We’ve been waiting for the Android 3.2 update for the Motorola Xoom since details first emerged in mid-July; the HTJ85B update pushed out over the weekend brings a couple of new features to the Google-flavoured Honeycomb tablet.
We’ve previously detailed the additions that Android 3.2 brings and there isn’t too much to get excited about. The biggest functionality change is that microSD cards are now supported.
As is so often the way with Android; rival tablets, such as the Asus Eee Pad, have been supporting external memory for some time and now Motorola Xoom users get to join the party. You’ll be able to insert a microSD card in the slot on the top of the Xoom and it will appear in the Storage breakdown in the settings.
As with Honeycomb internal memory, there is no need to “mount” the external card to access it - you just plug it into your PC and you can transfer content across, or use Android File Transfer on Mac. This means you can transfer content across and access the memory at the same time, for example to add big movie files without tying up access to everything else.
Android File Transfer now gets an additional tab, so you can select the SD card specifically if you want to add or remove content easily.
Any content will appear in the respective core apps - movies in Videos and Gallery, along with photos, and music appearing in Music. You’ll be able to manage and navigate directly to the external memory using standard file manager apps like Astro, just as you would on a mobile phone.
All in all, a welcome, if somewhat overdue addition for the Xoom, giving you much more storage freedom. We’re not sure exactly how this will be implemented on tablets that already support external cards, whether it will override the existing functionality, or not change anything.
The other feature you’ll notice is that apps now get a zoom feature. If an app hasn’t been designed for the big screen you can opt to zoom to fill, or keep to the default stretched look.
We’ve played with a number of apps and the results are mixed: zooming ultimately results in softer rendering as the effective resolution is lowered. However, some might prefer the screen-filling effect on something like the Facebook app, compared with the stretched version which contains a little too much empty space.
Overall it isn’t an update to get hugely excited about. UK owners please note that this update came OTA to our Verizon Xoom, so we don’t know exactly when it will appear on your UK devices - feel free to let us know in the comments when it does show up.