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July 12, 2011

Motorola Xoom 3.2 Update appearing on tablets in US

Tablet News

The Motorola Xoom tablet is receiving the Android 3.2 update from Google in the United States.   As I type this there are select WiFi models which are getting this update over the air from Google. The best news about this is that it is enabling the SD Card slots on these devices.  This means for those media hungry Android tablet enthusiasts, you will be able to store and extra 32 GB of movies and music.  This comes after I have found a way stream about everything to mine.  Music via Google Music beta.  Videos over Plex for Android, and Netflix over Splashtop Remote.

Now though in those moments without bandwidth I can have the files stored locally and stream to my hearts content.  I have an LTE Verizon model and have yet to see the notification about an update. If any of you out there in the tablet trenches have a Xoom non WiFi only model please let us know if you’ve received the update.

Another notable features that are arriving with this update:  Androids “zoom to fill”  Which takes apps built for the phone and scales them to fit the screen on the tablet.   If you haven’t experienced the stretching of certain phone apps, to the tablets resolution consider yourself lucky.  Some very important apps (I am looking at you Google Reader) just stretch out as if it were a bigger phone.  These are the moment when using Android tablets feels second rate.  Like an inferior product.  Google you need to fix this even if just for your native Applications.

This update is also rumored to be the first release to offer support for 7′ screens.   This could mean some of the smaller form factor tablets out there get a healthy serving of Honeycomb in the near future.  Too bad the source for this isn’t released or it is certain that Cyanogen would have it mastered for the Nook Color in short order.


Update: Two nights ago, I was shocked to see the ASUS EEE Transformer I was testing received a notification to be updated to 3.2 (The Xoom, was still at 3.1 mind you.)  I performed the update, and noticed very quickly how smooth the browsing was working.   It really is noticeably faster.  The  moving between pages opening and closing the app pages and navigating between them is well improved.  This filled me with mixed emotions.  It was great to see visible improvements in the interface responsiveness and the navigation.  Yet it left me perturbed that the Xoom still was left at 3.1.   Can this be chalked up to general impatience? Perhaps…


Around midnight that night I started using the Xoom, and there it was waiting for me, the elusive 3.2 update. I upgraded immediately, took out the Class 10 microSD card that had been waiting more patiently than I had been.  Now here is the Kicker.   Wait for it…

Wait for it..


There was nothing I needed to put on the SD Card.  I had already resolved the music issue with Rdio, and Google Music.  I use a DSLR Nikon and shoot only in Raw so it won’t read the photos.  Movies were already available over PLEX, and for Netflix I use Splashtop.  There really wasn’t anything to do with the card, except copy some files over just on general principle.

/End Rant


About the Author

Fan of emerging technologies, and their trans-formative relationship with society both good and bad. Some of my heroes are: Nikola Tesla, Gutenberg, Hunter S Thompson, Lawrence Lessig, Marshall McLuhan and a few others. I think the US patent system needs a mass overhaul.


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