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ASUS says ICS coming to the Transformer Prime January 12th, bootloader unlock in the works

Posted: , by Scott H.

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ASUS says ICS coming to the Transformer Prime January 12th, bootloader unlock in the works
ASUS just released its promised statement on the Transformer Prime’s locked bootloader, and also dished out some sweet news about Ice Cream Sandwich.

According to ASUS, owners of the Transformer Prime can expect to see two updates in short succession. First, there will be a firmware update to that will be out “shortly”. This update will address issues users have seen with the camera’s autofocus, as well as improving UI fluidity and the ability to install APKs from the Android Market.

One thing the update will not be able to fix the GPS problems users have reported. ASUS attributes the issues to the metal unibody construction of the tablet, which interferes with the GPS signal. ASUS indicated they will be removing references to the GPS from their advertising literature to indicate the device is not intended to be a full-blown GPS device.

In happier news, ASUS also said that the highly anticipated roll out of Ice Cream Sandwich will begin in just nine days, starting on January 12th. The ICS update was promised for early 2012, and it appears that ASUS will make good on that promise.

As for the locked bootloader, ASUS said that based on consumer demand they will be creating an unlock tool for enthusiasts to use. They did not supply a timeline, and it's possible it could be a couple months. ASUS also warned that unlocking the bootloader would void the warranty. Even more interesting, they cited Google’s own YouTube DRM as the reason for the locked bootloader, saying:

Regarding the bootloader, the reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers' requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible. ASUS supports Google DRM in order to provide users with a high quality video rental experience…. Google video rental will also be unavailable because the device will be no longer protected by security mechanism.

So apparently Google itself has had to require stronger DRM protection in order satisfy content providers. This may mean that Google will find itself with conflicting goals when it comes to openness and DRM on Android in the future. We’ve reached out to Google for comment and will let  you know if we hear back.

What do you guys think? There’s good news and bad in this announcement – are you more likely to pick up a ‘Prime now, or more likely to skip it? Let us know in the comments section!

source: ASUS

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posted on 03 Jan 2012, 12:38

1. dhruba (Posts: 27; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

With ICS so soon? I will be glad, but few months for bootloader unlocker?! Thats a bit too much

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 13:42

2. Bryanp (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Jan 2012)

DRM? I dont seem to remember having to lock down my phone or PC to watch netflix. The promise of a bootloader unlock someday doesnt put this one on my radar.

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 13:59

3. protozeloz (Posts: 5396; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)

Good work Asus! Now I wonder when will the first Gen line will get it

Now when it comes to boot loader I'll rather have a tool to unlock it anyways not every user is ROM sick and Asus builds are quite nice

posted on 03 Jan 2012, 15:42

4. Phullofphil (Posts: 805; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)

It's probably because it's possible to take the downloaded movies off of your device from android market if it's unlocked for free. Well except nobody's doing it "yet"

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