updated 06:30 pm EST, Tue February 22, 2011
Motorola vows Xoom bootloader is unlocked
Android 3.0 was given two boosts on Tuesday from Motorola and Google. Motorola said in a response that the Xoom's bootloader could be unlocked or relocked much as on a Nexus S, letting users install custom ROMs and other firmware. Most recent Motorola devices, including the Atrix 4G, are locked only and often require extensive hacks just to get to modifiable firmware.
Simultaenously, Google noted that it had posted a fully public version of the Android 3.0 SDK. The company said the tablet platform's programming standards and interface adjustments were now improved over the original beta and considered final.
The combined introductions will give the earliest Android 3.0 developers a significant if rushed start to development. Early Android tablet apps have so far been limited to a handful of companies given privileged early access, such as CNN and Pulse, but the new steps will not only give developers finished tools but a device with modifiable code for their own testing.
It's so far too early to know whether future Motorola tablets will provide similar freedoms or if it will try to clamp down as it did last year.