First impressions of the Motorola Xoom

So I got myself a Motorola Xoom! This is what it looks like …

 

 

It’s a slick looking thing. The Honeycomb OS seems pretty cool too. What’s annoying is that you can’t give the thing a Hostname, so you can’t see a name you would recognise in your router’s connected devices list. Also, they really should consider integrating CIFS/Windows File Sharing into Android. And of course there is the yet to be activated micro-sd card slot.

Anyway, it doesn’t include a lot of apps out of the box. The included web browser is pretty good, but the main complaint is that it dithers and resizes large images, and its also identified by many web sites as a mobile browser. The new Calendar, Email and Gmail Client look really nice. It includes a large screen version of Youtube, and a new app called Film Studio – a simple video editor which is a nice addition. It also includes QuickOffice, which lets you view Microsoft Office files.

There aren’t a lot of android apps out there specifically designed for tablets, but a large number of the existing apps scale very well. Of course, many don’t. You also may see the “Force Close” dialog box now and again if you go trying a lot of apps. 🙂

Some of the apps you should try are Opera Mobile which doesn’t dither images so they look much better than they do in the stock browser. Dolphin is also a really good browser, as it lets you browse web sites in full desktop mode. Other apps that demonstrate the tablet very well are Google Earth, Google Body, Aldiko, and of course MoboPlayer to play videos. Not all of these apps have been redesigned for Tablets, but they worked really well nonetheless on the larger screen.

There is a new file manager app called File Station (Tablet) designed specifically for Tablets, but I found existing ones including File Expert and ES File Manager worked really well too.

Before you go installing loads of apps, you should know that Honeycomb automatically adds shortcuts for them in your desktop. You probably want to disable this feature. To do this go to the Market app, and click on My Apps and then the settings menu in the top right, then uncheck the Add shortcuts for new apps checkbox.

 

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Author: Musaul Karim

Software Engineer, Hobbyist Photographer, and a bit of a gadget geek.

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