USA Today has launched a new version of its Android app for the new Motorola Xoom tablet, the paper announced on Friday. The app has a "fast, friendly" interface, said president and publisher Dave Hunke in a press release, and features USA Today's "signature look and design."
"Users will receive news as it breaks, 24 hours, 7 days a week, as well as photos, weather, stocks and sports scores," Hunke said, suggesting that the app will not provide a main once-a-day package as some tablet offerings do, mimicking the print cycle.
USA Today is already available on Android phones, the iPhone, the iPad, Google TV, the Chrome Web Store and Windows-based slate PCs, the release specified.
The Xoom is the first tablet to run on the latest version of Android's OS, called Honeycomb, or 3.0, which is the first tablet-optimised release from Android. All Android apps will work on the device but Honeycomb-specific apps can take better advantage of the tablet format and the opportunities it offers.
Although Android's handful of tablet-specific apps cannot yet compete with Apple's iPad's 60,000 available apps, the Xoom has been greeted as the first real competitor to the iPad.It has a 10.1-inch HD display, just larger than the iPad's 9.7 inch screen, and significantly larger than the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab, which was previously touted as a potential iPad killer.
In early reviews and comparisons with the iPad, the Xoom scored highly. However, its price tag is high - $800 - and Apple is anticipated to launch the second version of its iPad this week, which might hold off the competition for a while. But with brand new large-screen tablets also expected from Samsung and LG among others, publishers would be wise to step up their efforts on the Android platform if they don't want to be left behind.
Source: USA Today press release