Owners of the original Motorola Xoom can almost taste the sweet, sweet flavour of Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, at least in the US. As of today, Motorola has announced that the newest blend of Android is indeed coming to the WiFi version of the original Droid tablet.
Spotted by the team at Android Central, the update offers a host of new functionality, which (as we experienced with the Galaxy Nexus), should make it feel like a new device. The original Xoom is the first tablet beyond the Nexus 7, confirmed to getting Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. Once the update becomes available during the roll out, which we suspect will take place over the course of the next month, US Xoom owners will have access to all of the goodies Jelly Bean has to offer.
The changelog lists the following enhancements, all of which seem spot on with the stock improvements of Jelly Bean:
- Improved User Interface and Response - Android 4.1.1, Jelly Bean, is the fastest and smoothest version of Android yet. Moving between home screens and switching between apps is effortless, like turning pages in a book. Jelly Bean makes your Android device even more responsive by boosting your device’s CPU instantly when you touch the screen, and turns it down when you don’t need it to improve battery life.
- Expandable, Actionable Notifications - Now you can take action directly from the notifications shade. And because the notifications are expandable, you can get an even deeper look into the things that matter most, like multiple emails or photos on Google+.
- Widgets work like magic - With Jelly Bean it’s now even easier to personalize your home screen. As you place widgets on the screen, everything else automatically moves to make room. When they’re too big, widgets resize on their own. Interacting with your favorite apps and customizing your home screen has never been easier. Seamlessly view and share photos - Just swipe over from camera to filmstrip view to instantly view the photos you just took, and quickly swipe away the ones you don’t like. Now sharing--and bragging--are a breeze.
- A Smarter Keyboard - Android’s dictionaries are now more accurate, more relevant. The language model in Jelly Bean adapts over time, and the keyboard even guesses what the next word will be before you’ve started typing it.
- Improved Text-to-Speech Capability - With improved text-to-speech capabilities, voice typing on Android is even better; it works even when you don’t have a data connection.
- Accessibility - With Jelly Bean, blind users can use 'Gesture Mode' to reliably navigate the UI using touch and swipe gestures in combination with speech output. Jelly Bean also adds support for accessibility plugins to enable external Braille input and output devices via USB and Bluetooth.
- Voice Search - Android lets you search the web with your voice, and it’s convenient for getting quick answers on the fly. It speaks back to you and is powered by the Knowledge Graph, bringing you a precise answer if it knows it, and precisely ranked search results, so you can always find out more.
- A new look for Search - Android has search at its core. With Jelly Bean, a redesigned experience uses the power of the Knowledge Graph to show you search results in a richer way. It’s easier to quickly get answers and explore and browse search results.
Motorola doesn't appear to have worked the update to improve any Motorola-specific features beyond making sure the Jelly Bean-centric additions work, but improvements like the keyboard prediction and offline voice dictation will no doubt improve the Xoom user experience.
We’re waiting to head back from Motorola in the UK as to the existence of a relevant update this side of the Atlantic and of course we’ll let you know as soon as we do.