End of the line for Motorola Xoom–No android 4.2 update

There is no support for 4.2 on Nexus S and Xoom. Those devices should continue using 4.1.2. I can’t comment about the future of Nexus S and Xoom, sorry.”-Jean-Baptiste Queru, AOSP lead, Google

Moto Xoom

A quick refresher course:

To recap, the XOOM was Motorola’s first tablet, and the world’s first tablet to run Google’s Honeycomb tablet-specific OS. Even 18 months after its introduction, it still packs some serious heat. As far as internals go, you get an NVIDIA Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 32GB internal storage. The entire alphabet of Wi-Fi protocols is present as well as Bluetooth 2.1. On the exterior, there’s a 10.1-inch 1280×800 capacitive display, 5MP rear-facing shooter (dual-LED, autofocus, 720p video) and a 2MP front-facing camera. A 3.5mm headset jack and an SD card slot which adds an optional extra 32GB of removable storage. At the bottom, a Micro USB 2.0 port as well as a mini HDMI out jack provides physical connectivity options. On the back you’ll find the power on/off/sleep button as well as two stereo speakers. The volume rockers appear on the left of the device.

No more official updates for Motorola Xoom from Google/Motorola anymore. This is sad, but what an incredible run the Xoom has had. The Wi-Fi version of Xoom was released in the US on 27th March 2011. I managed to get one from the US in April 2011. This was a GED (Google Experience Device) and this helped my decision in buying this over waiting another month for the upcoming competitor, with a revolutionary design, the Asus Transformer. Thank fully, I didn’t get the transformer. As I would have had to wait much longer or altogether miss some major Android updates.

Being a GED device, the Xoom was equivalent to a Nexus. Thus this device received more official updates than any phone/tablet I or my friends have owned. Here is a list of all the updates:

Android 3.0 Honeycomb:

The first ever device to ship with Google’s bold but highly unpolished android tablet OS – Honeycomb 3.0. Although it looked cool, and was designed from grounds up as a tablet OS, it had some performance issues. It would frequently hand, and have significant latency in animations. Other than performance issues, even the SD card slot on the device was non functional till a future update. Over all Android 3.0 seemed unfinished. As it it was rushed out to the market before it was ready.

Android 3.1 Honeycomb:

The 3.1 update was available in less than a month(10th May). It made a lot of performance improvements and made the SD card slot functional.

Android 3.2 Honeycomb:

The android 3.2 update brought in significant performance improvements, nearly eliminating all the lag. The device didn’t hang, force close anymore and seemed snappy*.

By snappy* I mean the ‘Android snappy’ which was no way near the new level of snappiness introduced by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7(released Q4 2010). I managed to get a Windows Phone(HTC Mozart) in Jan 2011 and just couldn’t believe the significant difference in polish to the OS among my primary ultra portables; namely Xoom running Android and HTC Mozart running Windows Phone. Anyway android 3.2 surely did help.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich:

The first ever device to get ICS along with Nexus S. Android 4.0 update rolled out in Jan 2012 with major updates to UI, completely new typeface (hello Roboto!) and more performance improvements.

Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich: With sight improvements bringing quicker screen rotation, a new setting to “immediately lock the screen,” improvements on the camera and a few other minor advancements; android 4.0.4 rolled in April 2012.

Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean:

With Google’s code name project Butter, the Jelly Bean update made the device very smooth and lag free. Operating at 60 fps during all OS animations. Google Now introduced a voice search capability comparable to Apple’s Siri by significantly improving Goole Voice Actions. Improved Text-to-Speech, better stock keyboard, expandable and actionable notifications, improved UI and response. Over all this was the best ever update Xoom received. 

Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean:

This brought some under the hood improvements to the Jelly Bean. I never actually found this update’s change log for Xoom. Released Oct 15th 2012.

Conclusion:

So in 17 months of ownership, Xoom got 6 major updates and finally when the Android update train made a stop at Android 4.1.2, the Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi got off. All hope isn’t lost. Xoom being a GED device, which is equivalent to a Nexus for all intents, the custom ROM community around it is strong and further updates can be easily installed. Ill try making a guide every time, I manage to get a custom ROM installed. Anyway, its time for me to get a new tablet. May be a Windows 8 tablet, but everything depends upon what Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie brings to the table.

 

Motorola Xoom Jelly Bean Home screen

4 Comments End of the line for Motorola Xoom–No android 4.2 update

  1. Sajib

    I’m wanting to get a Nexus 7 for a very long time. But while the price is $199 in the US, it’s about $300 over here so I can’t afford just yet. I loved the Surface tablet which could be a very good replacement of my laptop (something no other tablet, not even iPad, can be). But the fact that Windows RT doesn’t support legacy Windows apps/software is a deal breaker. So, I’m not getting Surface for that amount of money. Instead, I’m thinking of going for low-cost Ainol tablets. I’m hearing a lot of feedback that they are worth the money. I’m running a popular Android site in Bangla and I’ve got many readers saying that Ainol is a good product.

    Do you have any idea?

    Reply
    1. Saransh Sharma

      Ya, I too am waiting for Surface pro or other equivalent hybrids running Windows 8 Pro as my current laptop’s replacement. But for a new tablet I am keeping all options open.

      A friend of mine has one of these Ainol tablets. Which one are you considering? Ill find out which one he has and get some hands on time next chance I get.

      Reply
      1. Sajib

        Ainol has got a lot of tabs. Probably best of them as of now is Fire/Flame. I wanted to get an Aurora II but that’s still too pricey for a chinese tab. Now I’m planning to get a Crystal, the latest one running Jelly Bean.

        Reply
        1. Saransh Sharma

          Problem with most such Chinese tabs is that most of em have significant lag and offer a frustrating experience, despite their specs looking impressive on paper. Be quite careful, don’t but anything till such time you actually manage to get some hands on time.

          Reply

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