We've been anxiously awaiting the Motorola Xoom's arrival ever since we groped it at CES. The first dual-core tablet! The first tablet to use Android's tablet-only Honeycomb OS! The first Android tablet that doesn't immediately make us think "look at that giant phone"! And, yeah, the first legitimate iPad competitor, period. What we found was a great tablet--not a "promising" product, but a tablet that is seriously fast, fun to use, well-designed, and very pretty (when was the last time you heard "pretty" applied to an Android device?).
Today, Google fully demonstrated the next version of Android, version 3.0--also known as Honeycomb--to the press, finally showing off the completely redesigned interface, the new app strategy, and the first tablet to use Honeycomb: the Motorola Xoom. This is the first tablet to really offer a challenge to Apple's iPad, and one of our favorite gadgets from this year's CES, so it's really exciting to see both hardware and software in action.
The wrapper just came off Google’s newest version of Maps for Android (launching soon), and it looks pretty slick. Separating the refreshed Maps 5.0 for Android from its predecessor: faster map loading, an iPhone-like function that spins the map according to the phone’s compass, and an offline mode. And did we mention that maps are in 3-D?