Asus Transformer Prime Ice Cream Sandwich update out on January 12, bootloader unlock tool soon

It’s been an intense few days for owners of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime – or would-be owners at that. It came out that the first tablet to come with a quad-core processor has its bootloader locked, which means that the modding community that Android is so famous for pretty much got locked out of doing any of its usual tricks on the Transformer Prime.

Furthermore, many people have been reporting GPS issues on the tablet.

So the usual backlash ensued. And today Asus took to Facebook to give us its official stance. The bootloader is locked in order for Google’s movie rental service to work (blame DRM once again). That said, the Taiwanese company has committed to providing a bootloader-unlocking tool soon. It is worthy of a mention that unlocking your bootloader will both void your warranty and make Google’s movie rental service stop working, so keep that in mind.

As for the GPS, the issues are there to stay. It certainly looks like it’s the hardware at fault, with Asus explaining that the full-metal body of the tablet may have something to do with the flaky GPS performance. Unfortunately, there’s not going to be a software fix for that. What’s more, Asus even went so far as to remove any mention of GPS functionality from the tablet’s promotional materials – so this issue is big.

Though there’s nothing you can do about it. Just don’t buy a Transformer Prime for its GPS. Simple as that. It’s there, and it kind of works, but if you need reliable GPS, use another device.

There is some good news though. Asus has also announced that the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Transformer Prime will start rolling out on January 12. That’s just nine days away, and it looks like Asus’ tablet will indeed be the first non-Nexus device to get updated to the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system.

Until then, a minor software update (8.8.3.33) is on its way to Transformer Prime tablets. It will start rolling out over-the-air shortly, so your tablet will notify you when it’s available to download and install (which you’ll be able to do without using a computer).

This update will improve the focus of the camera, “the fluidity of the touch experience”, and “the APK capabilities in the Android Market”, according to Asus. So if you like updating your gear often and own a Transformer Prime, these next few weeks will be something you’ll appreciate very much.

Author: Vlad Bobleanta

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