XOOM tablet rumored at $800; Sony Reader lands on Android

by Kristen Nicole

The Motorola (MMI) XOOM got everyone’s attention at CES this year, with sweeping rumors covering the news scene ever since. The latest wave of speculation comes by way of Engadget, which cites documentation from Verizon (VZ) and Best Buy (BBY), detailing the XOOM’s launch date and pricing.

Both are shockers—you can expect to pay nearly $800 for the Android tablet, as soon as February 17th. The price alone makes the XOOM seem more competitive with the Apple (AAPL) iPad, and as the first tablet to run Android 3.0, it’s surely striving for a top spot.

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Apps and discovery

The weekend brought the release of Sony’s (SNE) e-reader, which hit the Android Market late Friday. The free app delivers another mobile library and bookstore, coming standard with a handful of free titles and bestseller excerpts. Reader offers bookmarks and highlights, along with adjustable font size and other basics we’ve come to expect from e-readers.

And the Android platform is encouraging several other developments from varying communities, including Nuance, the maker of voice recognition technology. Its new Android SDK for its Dragon Speech platform is now available, inviting developers to integrate the technology into their Android apps. The SDK enables voice control, speech/text conversion, and support for over 30 languages.

The Android platform doesn’t stop there. Its powerful processor and large Flash memory has enticed British scientists to slap an Android smartphone onto a satellite, and send it out into space, reports Phandroid. It’s an experimental run for the time being, but it will be interesting to see what Android is really capable of achieving. Reach for the stars!