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Asus Unlocks Prime Bootloader, Announces ICS Release

Asus promises an unlock tool for its encrypted bootloader and announces Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for Transformer Prime

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) will be available on the Asus Transformer Prime on 12 January, the company has announced.

This is after the device was launched running the Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system with the promise of a quick upgrade to ICS.

True to its word

The company also said that it would soon offer an unlock tool for the encrypted bootloader on the Prime.

The company made the announcement on its Facebook fan page in response to the hoards of users who flooded the site and other Asus social media channels and forums to demand access to the bootloader. According to Asus, the bootloader was locked as a security requirement to support Google’s digital rights management (DRM) client for video rental.

The company also said users who tried to root their own devices ran the risk of  breaking the system completely. “We know there is demand in the modding community to have an unlocked bootloader. Therefore, Asus is developing an unlock tool for that community.”

The statement stressed that using the tool was not without consequence, and that unlocking the device would void the Asus warranty and make Google video rental unavailable since “the device will be no longer protected by security mechanism”.

Asus failed to come up with a workable solution for its Global Positioning System (GPS) problems however, stating that the device was not a professional GPS device and performance would be affected by various factors. It also claimed that the metallic unibody design of the Prime could influence performance.

“Please understand there are limitations when using the GPS function. To avoid inconveniencing users who demand a powerful GPS device, we made the decision to remove it from our specification sheet and marketing communications,” said an Asus statement.

The company also announced a firmware update for the Prime which would improve the camera’s focus, the fluidity of the touch experience, as well as various other improvements.

Users have since complained about the update having a tendency to fail but, according to forums, Asus is working on the problem.