If at this point you’re asking yourself why that would happen, since the same company has updated the exact same tablet in the US, well… flexibility is apparently the culprit.
I’m sure we all love the concept of flexibility and flexible things in general. So what do you think ‘flexibility’ may mean in the context of having the latest OS version running on your tablet? It means you have to wait. If none of this makes any sense to you, then please read the following statement from Motorola about the Android 3.1 update for Motorola Xoom tablets in regions other than the US and see if you can make anything out of it. Here it is in all its glory:
“Motorola collaborated with Google to develop the industry’s first Honeycomb tablet. Motorola XOOM and Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi in the US are Google Experience Devices. Software updates for these devices are developed by Google directly, so while Motorola XOOM users in the US may be the first to receive such updates, the updates only include what is provided by Google.
Motorola XOOM units in other regions are not Google Experience Devices. Because of this, Motorola has greater flexibility in providing software updates to these devices, including providing additional functionality that may not be included in the Google software updates.
Following our previous post regarding 3.1, we can now announce Android™ 3.1 for Motorola XOOM™ will soon be available over the air to all Motorola XOOM users in Europe. We expect the over-the-air deployment to begin in early August, with the package being available for pull by August 9th.
The most notable of the new enhancements, the 3.1 update activates the SD card slot so users can expand the memory of their Motorola XOOM up to 64GB, with the addition of a 32GB SD card (this feature not available until Android 3.2 in some markets). This update also includes improved multi-tasking, providing instant visual access to a large number of applications as well as resizable home screen widgets. More information on the update will be available once the release notes are finalised.”
So there you have it. Outside of the US, the Xoom isn’t a Google Experience Device. Therefore, Motorola can hold off giving you updates for as long as it wants to, all in the name of added features that should have been there in the first place (like the SD card slot finally working).
The funny thing about that SD card slot is that Motorola frames the issue as if it’s doing you a favor. What the above statement may lead you to believe is that Google has only included SD card support in Android 3.2, but Moto being the awesome company it is decided to backport that functionality into its Android 3.1 update – something it couldn’t do in the US, since it can’t touch Google’s bits there.
And that would all make sense, if there weren’t countless other tablets on the market to have functioning SD card slots even while running Android 3.0.
Due to this feature addition, after having officially announced the update last month, Motorola has stayed mum on the issue until now. The good news, as you can see, is that the update will start rolling out in Europe in early August. If it hasn’t reached your particular device by August 9, you’ll then be able to manually force the tablet to check for the update and download and install it.
So the wait is almost over. If you’re in Europe. If you aren’t, well, who knows when or if Motorola will grant you the favor of updating your tablet.
Oh, and when you do get that update, be happy for one minute. Just one, since after that you’ll have to start the waiting game all over again. What, you didn’t know that there’s an even newer version of the OS (3.2) out there? Yeah. Let’s see how ‘flexible’ Motorola will be about updating this time. Fingers crossed for you guys. Really.