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(support) Buying a Xoom next week... and some questions...

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by osubux1, May 5, 2011.

  1. osubux1

    osubux1 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I've been looking at the Xoom vs. iPad and Asus for a few weeks now. I've never been an Apple fan (iTunes, Safari, etc.), so def Android is my direction.

    I'm not an overly technical person... the best I can do is setting up my wireless network at home and connecting multiple devices. I have a few questions that I haven't been able to figure out on my own thourgh using one at the local BB store.

    1. In what ways can I xfr data (media, pdf's, docs, xls', etc) onto the Xoom? Can I just do a straight usb connection from a hard drive to move it over?

    2. Will I be able to upgrade the OS in the future... so, if there is a 3.1, 3.2 or even 4.0 release... Could I upgrade to that?

    3. What is this "SD card slot" thing I keep reading about? Says the slot is there, but unusable at this time. What does one need this slot for?

    4. I read something about GPS downloading capability. What is this? I'm planning on only getting the wifi... but thought I heard you can run your GPS on wifi, save it, and then it can work for you while on the road?

    5. I use MS Office apps for work and a lot of home based stuff. Now, I may change to goog docs etc, but in the Xoom, can I read and edit MS Office files?

    Thanks for any help. I'm chomping at the bit to get this!
     



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  2. zardoz

    zardoz Member

    1. USB - just plug it in and your PC sees it almost like a flashdrive. One caveat, when I'm transferring several media files Windows 7 will toss up a warning that the device might not be able to play the files (I guess Windows 7 thinks the Xoom is a camera?). Just blow past the warning and you're fine.

    2. I would assume so, but as far as I know there isn't a newer Honeycomb yet, so we'll have to wait and see.

    3. The Xoom comes with 32gb on board memory, and has a memory card slot for more. The card slot does not work, yet, we've been waiting since February for an update to enable it. Personally I'm not too anxious, I still have 10gb free of the onboard memory, and I've got several movies, albums and an ungodly amount of books in the 20gb I've used so far. It's not an issue for me.

    4. Not a clue, since the only time I need to navigate I'm in my car and just use my phone.

    5. The Xoom comes with a document -viewer- onboard, and I've been able to view pdfs, Word docs and spreadsheets without problems. For editing, I assume the application Documents to Go will work.
     
    osubux1 likes this.
  3. osubux1

    osubux1 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I thought the Xoom had a "micro USB". My connections are all "usb". Do I need to get a connector (i.e. usb to micro usb)?
     
  4. zardoz

    zardoz Member


    One end of the transfer cable is micro USB and goes in the Xoom, the other end is regular USB and goes in your computer.
     
    osubux1 likes this.
  5. 3devious

    3devious Android Expert

    As others have mentioned, you can connect the Xoom to the standard USB port with the provided cable to transfer files and an application that is part of the standard Android installation will read all of the office documents you mentioned.

    When there are updates to Android 3.0, they will be pushed from Motorola through the internet to your Xoom. If there is a newer unofficial update to the OS, you can download and install that yourself.

    Right now, you cannot use the MicroSD card without hacking your Xoom and potentially voiding the warranty if it is discovered and Motorola decides to follow through on that (which is all speculative.) The same goes for connecting a USB stick or external hard drive (but not a mouse of keyboard, you can in theory access them with an unmodified Xoom.)

    As far as offline GPS is concerned, if the wifi Xoom has a GPS radio in it (and I've read that it does} you can cache maps for use offline. I use OSMAnd for this. This application uses Open Street Map for sources but I read that it can use Google and MSN maps, too. I think that newer versions can support turn by turn. Geocoding functinality is usually not available offline without significant geospatial software.

    If you want to edit office files, try one of the office apps like Documents to Go or Quick Office. They can cost between 15 and 20 dollars, but sometimes I see them on sale for $10. They have positives and negatives depending on which functions you need. They are all terrible for heavy duty PowerPoint editing but can handle the basic stuff pretty well. Do NOT use the Google Docs app for heavy duty activities, the app is too crude at this stage. A Xoom is still no substitute for a comouter but great for doing simple and online things.
     
    osubux1 likes this.
  6. jaiotu

    jaiotu Member

    I just got the 3.1 OTA update for my WIFI Xoom yesterday. Here's where things stand:

    1. Yes. Connecting the XOOM to your computer's USB port works fine for transfering data. You can also use 3rd Party file managers on the Xoom to connect to windows network shares and transfer data over the air. This is my preferred method. With the 3.1 update, you also have the ability to use the Xoom's USB connector in "host mode" which means that you can, using a special connector, connect removable media such as flash drives to your Xoom and copy data from there.

    2. Upgrades... Never get your hopes up about upgrades, at least from official sources. The 3.1 upgrade is coming straight from Motorola, but any future OS releases are no guarantee. If you root your Xoom, however, you can bet that the developer community will deliver upgrades faster then the manufacturer, and will probably continue to support OS upgrades on the Xoom long after Motorola abandons the Xoom for newer/faster tablets in the future.

    3. The SD Card still is non functional with the 3.1 release. Motorola has promised to release an update to make it functional, so you can bet that there will be at least one more official software update from Motorola for the Xoom.

    4. GPS downloading capablity. I haven't looked at this. I use my Droid X for GPS in the car. If I were to use the Xoom for GPS, I would probably just tether to Xoom to the Droid X via bluetooth and download the maps on the fly. I have to defer to others on this question.

    5. There are several apps in the market for MS Office compatibility. None of them are 100% perfect. I use quick office HD Pro on the Xoom, but some files I get sent just don't translate at all. I've also got the Google Docs app which works so-so. The best solution is WYSE Pocket Cloud. I use this to tunnel home to my Windows 7 PC at the house. Pocket Cloud will allow you to work in native MS Office apps right from the Xoom, as long as you have a network connection.
     
    osubux1 likes this.
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