What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

Summary: I'll admit it. I'm not a big football fan. I just can't get into it.

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TOPICS: Google, Mobility
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I'll admit it. I'm not a big football fan. I just can't get into it. And the Superbowl? Unless the Patriots or the Seahawks are in it, I'm only watching for the commercials. OK, even if the Pats or the Seahawks are in it, I'm still watching for the commercials. Which largely stunk this year. Great. One that I couldn't help but like, though? Motorola's ad for the Xoom. It made me chuckle. It made me say, "take that, Steve." It even made me want a Xoom.

I'm not sure you could get a more direct attack on Apple and their iOS ecosystem. Maybe if a Xoom exploded in Steve Jobs' hands, but otherwise, this commercial took no prisoners.

Will the Xoom be an iPad killer? Probably not. The iPad is simply too entrenched. However, as the first major foray into the Honeycomb-powered tablet market and, arguably, the strongest competitor to the iPad, the Xoom is an extremely important product to Google. Google, after all, sells neither phones nor tablets. The Nexus One retail debacle took care of that one. They don't even sell their mobile OS. It's open source. And yet, Google repeatedly identifies mobile as absolutely critical to their strategy.

Google instead relies on OEMs rolling out truly compelling hardware running Android with compelling apps and compelling interfaces to ensure that millions of people are searching via Google while they're mobile and to make sure that their AdWords platform is reaching as many mobile customers as possible. The Xoom hits all three areas of compelling. It doesn't have to be an iPad killer. It just needs to be a worthy iPad competitor.

What can the Xoom do for Google? It can be good enough that people no longer automatically think iPad when they think tablet. A well-done SuperBowl ad doesn't hurt anything either.

Topics: Google, Mobility

Christopher Dawson

About Christopher Dawson

Chris Dawson is a freelance writer, consultant, and policy advocate with 20 years of experience in education, technology, and the intersection of the two.

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59 comments
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  • Android oh Android

    As an Android user, I've got to say that I've had enough. The fragmentation, dependence on carriers/OEMs for ROM updates, and utter lack of quality in a lot of applications when compared to their iOS counterparts has made me make up my mind on moving to Apple products this year.
    General C#
    • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

      @General C# I agree on the fragmentation on updates... however, one of the joys of Android is that it's pretty easy to get those ROMS yourself if you're savvy enough and really want them that badly. <br><br>I disagree on the quality of the apps. Not only do I enjoy the menus and build of most Android 2.x apps better than their iOS counterparts, there is certainly no question that apps built for Android 3.0 look superbly better than anything we've seen on iOS 4.2!!! Even the announced features of iOS 4.3 don't sound nearly as groundbreaking as the new features that Android 3.0 brings to the tablet market.

      Apple's gift is its curse... it's keeping iOS synonymous across both platforms. It makes it easy for loyal iphone consumers upgrading to the new product. But the larger screen real estate demands greater functionality than can be easily offered on a smartphone.
      Carvega
      • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

        @Carvega
        interesting an compelling arguement; however what device are you currently using, and where is it falling short? I am excited at the prospect of getting a rom update, but do I need it? no, my HTC Evo works great with 2.2 and it does what I tell it to do when I tell it to do it. do I wish I could change parts of it? yes, have I rooted? no, am I running a special rom? no, did I even change my home screen UI? no, I like sense, I bought the Evo partially, because it has Sense, I've been using the Sense UI since the first HTC Touch came out with it (a good 3-4 years ago), I like it, I am comfortable with it, it works, and looks decent.

        As for the Android Apps, my only complaint is the cost, it you want anything remotely decent you have to pay $6.99 - $19.99+ for it. go look at some of the expensive apps, people are making them look as good or better than crApple's iOS. They just need to make them cheaper. Part of the crappy Android app issue is that crApple made everyone greedy, they saw all the money iOS devs were making and thought, hey I want some of that, but I don't want to use a crApple device... hmm... I know! I'll make a semi-unique app for Android the charge a ton for it, because there is almost no competition for what I am making. and it worked, so now others are following that method and stuff just plain costs more. There are entire websites dedicated to high quality "HD" apps for Android, the apps are specifically coded to only work on devices with 800mhz or higher CPUs and some don't work/have a special version to work, with snapdragon because of the type of GPU it has.

        It takes more work to code a good looking app for Android because of the multiple chipsets available than for a crApple device with nearly the exact same chipsets in all models. this is why most apps look like garbage, the devs don't want to take the time to learn how to code for the specific GPU to utilize the more powerful features. (think the old days when some games ran only on NVIDIA graphics cards)

        diversity is the problem (fragmentation again, but hardware this time), Google has allowed this because they are looking at the success Microsoft has with Windows (market share based) which runs on "anything" and with any device vs. OSX which is hardware limited and not all devices are compatible.
        aiellenon
      • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

        @aiellenon First, when you have to use a slang such as crApple the only thing you are succeeding in doing is letting everyone know that you are too biased to come to a logical conclusion.

        Second, I have to laugh as your pricing rant. You say [i]Part of the crappy Android app issue is that crApple made everyone greedy,...[/i] but maybe that's not it. Did you ever think that maybe Android users are cheap and want everything for nothing? I am not making this claim but it's as relevant as you saying Apple made everyone greedy.
        non-biased
    • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

      @General C#
      All users should be well aware what OEM's are good with updates and who is not.

      That said, almost all android devices are running 2.x.
      With Android you the user has a choice.
      Do a bit of research and make that choice.

      Myself, I wanted an bare bones Android device and shopped around till I found what I wanted (Nexus One) and have been very pleased with my choice.
      rhonin
      • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

        @zenwalker While I am very happy to get the latest update for my iPhone and you knew what you wanted in the phone as well as have the ability to root it neither of us reflect 90% of the of the consumer base. They want a phone that just works be it an Android or an iPhone.
        non-biased
    • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

      @General C#
      Hope you are ready to lose access to 90% of the web.
      rparker009
      • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

        @rparker009
        Why??? Android web browsing is pretty annoying!! every clicked on a submit button and nothing happens, very frustrating...
        Hasam1991
      • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

        @rparker009 Really, in 3 1/2 years of iPhone use I could count on one hand the number of times I couldn't access a website I wanted to. 90% is pure FUD but you knew that. Probably the biggest reason I have only had a hand full of times where it was an issue is that due to the apps available I have fewer reasons to need to surf for something as there is an app for what I need.
        non-biased
    • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

      @General C#
      Well said! I hate my samsung galaxy S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Going back to the iPhone this summer, can't wait!
      Hasam1991
    • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

      @General C# well I have an ipod touch and a evo and I can say that android is much better than ios all around. Android doesn't always have the best quality apps (usually only applicable to games), but overall it is much better. Fragmentation is part of what makes Android the unstoppable beast that it is, because Android phones come in every shape and size, color and layout/style. No other platform has that.
      Jimster480
  • Google needs to reign Android in. I hope they do it with 3.0

    The Android update process is just a horrible, horrible mess right now. Almost every device that comes out is running an obsolete OS now because each manufacturer simply MUST have their own custom build instead of going with the stock build. I hope that starting with the tablets users will be able to just DOWNLOAD a single build of the OS FROM GOOGLE instead of waiting for each manufacturer and carrier to sign off on the build. Honestly there's nothing that pushes me more towards the iPad/iPhone than the fact that an OS update comes out and I can just download it and go.
    timothyt@...
    • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

      @timothyt@... Your update wet dream will never happen. VZW, AT&T and the other jackals will never allow another company that is not in the position of power that Apple is control the OS and the relase of updates.

      Each carrier has to have time to lock down features and ready their non-removable (without root) crapware. Google took a dump on their own dinner table when they released Android as they did. Google is like a bunch of hippies that didn't realize their hippie stroll through the wireless woods would lead them straight to wolf's den.
      Dualsub2006
      • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

        @Dualsub2006
        I like that Apple controls updates, can you imagine if it was up to ATT... yikes!
        Hasam1991
  • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

    Wow :) I was planning on buying this Xoom since they day it was announced. And this video, it made me want it more :)
    yhlasx
    • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

      @yhlasx - WOW, what will you be doing with your white hoody? Advertiser's just love people who cannot think for themselves!
      Gr8Music
    • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

      @yhlasx
      $800?????????? no
      Hasam1991
  • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

    Xoom is that what it was?

    I switched it off because I thought it was a rather boring iPad ad and missed the end.
    alsobannedfromzdnet
  • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

    The word of mouth on the device is going to be huge too! All people are used to is the iPad... when they see a tablet that is both fundamentally different and cooler, it will leave an impression.
    Carvega
    • RE: What can the Motorola Xoom do for Google?

      @Carvega
      Places like Besy Buy should place the Xoom and iPad areas side by side - emphasize that a choice exists.
      ;)
      rhonin