Apple's March 2 event is all but guaranteed to bring us the iPad 2, most likely with dual cameras and a revamped OS. It arrives two months after CES 2011, to a landscape littered with tablets from scores of manufacturers, most of them with one thing in common: they are running Google's Android OS. But only a handful of them run Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), the first Android tablet OS. Can tablets like the Motorola Xoom—the first Honeycomb device—take on the iPad?
If the past is any indicator, it doesn't look good. This has less to do with quality of product, however, and more to do with the manner in which the product is brought to the public.
The clear advantage Apple has over just about every competitor—except perhaps for RIM—is that it relies on no external manufacturers for its products. To clarify: of course Apple needs to farm out production of the components that make up its devices to OEMs, but when you see a new iPad, it is from Apple, running an Apple OS, for sale at the Apple store. The closest Apple comes to working with other companies is its partnerships with Verizon and AT&T for the iPhone and iPad. For the most part, however, Apple is its own, self-controlling entity. With no company—other than the carriers and OEMs— with which to coordinate, Apple can create a realistic product release timeline and stick to it.
We've got the Verizon Wireless 4G Motorola Xoom, and in this episode we give you a nice, thorough walkthrough of the device. We show you the hardware, alongside a look at Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Get a look at the music player, YouTube for Android tablets, the front and rear cameras, multitasking, widgets, the built-in Google Books reader, and much more in our Xoom review. In case you missed it, we also have a video of our Motorola Xoom unboxing.
Earlier today, we let you know that we got our Motorola Xoom in-house so that you could hit us with your questions, and a little while after that, we hit you with our Motorola Xoom unboxing video. A few people have been asking for still images of the device, so we threw together a quick Xoom unboxing gallery. We'll be putting up a comparison between the Xoom and the iPad soon, and also be sure to check out our video walkthrough of the device, as well as our full Motorola Xoom review. Both are coming soon.
Gallery: Motorola Xoom unboxing gallery
We've got our hands on the Verizon Wireless version of the Motorola Xoom tablet. This Android 3.0 Honeycomb device supports Verizon's 3G and 4G LTE networks. In this video, we open up the Xoom and give you a look at the tablet hardware and accessories. Then, we powering it on to give you a look at the Xoom setup process. After entering in the Google credentials, we are up and running for a quick tour of the Honeycomb interface. This is just the unboxing, though, so stay tuned for a more thorough walkthrough of the device in the next episode of Bleeding Edge TV.
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We just got our hands on our Motorola Xoom review unit, and we're about to tear into it to give you a look at everything it offers. If you've got any questions about this Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet, feel free to leave them in the comments and we'll be sure to address them. As you can see by the box, we've got the 4G LTE-capable Verizon model here.
If you've ever wanted to be able to capture a moment that you knew was coming, but weren't sure exactly when, you may want to check out Looxcie. It's a wearable video camera that constantly records. You can stream what you are recording live over the Internet, and if you wanna capture something, you just hit the button and it clips the last 30 seconds and saves it for you. If you have an iPhone or Android device, then you can even get an app that lets you use the phone as a viewfinder.
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Well, after a bunch of false starts, we've finally got a price for the Motorola Xoom. Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha was quoted by Reuters as saying that the 32 GB Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet will sell for $799 unsubsidized from Verizon (although we're sure Verizon may offer their own subsidized price,) and there'll also be a Wi-Fi-only model for $600. No launch date has been given yet, but signs are pointing to it happening at some point next week.
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Motorola seems to be readying its forthcoming Xoom tablet to take on the dominant device on the market, Apple's iPad. But on Sunday, a pre-order page on Best Buy's Web site showed a staggering $1,199.99 price tag for the Xoom.
That's about $400-$500 more than the rumored price for the 32 GB tablet, and much more than a $729 iPad with similar specs.
Unveiled early last month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the Xoom is the first tablet to run on Google's tablet-optimized platform, Android 3.0 "Honeycomb." PCMag analyst Tim Gideon said the Motorola Xoom is "perhaps, the first tablet truly armed to take on the mighty iPad."
It's not a comparison that has happened by accident. Motorola has pitted itself against Apple in ads for the Xoom. In Motorola's one minute Super Bowl ad titled "Empower the People," a young guy commutes to work surrounded by fellow travelers who are all dressed in white jumpsuits, plugged in via Apple's familiar white earbuds. The man uses his Xoom to create an animation for his office crush, who is inspired to remove her earbuds and presumbly join the real world.
Sonos' stable of wireless music offerings allow listeners to have a stereo system that encompasses every room in their home, and to control the whole system simply and wirelessly. Sonos makes a hardware remote control for the system and apps for iOS devices, and today the company announced that Sonos owners can now also use their Android devices to control their music.
The Sonos Controller for Android is a free app that can access and play all the music available through the Sonos universe, which includes everything from computer-based media libraries to services like Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, Pandora, and Napster.
We had some screenshots and short videos in the past, but last week Google did the first in-depth presentation of their latest version of the Android system: Honeycomb. This hour long video shows enthusiasts everything that Honeycomb can do. Unlike previous versions of Android that were optimized for smartphones (and were simply stretched to tablet sizes,) Honeycomb was made for tablets. You'll see a better visual interface, and acceleration technologies for 2D and 3D. After the OS itself, they show off some devices in action, including the Motorola Xoom. Check it out if you're thinking of getting an iPad alternative.