Xoom news: Unlockable bootloader, teaser ad and Xoom at the Oscars

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The Xoom is popping up in news stories all over the place these days, which is to be expected seeing that it ships in two days as the first real Android tablet out there. Today was no different, and the Xoom popped up in 3 different news stories that I stumbled over.

First off, Droid-life noticed a Tweet from Motorola stating that “the XOOM will have an unlockable/relockable bootloader that will enable developers to access hardware for development”. This basically means that instead of taking a page out of Apples book (or even their own smartphone book) and trying to lock hackers out of the tablet, they’re instead inviting them right in. Custom ROMs and similar goodies will be easy as pie on the Xoom, which is sure to be a reason to buy the thing in itself for many people out there.

In another story that came from the same place, Verizon has released a Xoom teaser ad that makes very little sense. The 16 second short is titled “Motorola XOOM In Action ” and this has me a little bit frightened since all the video shows is the Xoom eating a man and turning into a spaceship. Our managing editor Grahm is planning on getting one on Thursday and if his Xoom turns into a spaceship and takes off with him inside, we might have trouble running the site until we can find a replacement.

The last story is even more obscure as Motorola is apparently planning on giving out gold Edition Xooms to the hosts and nominees of the Oscars this Sunday. Naturally this is nothing but a PR stunt, so I can’t help but hope that there is a geek among the nominees who ask Motorola if it has Flash. Again, just a PR stunt, but I guess it’s not gold all that shines- it might be a Xoom (at least as long as the shine is done with HTML5).

Of these three stories, only the first one has any implications whatsoever for us consumers- but at least it’s a nice implication. If nothing else, it should help keep the Xoom up-to-date longer as it makes it much easier to get updates software on it in the future if Motorola suddenly decides it’s only going to support the Xoom 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 (which given the rate that some of these Android manufacturers release devices, might be in early 2013).

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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9 thoughts on “Xoom news: Unlockable bootloader, teaser ad and Xoom at the Oscars

  • Avatar of Relyt

    Yeah I have no clue on that video either.

    On the other hand, the unlockable bootloader is fantastic news. More and more steps are being taken in this direction industry-wide – not pro-hacker but not condemning hackers. It’s a win-win in my view, good for the users and good for the manufacturer as they spend less resources on something that never will work out in their favor.

  • Ill be in line (probably not) to get one on thursday and i will be field testing right away for my trip to Seattle the next day. It will be the only thing i take as a carry on, so we will see how well it goes and how well it can keep me connected. Ill share my thoughts here on NBT.

  • Oh yeah, I happened to see the ad today, I thought it was pretty random.

  • Avatar of bolliby

    Maybe there’s alien writing on the spaceship!!

  • Random advert. I guess it “grows the brand” to quote Futurama.
    I consider my self to know a fair bit about computing but I’m not really sure what having an “unlockable bootloader” means :/
    Though I’m sure it’s good.

  • Avatar of Relyt

    How many of you guys plan on picking a Xoom up on either Launch day or soon after?

    • I definitely won’t. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a first generation product. I like to sit back and check out other people’s reactions.

  • Avatar of Barto

    The unlockable boot loader is definitely unexpected good news. Motorola is not so friendly with their droid phones, so this is definitely a surprise. It’s wonderful how skilled some of those guys are who work on the customized firmwares are.

    • Avatar of Matthew B.

      I fully agree with you- for me personally this would be a reason to chose this tablet over some other competition. Considering that my sister’s Tmobile G1 is running Android 2.2 with no problem and with extra 18MB of RAM from whoknowswhere thanks to one really smart guy, hackability should be listed as a feature on the spec sheet.


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