Motorola Xoom

The Android 3.2 update for Honeycomb rolled out to folks with Wifi Xooms a few weeks ago, and word is that the update should be hitting LTE 3G Xooms any day now.  One of the things people are really looking forward to is the long awaited SD card support for the stock Honeycomb Xoom, and that's included in the 3.2 update as well as things like better rendering and the zooming feature.  But not everything is as it seems on the surface.  According to Motorola, the SD card support for the Xoom is read-only, meaning you can't write anything to the card unless you use your computer.  After a quick look through the Xoom forums, this certainly appears to be the case. Here's exactly what Moto's saying:

The Google Experience Devices like the Motorola XOOM (3.2 update coming soon) and Motorola XOOM WIFI allow you to write to the SD card from your PC and use the Android File Transfer on Mac or a cable transfer on Windows to transfer files from the Motorola Xoom to the SD Card.

While a user cannot move apps to the SD card, the device comes equipped with 32 GB of on-board memory that provides plenty of storage. Users can also store and play videos or music from the SD card if the content was copied to the SD card via the aforementioned file transfer processes. However, videos or pictures taken from the device itself can only be saved to the internal memory and not to the SD card.

Is this a deal breaker?  Probably not.  (Hell, it's no worse than what you have now, right?) But when other manufacturers and independent Android developers are able to bake read/write SD card support into the operating system that works well -- even through a dongle -- it does make a person scratch their head a bit.  I'm sure there was a reason, and Motorola or Google would do well to tell it to us, but instead we're left guessing.  Let's hope this is addressed, one way or the other, with Ice Cream Sandwich -- which should be hitting the Xoom shortly after release.

Source: Motorola. via the Android Central app


Reader comments

Motorola Xoom 3.2 update offers read-only SD card access


problem is all the current roms are using googles sd card fix. i wish they the developers would have left there sd fix instead of using googles mess.

What a joke. I'm glad I bought an Asus Transformer, no problems reading/writing to SD (with the dock) or MicroSD.

Ok, all you Xoom fans who were trashing talking the so called "hack" that Acer used to get SD support way back in Android 3.0.1.....

Still feel the same? Still so convinced Xoom is such a better product?

Read and write to the MicroSD AND the full size USB from the get go without needing a dock, or removal. That's the way its supposed to work, and HAS worked since day one for the tablet everyone on AC loves to hate.

Actually... yes I do. It has nothing to do with which is a better product (though the Xoom is far superior to the Acer)... The Xoom is a reference device, and as such, Motorola is beholden to wait for the "official" fix from Google (note, the Xoom in Europe is NOT a Google Experience device, and Motorola issued the same hack for that device so it could work with the SD Card). That doesn't make the Acer a better device... yeah, it is a bit more convenient in the short term, but I am far less worried about when (or if) I will get Ice Cream Sandwich on my device... can you say the same for the Acer?

So, why is it that Android tablets don't properly support the use of SD cards even though older smartphone versions of the Android OS do?

Some tablets do, like the Asus Transformer I am replying to this on. Motorola and others will catch up soon, or be left behind, which is not good for them or Android for that matter.

I would normally reply with a snide one-liner here, but this is quickly getting out of hand.

I don't for a second believe Motorola had an actual solution for this and the LTE radio. I think it's more likely someone said "well, we'll be able to do it eventually... rip it!" Now folks who paid good money to get the first 4G tablet are looking at OG GalaxyTab, Evo View and GalaxyTab 10.1 owners goin "WTF!" And at this point, it's not even close to being a good value for the money.

I would normally laugh and point at Xoom owners; I find now, though, that I feel for them. Hang in there, brothers and sisters.

My first and last Motorola product! This is what I get from veering away from HTC Android products. I don't trust any company that releases a half @ss product with the promise of a fix, now this POS company is working on the Zoom II. Motorola, FU

Half Baked rubbish.

When will Google and the makers sort this out.
No wonder the iPad2 is successful.

ABSOLUTE DEAL BREAKER...wait I take that back. The 1st deal breaker was that the maker was Motorola, the 2nd is the NON-WRITABLE SD CARD! What good is an SD card if you can't save to it? I want to be able to snap a pic or video with my TAB and then pop out my card to transfer. I guess I'm used to this already though with my Nexus S, I transfer via USB cable to my comp anyway so i guess I could do the same with this tab. UGH!

Borrowing from Willie Nelson:

"Momma don't let your babies grow up to be XOOM early adopters".

Man the news just doesn't seem to get better.

Don't even bother talking to the V nimrods about the 4G LTE disaster, they blame Moto. But're the ones who said "90 days", and "2nd Quarter" availability. That's why we bought the POS.

I'm sitting with over $800 retail of crap, including a V MIFI 4G that I have to use as 3G connect to the XOOM. Let's not talk about how much I'd sell it all for. Ok maybe.

So I too was a bit miffed when I found out that the SD card was read only. Rather than cry about it, I asked the simple question, why? Come to find out there is a reason that my evo has an SD card that is behind the battery. Its so you can't take it out when it is being read. To get around this, the SD card access on a xoom uses MTP API, (media transfer Protocal) -like what mp3 players or camera's use. This, along with other things, makes it possible for a file to be "used" or "open" by more than one program or service at a time. -and makes it "safer" to access and hot swap, without really messing up the OS, or causeing the system to have a critical hault.

Android can use the SD card to store progams, (typically) Imagine unplugging the System drive on your computer, or a drive that is being used to run a program while that progam is running....

Since all the other File explorer programs out there DON'T use the MTP API, ie astro, honeycomb hd, esrongs, then they see the SD card as read only. As soon as a file explorer program accesses the SD card with the correct API, then the card will appear as something other than read only.

Windows sees the SD card as R/W because it uses MPT.

Google is doing it the way it SHOULD be done. Third party file access needs to catch up. Now for all those teary eyes out there, maybe you should think about getting an IPAD. Or, dry those eyes, start acting like a android user should, contributing to an open source OS, and making the experience better for all users. -its part of the developement process, Ipads don't give you the option of and SD card at all last I checked. I can however, plug my wife's Ipad into my xoom and see her media via the MTP API via the usb host mode.

I hope this information helps,