Motorola XOOM 3G Android 3.2 Honeycomb Update Rolling Out Now

Google released Android 3.2 Honeycomb without much fanfare. The Asus EeePad Transformer, which is the most popular Android Honeycomb based tablet out there, got the update last week. Now, Motorola and Verizon have started rolling out the Android 3.2 update for the first ever Honeycomb tablet, the XOOM 3G.


The Android 3.2 update brings some new features, and some much needed performance and stability improvements for the core apps. First and foremost, HC 3.2 brings a screen scaling compatibility mode, which is similar to the one found in iPad. On a single tap, users can double the pixel of the incompatible app, making it usable to a certain extent. Something is better than nothing, after all!

Post this update, XOOM owners can also finally make use of the SD card slot present in the tablet. There are also improvements in Google Movie rentals, streaming support and Exchange ActiveSync.

Motorola has already started rolling out the update, and aims to complete the roll-out within the next 2 weeks. Impatient XOOM owners can find the required files to update their tablet to Android 3.2 Honeycomb, over at XDA forums.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi TouchWiz Update Rolling Out Now!

Samsung has started rolling out a new software update for the Wi-Fi model of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The new software update brings the TouchWiz UX to the 10.1-inch Tab, along with some new services including Media Hub and features like Social Hub.


The new version of TouchWiz is optimized for the tablets, and includes some nifty features like Live Panel, Mini Mode Tray, and Indicator Quick Panel. The Media Hub service will allow users to enjoy movies and TV shows on their Galaxy Tab from all the popular channels including NBC Universal, Paramount, MTV, Warner Bros., CBS and FOX.

The software update will also pre-install certain apps and games like Amazon Music Cloud Player, Amazon Kindle and Words with Friends. Swype will also be installed, which can be freely moved around the screen and resized as a user wishes to. Certain Enterprise features will also be added like support for Cisco VPN, Exchange ActiveSync (v1.4) and on-device encryption.

Once a user install this TouchWiz update on his 10.1-inch Tab, he cannot go back to the old stock Honeycomb UI, even if he wishes to. So, choose wisely whether you want to install the update or not.

The whole changelog, and the required steps for installing the update can be found here.

Control Your Canon DSLR Using Your Android Handset/Tablet

Chainfire one of the most talented developers around over at XDA developer forums has released a new app dubbed DSLR Controller. As the name suggests, the app allows users to control their DSLR directly from their Android handset and/or tablet.

Below is a video of the DSLR Controller app in action :

Here is the full list of features which the app packs :

– Live View
– Auto Focus (tap Live View)
– Manual focus adjustments in Auto Focus mode
– Histogram
– Zoom control
– Grid display
– Bulb capture
– Continuous capture
– Extensive modification of settings
— Shutter speed
— Aperture
— Exposure Compensation and Bracket
— Flash Compensation
— ISO speed
— Auto-Focus Mode
— Focus and Zoom area (tap-and-hold Live View)
— Picture Style
— Drive Mode
— White Balance
— Color Temperature
— Auto-Lighting Optimizer
— Metering Mode

How is this even possible, you ask? Well, this app makes use of the USB O-T-G feature found on the latest Android Honeycomb based Tablets. At the moment, there is only one Android phone which supports USB O-T-G and that is the beastly Samsung Galaxy S II. There is another catch, only Canon’s EOS series of DSLR are supported. However, with time, I am sure the app will be compatible with DSLRs of various brands. For the former problem, I expect the next version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) to have USB host capabilities.

The app is already available in the Android Market for download, for a whopping €5.99. Since the app is a very early phase of testing, users should keep in mind some bugs and crashes are to be expected.

Logitech Revue Android 3.1 Honeycomb Beta Build Leaks

This piece of news will interest only the small bunch of Logitech Revue owners out there. Google announced at Google I/O this year that Google TV will also get Honeycomb update sometime this year.

Well, a beta build of Android 3.1 Honeycomb for the Logitech Revue has leaked online. While this may get a lot of Revue owners excited, the problem is that most of the stuffs don’t work in this beta build.


Here is a small list of what works, and what does not :

What works:

  • Overall improvement in performance
  • New UI is clean and compliments features very well
  • Live Wallpapers
  • Android Market
  • TV/Movie listings display what looks like DVD covers when available
  • ADBD

What does not works:

  • Sound issues while watching TV
  • No Netflix
  • No root access
  • It’s not possible to downgrade to 2.1 at the moment
  • No Google Apps
  • The Intel Atom CPU inside the Revue is incompatible with 99.99% of the apps on the Market

Revue users who are interested in flashing this update, can find the required steps here. But before that, I guess they need to find the Revue and wipe off the dust that it has collected!

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Arriving In India On August 10

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the successor of the Samsung’s popular tablet, the Galaxy Tab. This device was first announced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 in Barcelona. To compete with the new iPad 2, Samsung went ahead and completely redesigned the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The new Galaxy Tab 10.1 was showcased at the CTIA 2011. This tablet is already available in most of the countries. Even, Verizon recently launched the 4G LTE version of this tablet exclusively for its customers in the US.

This device was expected to release during mid-June in India. Most of the Indian customers, are still waiting for the launch of this device. The guys at BGR India, have learned from their multiple sources that, the Galaxy Tab is finally arriving in India on August 10. If you are willing to buy this tablet, then check out the complete specs below.

galaxy tab 10

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Specs:

  • 10.1 inch WXGA display
  • 1280 x 800 pixels resolution
  • 1 GHz Dual Core application processor
  • Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS
  • Samsung TouchWiz UX
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • 3G Connectivity
  • 3 megapixel rear camera with LED Flash
  • HD (720p) video recording
  • Full HD (1080p) video playback
  • 2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Adobe Flash Player 10.2
  • Gyroscope
  • Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync
  • Quickoffice HD Editor
  • Stereo Speaker
  • 16GB / 32GB / 64GB memory
  • microSD card slot
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • Android Market
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • USB 2.0
  • Samsung Mini Apps Tray
  • 6800 mAh battery

The price of this device is still unknown. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is expected to be available soon for pre-orders at online retailers such Flipkart and LetsBuy. Stay tuned for more updates!

Acer Iconia Tab 4G A501 Up For Pre-Order At Amazon For $499.99

Acer announced the Android powered Acer Iconia Tab A501 at the CTIA 2011. This tablet runs on the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Operating System and features a 10.1 inch touchscreen display, 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra dual core processor, 5 megapixel rear camera and more. Later, AT&T announced the 4G version of this tablet, the Iconia Tab A501. This tablet is already available in most of the countries including UK and India. AT&T customers in the US are still waiting to get this device. But, the wait is finally over. Amazon has finally started taking the pre-orders of the Acer Iconia Tab 4G A501 in the US.

“Consumers are seeking cutting-edge mobile computing devices and we look forward to giving them another great choice with the Acer Iconia Tab A501,” said David Haight, vice president of business development, AT&T Emerging Devices. “This tablet is packed with features that will enable HD gaming and exceptional video playback. It offers a first-class on-the-go entertainment experience.”

acer iconia tab a501 amazon

Acer Iconia Tab A501 comes a 10.1 inch touchscreen display with 1280 X 800 resolution, 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra dual core processor, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS, Acer User Interface, 5 megapixel rear camera with flash, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, Full HD (1080p) Playback, HDMI port, Bluetooth, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 4G connectivity, USB port, DLNA certified, Dolby Mobile, 3.5mm headset jack, 16 GB internal memory, 32 GB expandable memory and a Li-polymer battery with up to 8 hrs back up.

Acer Iconia Tab A501 is available for pre-order for just $499.99. The release date of this tablet is still unknown. To pre-order the Acer Iconia Tab A501, head over to this page at Amazon.

Motorola Xoom Gets The Android 3.1 Update In India

Motorola Xoom is the company’s first tablet device. It was announced at the CES 2011 in Las Vegas and launched in India at the end of Q2 of 2011. This tablet originally runs of the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) Operating System. But, Motorola recently announced that existing users of Motorola Xoom and Motorola Xoom WiFi in India will receive the Android 3.1 update starting from July 29. This update brings resizable home screen widgets for Gmail, Calendar and Browser, support for PC joysticks and gamepads, new high-performance Wi-Fi lock and more. Check out the complete changelog below.

motorola xoom


  • Improved multi-tasking providing instant visual access to a larger number of applications
  • Resizable home screen widgets for Gmail, Calendar and Browser
  • Both keyboard and mouse support, which allows simultaneous input for devices over Bluetooth (in any combination)
  • Support for most PC joysticks and gamepads that connect over USB or Bluetooth
  • Picture transfer directly from camera, so users can connect their cameras over USB and import their pictures to the Gallery with a single touch
  • New high-performance Wi-Fi lock lets applications maintain high-performance Wi-Fi connections even when the device screen is off
  • Preloaded Adobe Flash Player, as well as File Manager

The Android 3.1 update also activates the SD card slot, so you can insert a 32 GB card and expand the total memory of the Motorola Xoom to 64 GB. This update will be available via Over-The-Air (OTA). You will receive a notification, as soon as the update is available for your device.

To check the update manually, go to Settings > About Tablet > System Updates. The size of the update is just 40 MB. The Android 3.1 update will also be available in other countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Asus Transformer Android 3.2 Honeycomb Update Rolling Out From Today

Starting from today, Asus will start rolling out the Android 3.2 Honeycomb update for its most popular tablet until date the EeePad Transformer.


The Transformer is the most popular Android Honeycomb based tablet, even more popular than the Motorola XOOM. The reason behind its popularity is its IPS screen, keyboard dock, and the much affordable price compared to XOOM.

The Android 3.2 update will not bring any major changes to the tablet. It brings the usual stability and performance improvements, which is what Honeycomb needs right now. The update will also enable the microSD card slot on the Transformer, and will add a new zoom-to-fill screen option for older/incompatible apps.

Like the iPad, Android 3.2 offers an option to zoom into apps to fill the whole screen. Some of the apps may get pixelated due to this, but a partially usable app is better than a non-functional app. Other feature which Honeycomb v3.2 includes is the support for smaller screen size based tablets like 7-inches and 8.9-inches. Other notable feature is the support for Qualcomm based chipsets.

Asus has started rolling out the OTA update, and expects to complete in the next few weeks.

Verizon 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 To Be Available From July 28

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the company’s third tablet device and the successor of the original Galaxy Tab. This device was originally launched at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 in Barcelona, but after the launch of Apple iPad 2, Samsung went ahead and completely redesigned the device. Samsung finally launched the re-designed Galaxy Tab 10.1 at CTIA show. To avoid confusion, Samsung renamed the old Galaxy Tab 10.1 to Galaxy Tab 10.1v. This device is already available in US, but Verizon recently announced the availability of 4G LTE variant of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 exclusively for its customers.

galaxy tab 10

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 features a 10.1 inch WXGA display with 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, 1 GHz Dual Core application processor, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS, 3 megapixel rear camera with LED Flash and HD (720p) video recording, Full HD (1080p) video playback, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 4G Connectivity and more.

Other features include a 3.5mm audio jack, Adobe Flash Player 10.2, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, Gyroscope, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, Quickoffice HD Editor, Stereo Speaker, 16GB / 32GB / 64GB memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Android Market, Samsung TouchWiz UX, Samsung Mini Apps Tray and a 6800 mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with 4G LTE will be available from July 28 in either Metallic Gray or Glossy White color. This tablet will be available for $529.99 with a 2 year service agreement for the 16 GB version and $629.99 for the 32 GB version. You can also purchase the 16GB Wi-Fi only Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 from July 28 for $499.99. The Wi-Fi-only model will be available in Metallic Grey.

Who can compete with the iPad?

The iPad is the king of tablets

Apple’s iPad has dominated tablet sales so far. Android tablets have started making some dents, but none of them are really gaining steam as a product (vs. Android tablets gaining some share as a collection). Harry McCracken at Technologizer asked the simple question every tablet maker should be asking at the time of creating their products: Why should someone buy this instead of an iPad?.

Not just the hardware

The iPad and iPad2 are exceptional products by themselves. Great design (although, I could do with a non-glossy/non-reflective screen), light enough to be really portable, GREAT battery life, and to me, a good size for a screen which would be used for media consumption like movies and TV shows via Netflix, hulu and the like.

The key to their success though, besides the hardware itself and the beauty of the operating system, is the ecosystem. The apps, music, movies, podcasts, iTunes U, and the sometimes overlooked accessory industry. Apple has made slow and steady progress in putting these pieces together and has a seemingly invincible position, but in the world of technology today, it could be very short-lived.

Of course, the starting price of $500, thought by many at the time of the iPad launch to be too high, seems like another killer feature of the iPad.

Ecosystem providers, real competition

Who can really compete with the iPad? Not just the tablet, but the entire package of the tablet, the ecosystem, and the price? Remember, it may be ok to just meet the iPad, but in order to create a serious dent, the competition has to have a pretty big advantage on almost all of the aspects. So, let’s see who is competing:

  • Android at the low end: Cheap Android tablets are everywhere but they may not have Google’s blessing and as a result be cut off from the first-class Android experience, including the Android Market. So they have the price advantage but nothing else.
  • Android at the top end: Motorola XOOM and Galaxy Tab started off as 3G devices sold by the carriers. They required a data contract or ended up costing more without data contract, than an iPad. They suffered from the data contract/price issue to start with, but more importantly, there are hardly any apps for Android in the tablet form factor. An ecosystem though, is not just about the apps, it should also provide a good collection of music, movies and TV shows, which Android seems to lack today.
  • HP TouchPad with webOS: HP recently launched the TouchPad and the sales as well as reviews are not encouraging. HP has a problem similar to Android tablets in terms of getting quality apps available for the customers. It does not have to be hundreds of thousands of apps like the iPad apps, but when you start from zero, it is really an uphill climb. HP does not have a marketplace for music, videos and TV either, but it is big enough to cut some deals and get something going. The point right now though, is that there is nothing on offer, making it difficult to justify the purchase for consumer use.
  • RIM Playbook and Windows 7 slates: I won’t go into too much detail because it is clear that RIM released this thing too soon. It is an unfinished product and has been a flop so far. It is hard to imagine a product from the maker of Blackberry devices that does not have native email and calendar. Native email and calendar are supposed to be coming this summer, but until then it is an incomplete product.   I am similarly ignoring Windows 7 tablets like the the Asus slate, because Windows 7 Touch seems like touch was slapped on Windows 7 rather than it being built for touch-first use. While it works much like a PC, thereby providing a healthy ecosystem to rely on, it is not really an iPad competitor because it is not as light, and is way more expensive.

Windows 8, Amazon tablet Two legitimate competitors

We know very little about Windows 8 and almost nothing about the Amazon tablet. In fact, we don’t even know if any such product is going to come from Amazon, but here is why I think either of these, or both, are going to be viable competitors to iPad (and also lay out conditions for their success).

Windows 8 (especially ARM version): ARM is known for its power efficiency, and we can assume that it will enable small form factor Windows 8 devices with a long battery life. Combine this with the public announcement by Steven Sinofsky that Windows 8 system requirements are going to be same or lesser than Windows 7, and we have a good chance of seeing Windows 8 tablets/slates in the iPad form factor with similar battery life. Windows has a great ecosystem which it supports on the XBOX and Windows Phone, in the form of the Zune Marketplace. It provides a huge collection of music, movies and TV shows. Windows of course, has the most extensive applications catalog (although the current Windows applications will not automatically work on ARM, but will do on Intel architecture as-is). Windows Phone has rapidly grown its app catalog, starting from zero in October/November of 2010 to about 25,000 this June. Since we don’t know what Windows 8 application development will be like outside of HTML/Javascript, let’s just assume that the app ecosystem will be rich enough to start with. This assumption is generally for Windows 8 with full support for legacyWindows applications. We cannot discuss ARM applications until we know more, supposedly at the //build/ conference in September this year.

One concern I have is that Microsoft seems to be fixated on the fact that tabletsare full PC’s, just in a different form factor. Maybe they consider slatesto be the lightweight PC with a similar form factor. I hope that one way or the other, that they understand that there is a product category which is not necessarily a full PC, but serves the purpose of casual computing much like the iPad does today.

Amazon tablet: Of all Android tablet makers, Amazon surprisingly is poised to be the best equipped in terms of an ecosystem it supports music, movies, TV shows, instant streaming, subscription, cloud storage, cloud music player, digital goods, and very recently, even its own curated Android market for apps! It has already shown manufacturing prowess with the highly successful Kindle, although I understand components for a tablet are different from those used in making the Kindle. Amazon also has a great retail shelf spaceto sell their tablet, and that is their home page, visited by millions of people every day.

If they can pull off a 9- or a 10-inch tablet built on Android with their own marketplace for apps, movies, music and TV shows, they would immediately be a competitor.

It is strange that I feel most optimistic about something that we may not see for one more year, and something that does not even exist as a product today. Such is the state of iPad competition (or lack thereof) today, that we are left to place our bets on almost-unicorns and unicorns.

I sure hope there is some real competition for the iPad though, because that can only be good for us, the consumers. Right?