Friday, May 13, 2011
Android 3.1 on the Motorola Xoom: hands-on (video)
Android 3.1 update that Google announced during I/O is slowly rolling out to 3G Xoom owners as we speak. How'd we know such a thing? Why, it just landed on our in-house Xoom, of course! Most of the changes to Honeycomb are happening under the hood -- better HTML5 support, faster performance,
and USB host functionality for connecting peripherals like game controllers and mice -- but there are some improvements that will be a lot more obvious to the user. Perhaps our favorite is the addition of resizable widgets. For the moment only the email and Gmail inbox, calendar and bookmarks widgets can be stretched or shrunk, but we're sure others will follow. We're particularly appreciative of the expandable calendar widget, which always felt a tad cramped. The task switcher also received a much requested upgrade and now lets you scroll through your last 18 launched apps, instead of just the five most recent. Lastly, the Android Market now offers movie rentals, alongside books and apps, which range in price from $1.99 to $4.99 for 24 hours of playback. There isn't a ton of revolutionary stuff going on here, but it's certainly a welcome and worthwhile update. Check out the video after the break to see Android 3.1 in action.