Things seem to be going well for Google’s development team as their latest iteration of Android is on track for that Q4 release date promised four months ago. Rather surprisingly, given the excitement for ICS, only four screenshots have been leaked which don’t really show much in terms of fresh UI. Even these screens, upon closer examination seem to be fake as some key elements from the UI are taken straight from Cyanogenmod and one of its many themes. You can read more about the leaks here.
We still have no idea of what’s coming other than that Ice Cream Sandwich shall unite elements from Gingerbread and Honeycomb together in a one size fits all OS. ICS should also have special dev tools which will allow them to scale their apps for different screen sizes, resulting in little or no different between tablet and smartphone versions.
Google have just finalised the purchase of Motorola’s newly founded Mobility unit, the division in charge of creating the highly successful Droid line up for Verizon and for bringing into existence the Xoom, Honeycomb’s launch device.
Now, what we’ve got to see is that Motorola was one of the very Android OEM’s that stuck to the platform and did not participate in Microsoft’s Windows Phone reboot. Ultimately their loyalty seems to have worked out as Google purchased the company for $12.5 billion thus giving them a solid hardware platform for their own dedicated devices, so far the Nexus range.
The news has been welcomed by Google’s partners who see this as an opportunity to revitalise the eco-system and bring about a fresh perspective to Android hardware. What does this mean for us? Google will now be designing and manufacturing their own devices, not just one a year we assume, thus resulting in quicker updates for current Motorola owners and the Android ecosystem in general. All in all good news.
UPDATE: Google’s acquired over 17,000 patents from this purchase. These patent wars are going to get hotter!
As you techies out there may have heard, there is a war being fought RIGHT NOW. Right beneath our feet. It’s a dirty war, with men and women loyal to opposing causes flinging themselves against each other in this bloody battle. Some, myself included, agree that Samsung is “infringing” on Apple’s designs. Yes, I have been talking about the Samsung vs Apple patent suit. Others see the case differently, arguing that there are only so many ways to design a tablet. It seems the designers of the Motorola Xoom didn’t get the memo. Neither did the designers of Asus’ Transformer. But I digress.
Fellow Europeans, I feel your Android phone. Many of us rushed out to buy the Motorola Xoom, Google’s developer device for the Honeycomb platform, expecting updates to be on par with our American brethren. Alas, it was not to be. Right until now, the latest version of Honeycomb available to the European Xooms is 3.0.1. Basically it hasn’t changed since launch. Motorola has been promising an update to 3.1 since its launch in the US, promising that it will be pushed out to us “in the coming weeks”. That was bearable. When Google launched 3.2 and rolled out updates to American Xooms, the pain was too much.
So here I have a solution. It is a simple guide that DOES NOT involve rooting, merely unlocking your Xoom. Word of warning: Unlocking your Xoom may void the warranty. Consider yourself warned.
Special note: I am not bashing or dissing any of the work done by others for rooting the Motorola Xoom, but merely saying that something went wrong for me.
I’ve had my Xoom for a couple weeks now and, while I know that it is generally regarded as a poor offering, especially as Honeycomb’s launch platform, I love it. Now, 2 hours ago I decided to root. Why, you ask? Motorola might make excellent hardware, but its software support is less than stellar. Hence, 5 months after launch, the EU Xoom was still on Android 3.0 with 3.1 somewhere over the horizon but seemingly on another planet.
Motorola’s famed QWERTY messenger, the Droid (or Milestone as us Europeans know it), is approaching the end of it’s product cycle of a year. Now, the folks over at HowardForums have leaked what seems to be an image of the upcoming Droid 3. It seems much sleeker than the original, competing with the likes of the HTC Desire Z. No word on specs though, but we hope it’s running Gingerbread on some kind of dual core platform (preferably Nvidea’s Tegra 2). Screen-wise, we hope it’s some kind of AMOLED or Super LCD, and that it’s thinner than the aforementioned Desire Z.
Yep, that’s right. Someone’s managed to root the device, install ClockworkMod Recovery and ROM Manager, and give ROM Manager Superuser access. So I’m guessing that we’re going to see custom Honeycomb builds very, very soon.
Motorola’s released the full commercial for the Xoom tablet, taking more than a cue from Apple’s 1984 commercial. The tablet’s been confirmed to sell at $800, which in my opinion isn’t that bad for Motorola’s Honeycomb superslate.
Hey guys, look at what Google decided to release at CES: Honeycomb! It’s a completely new UI that looks brilliant, but is still in its very early stages.
The tablets themselves look pretty good, with the Motorola Xoom shaping up to be real competition for the iPad. What I think we have to show here is that Google and Apple are taking two very different routes at the moment. The iPad is still like a big iPhone, which isn’t bad but certainly doesn’t allow an experience similar to what you’d get on a desktop or laptop.
Honeycomb on the other hand is completely different, with a central homepage and widgets that mimic the effect of open windows and an overall cleaner appearance. Of course we aren’t at CES, as that’s just about on the other side of the world from where I’m sitting, but the tablet wars are shaping up to be of historic proportions.
Below we got a video preview of Honeycomb, followed by a slew of screens thanks to Engadget