Asus Transformer TF101 Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Update, Out! Quick Review, Screenshots!

Asus Transformer TF101 Ice Cream Sandwich Firmware Upgrade Experience
by Benedict Musngi

The long wait for the ICS update for the first generation Asus Transformer is finally over!

Earlier this month, Transformer TF101 owners might have noticed an update notification pop up. I myself was excited that this might be for the much anticipated firmware upgrade to Android 4.0, a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich.

Upon downloading and installing the update, one of the first things I noticed was the lockscreen. The pattern lock dots are smaller but it is as easy if not easier to use. The new live wallpapers are a joy to look at as well. But aside from the eye candy, there are a lot of features under the hood as well. The settings page, for one, is now more organized - with a separate tab allotted for developer features.

There is now also a built-in data usage monitoring feature which - while not as fully featured as some apps on the market - gets the job done.

A notable new sighting in the settings screen is the Asus Customized Settings tab, which shows some of the settings found specifically in the Transformer. A welcome addition here is the setting for the touchpad, which allows you to use the touchpad in gestures mode or in mouse mode.

The notifications and recently used apps section also got an update. Now, you just need to slide an app to the left or right to close it or to remove it from the list (which also works for notifications). Folders have also been implemented in the homescreens and the file manager also got an update where the folder tree is now visible on the left panel.

The camera also received new features such as silly faces for video, and the ability to take panoramic photos with the built-in camera.

A notable feature in the previous update was SuperNote, which offered a nice way to take notes. This time around, Asus includes the app locker which allows one to secure individual apps with a password.

One notable ICS feature which Google previously announced is face unlock and it's sad that it isn't included in the update rolled out for TF101. There are also some graphical glitches but these are somewhat tolerable. So far, there has also been a slight performance improvement. Some of my gripes though include the over-sensitivity of the recent apps key when using it for taking screenshots (I prefer using the hold down volume + power key), as well as some slight unresponsiveness in the on-screen keyboard.

Anyway, here are other screenshots of Android 4.0 on my Asus Transformer that I took --

So far, the wait has been worth it. ICS for the Transformer has a lot of new features with only face unlock being the biggest new feature not included. The OS version of my Asus Transformer TF101, as of writing, is 4.0.3.

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