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Asus Starts Transformer Prime Ice Cream Sandwich Update

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Asus UK hopes the Android 4.0 update will cure the reported bugs and improve the reputation of its troubled tablet

Asus is releasing an over-the-air update in the UK that will upgrade its Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet to the latest version of the Android mobile operating system, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Taiwanese manufacturer will begin updating devices from today and hopes that the update will rectify some of the problems which users have been experiencing with the tablet.

Over the air

“ICS 4.0 FOTA update for Transformer Prime TF201 from today (UK) will fix on-screen graphics bugs (previously some horizontal stripes and signal noise during video playback & pad rotation),” said Asus on its UK Facebook page.

The update was announced last month, with Asus saying that it would be rolled out from 12 January in the US and that it had plans to unlock the encrypted bootloader. Now it is spreading the update wave to UK customers, according to a Facebook posting.

Asus has not come up with a solution for the Transformer Prime’s global positioning system (GPS) fault, claiming that it was not a professional GPS device anyway and that it was simply going to erase it from the specifications sheet. Last week, it confirmed that it would either refund or extend the warranty of UK customers who had found a fault with their tablet’s GPS, but said it had not identified any issues with the system’s Wi-FI connectivity.

The Tegra-3 powered Transformer Prime was announced last November, boasting a multitouch display, capable of 1080p high definition video playback and recording as well as a battery life of 12 hours. It is available in 32GB and 64GB varieties, but its unique selling point is the mobile dock, which turns it into a form that resembles a laptop.

It shipped with the 3.2 Honeycomb version of the Android operating system, but Asus confirmed that it would be updating the device after release to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which debuted on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and aims to unify the smartphone focused 2.3 Gingerbread and 3.0 Honeycomb branches of the platform.

Ice Cream Sandwich adds improved camera controls, support for near-field communication (NFC), a redesigned interface and a number of new security features.