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Motorola confirms Wi-Fi Android upgrade for Xoom

Update gives U.S. users faster browsing and useful Data Manager tool, among other features

Motorola Mobility has confirmed the Android Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade to the Xoom Wi-Fi tablet will arrive over-the-air via Wi-Fi to U.S.-based owners on Wednesday.

In addition to faster browser rendering, the free update lets users type via voice and includes a Data Manager tool for monitoring and controlling network data usage, something seen as especially helpful to reviewers of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone running Ice Cream Sandwich, also called Android 4.0.

Motorola called it the first tablet of its kind to receive the upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich, though the update for the Asus Transformer Prime tablet was distributed a week ago, as several bloggers, including Slashgear noticed.

Bloggers and XDA-Developers theorized that the Asus tablet is more of an Ice Cream Sandwich reference platform, while Xoom is seen as a Honeycomb reference tablet for developers. The XDA-Developers ' site went dark on Wednesday, joining other sites in opposition to the federal Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) legislation.

Both tablets had been running Android Honeycomb, also known as Android 3.0

The Xoom update is officially called IML77.

Motorola posted a list of new features, including a new typeface called Roboto.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com .


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