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!
And here they are! Round about two months ahead of launch we have our first glimpse of Ice Cream Sandwich. These leaked images come from a T-Mobile Samsung Nexus S. From what we can see Ice Cream (short for Ice Cream Sandwich from now on) ditches Gingerbread’s black for a dark and rather AMOLED-unfriendly blue. It also seems o be an evolution of Honeycomb in this aspect, with the holographic design cues more having a more mature, modern and coherent form. Much of the images is blacked out, but the source did give some extra info about what Ice Cream Sandwich shall entail. Read on past the break for more info.
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.
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