Asus Tuesday announced two updates for the popular Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet: A bootloader unlock tool so users can gain full access to their Android tablets and to the Android 4.0 operating system, coming January 12.
Eee Pad Transformer Prime received excellent reviews and great demand when it launched in December 2011.
Asus will be releasing an over-the-air firmware update update for the Transformer Prime shortly. This update, version 18.104.22.168, will improve the focus of the camera, the fluidity of the touch experience, and the APK capabilities in Android Market.
In addition, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich FOTA worldwide update for the Transformer Prime will start from Jan 12th, 2012.
Asus drew a lot of fire Monday when the company revealed the Transformer Prime would come with the bootloader encrypted, making it almost impossible for users to root the tablet and install a custom ROM (a modified version of Android).
Asus said that the reason the company chose to lock bootloader of the Transformer Prime was due to content providers' requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible. ASUS supports Google DRM in order to provide users video rental options. However, Asus
is developing an unlock tool for that modding community. Of course, unlocking the device voids the ASUS warranty and Google video rental will also be unavailable.
Asus also talked about the users' concerns related to the GPS function of the device. The ASUS Transformer Prime is made from a metallic unibody design, so the material may affect the performance of the GPS when receiving signals from satellites.
Asus said that the Eee Pad Transformer Prime is not a professional GPS device, and signal performance can be easily influenced by factors including, but not limited to: weather, buildings, and surrounding environments. The company admitted that they are limitations when using the GPS function. To avoid inconveniencing users who demand a powerful GPS device, Asus has made the decision to remove it from its specification sheet and marketing communications.