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]
Google is once again showering developers with cool swag at this year's Game Developers Conference. Just as some of last year's attendees found themselves with a free Nexus One or Motorola Droid, this year Google has been dishing out shiny new laptops, phones and tablets in an effort to get more studios on-board with Android game development.
According to reports on Engadget, devs at Google's web developer day yesterday found themselves with a free Chrome OS-powered CR-48 laptop. Today, lucky Android technical session attendees were gifted with a free Nexus S or Motorola Xoom.
While I don't think there's anyone reading this who would turn down a free Xoom or Nexus S, it's important to remember that free gadgets are a pretty small part of the GDC experience for attendees, who pay hundreds of dollars for passes. They're meant to be an added bonus for developers rather than a reason for attending, so you might want to think twice before making any plans for next year. [Engadget]
UK retailer PC World opened its Motorola Xoom promotional page today, which for a brief time showed the Wi-Fi version of the tablet priced at a shockingly reasonable £449.99 (~$720). The price has since been removed, but not before Eurodroid managed to grab some photographic evidence (see above).
If accurate, this is a very competitive price for a high-end tablet in the UK market -- though still a good $120 more expensive than Wi-Fi Xooms sold across the pond. The £449.99 price point would place the Xoom within £20 of the cheapest iPad model, and see it more or less matching the current RRP of the Samsung Galaxy Tab.
The Motorola Xoom is due to launch in the UK sometime in the second quarter of the year, with the Wi-Fi version being sold exclusively by PC World's parent company Dixons Retail, and the 3G version being exclusive to the Carphone Warehouse. [PC World, Eurodroid]
A fun part of any Android experience is rooting and flashing custom kernels and overclocking the device to see exactly what it can do. For those who went out this week and picked themselves up a Motorola Xoom, your turn to join the overclock party is here already. XDA member coolbho3000 has overclocked the dual core Motorola Xoom to 1.5GHz, which judging from the video really speeds the device up, even more. If you have a Xoom, and already rooted, and unlocked the bootloader, be sure to hit the source for more information on how to overclock your device! [via XDA] Thanks, Michael, for the tip!
We've known since its unveiling in January that you're going to have to take the Motorola Xoomsomewhere to be upgraded to LTE date. The question was where, and how. The answer(s)? Back to Motorola, via FedEx.
Verizon's posted up instructions on everything you should do before shipping your new Honeycomb tablet back to the mother ship for some LTE re-education, and it all it takes is three simple steps (one of them is optional) -- in a dozen or so parts.
The first step is backing up your user data and saving it locally onto a computer -- something that's a bit foreign in this day an age, but something we'd still recommend doing. (We're anal like that.)
The second (and optional, but very cool) step is to encrypt and hard-reset your Xoom. You've gotta have a full battery to do it. And if you leave it encrypted, you'll have to enter a password each time you log on. Or you can unencrypt, which also involves a hard-reset, but you'll restore all your date in the process. Time-consuming, but safe and cool.
The third step is to actually ship the device to Motorola via FedEx. You'll be provided a bubble pack -- wonder how long it'll take to get to you -- and then ship it off. And a week or so later, you'll get it back, LTE-enabled.
Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core CPU alongside a low-power GeForce GPU
Toshiba NAND Flash memory
Broadcom 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, and FM tuner chip
In their testing, iFixit got 10 hours of WiFi use out of the Xoom's 3250 mAh battery, putting it on par with the iPad. They also noted that the only tools one would need to take apart the Xoom for repairs would be a spudger alongside T5 and T7 Torx screwdrivers. Overall, the Xoom got an 8/10 score for ease of repair, which we are sure is in no small part thanks to the free LTE radio upgrade. Full (warranty-voiding) disassembly instructions past the link. [iFixit]
adb reboot bootloader (skip the next 3 steps if you have already unlocked via fastboot)
fastboot oem unlock
wait for reboot
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot flash boot rootboot.img
wait for reboot
adb shell push su /system/bin
adb shell ln –s /system/bin/su /system/xbin/su
adb shell chmod 4755 /system/bin/su
adb push Superuser.apk /system/app
Due to the SD Card slot being locked out at this time, a custom recovery cannot be used but one does exist for whenever it gets enabled for use. Be it by Google, Motorola or the developer community. Until then, just enjoy your freshly rooted Motorola XOOM and if you should so need some help; hit us up in the Android Central forums. [Koush] Thanks, to everyone who sent this in!
We all breathed a collective sigh of relief when we learned that Motorola provided the Xoom with an unlockable bootloader, giving developers and hackers easy access to the hardware. And since many of you guys aren't familiar with the concept and the way it works, allow me to direct you to Android Central member thefredelement and his Xoom unlocking guide. He has everything laid out nicely for you to get the drivers and set things up so you're ready to go.
Keep in mind that this isn't rooting your Xoom. With an unlocked bootloader and fastboot mode, there's no need to worry about finding exploits to root the OS. Instead, developers will just build a package you can flash from a custom recovery with anything and everything you need to have complete control over your tablet. I expect a custom recovery and those flashable packages in very short order. [Android Central forums] Thanks thefredelement!
The Motorola Xoom is available from Verizon today, at a cost of $599 with a contract and $799 without. At launch, the Xoom will only be compatible with Verizon's 3G network, but will eligible for a free 4G LTE upgrade in the coming months.
If you have a Xoom, are planning to get one, or want to wait for when the 4G upgrade is available, sign up on Verizon's site to receive a notification e-mail, and you'll be among the first to know. [Verizon]
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