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Setup and Navigation

Setting up the Xoom is an easy process. You don’t need to attach it to a computer as you do with the iPad. Instead, you simply follow the on-screen instructions for setup.

If you use an Android-based smartphone, you will be able to use the Xoom right out of the box. If you have never used Android, you will have a little learning curve. While the Apple iOS operating system is easier for the neophyte, the Android operating system is much more customizable. The Xoom is one of the first tablets to come with Android 3.0 (Honeycomb), which is designed for tablets. It makes very good use of the extra screen real estate. As you can see in Figure 8, with Android, you can have a combination of App icons and larger Widgets.

Motorola Xoom Tablet ReviewFigure 8: A homescreen

Android 3.0 does not have capacitive touch buttons on the bezel like Android 2.2 smartphones and tablets. Instead, the touchable navigation buttons are right on the screen. When the screen rotates, the buttons also rotate into the proper position, which is a real plus. There are three navigation icons as shown in Figure 9. They are Back, Home, and Recent Apps.

Motorola Xoom Tablet ReviewFigure 9: The navigation icons

The Recent Apps navigation icon is especially beneficial as it provides easy multi-tasking. Figure 10 shows the large rectangles that appear to represent the five most recently used Apps.

Motorola Xoom Tablet ReviewFigure 10: Choose from recent Apps

In the upper right of most screens, you will also see two additional navigation icons, shown in Figure 11. They will bring up the All Apps and Customize functions.

Motorola Xoom Tablet ReviewFigure 11: The Apps and Customize icons

Another nice feature of this Android tablet is the notification screen which can be summoned by touching the bottom right of the screen, as shown in Figure 12. This shows all the recent activities.

Motorola Xoom Tablet ReviewFigure 12: Notification list

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Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up’s Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.