest, through prices are still nowhere to be found. [PC World, Carphone Warehouse]
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