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My Transformer ate an Ice Cream Sandwich!

My Transformer ate an Ice Cream Sandwich!

icsdroidcartoonAfter much waiting, and heaps of anticipation, the update for Android’s firmware to Ice Cream Sandwich was available for download!

I jumped into it as soon as I had recharged my poor tablets overworked battery. The whole process (using my parent’s less than stellar wireless network) took about 30 minutes. Pretty good considering it was a complete upgrade. My husband’s took far less time using a cable broadband connection.

My first impressions were a bit Magpie “ooh shiny”, but I did notice that my general interface was snappier, and seemed to be a bit more crisp looking.  Part due to the new font “Roboto”, it’s very sleek.  I really like how sharp it looks.  lockscreenMost noticeably, however, on the lock screen was the new font and the ability to unlock directly to the camera. Nifty!  The face recognition unlock seems to be missing on the Tablet, which I was a little disappointed about at first.  But after reading some reviews of it from the phone side of things, given the amount of problems they’re having with it, I can wait until they sort it out.

homescreenMy homescreens weren’t that different, apart from a few icons being updated.  There is now, though, a native Google search and voice search icons in the top left corner that eradicates the need for the search widget to take up real estate on your homescreen at all.  LOVE that!  The notifications area has been updated. New font, larger time, power control bar, screen brightness control and overall it’s much more appealing to look at.notifications

One of the things that I just LOVE about ICS, is when you tap on the “recently opened” apps icon, if there’s an app open that you want to close off, you no longer have to go into app control.  You can simply swipe it off the list!  Huge time saver right there!

recent

There are a few new apps and changes to existing apps that I can see being helpful. One of which is the ability to add passwords to apps. Particularly good when allowing my son to use my tablet for some DLNA media viewing, I can password my Plume, Email and Google+ apps so that he can’t accidentally open them.

The settings area is completely different.  Things are now much easier to find, without too much drilling down into areas, only to find that it was on that other screen you didn’t choose.

settingsI’m sure as time goes on, I’ll find out more about what this new incarnation of Android OS can do.  It’s been on my tablet for a day, and I haven’t spent more than an hour or so with my tablet.  So once I’ve had a chance to play more, and push it around a bit, I’ll be back with more of a love/hate list.

 

 

Tech Unboxing – ASUS Eee Pad Transformer and Keyboard Dock

Tech Unboxing – ASUS Eee Pad Transformer and Keyboard Dock

I’ve been wanting to do an unboxing for a while now, but until now I haven’t had something new to unbox.

I have been (sometimes not so) patiently awaiting the release of this product for almost 16 months now.  When tablets started gaining real momentum after the release of the iPad (even though tablets have been around for at least a decade), other companies started seeing what they could do.  It was also around the same time that multiple companies were entering the e-reader market.

Back at Computex 2010, ASUS announced a tablet and 2 “Eee Pads”.  The Tablet was an LCD e-reader with capacative touch for taking notes, and the two tablets were the original EP121, which was dockable with a keyboard/battery and running Windows 7,  and an EP101TC, which was not dockable and running Windows Compact 7.  There was no talk of Android at all.  These devices (and other e-readers) were slated for Q4 2010 / Q1 2011 release… but never happened.  This led to many emails/tweets/phonecalls to various parts of ASUS and their PR company, to no avail.  There was just no firm release spec/date at that stage.

Then at CES in 2011 (Jan 4th), the devices as they are now, were unveiled.  The Husband & I were both thrilled and disappointed.  There was no mention of any e-readers (I was really hoping the DR-950 would be amongst them), but the tablets were great!  The specs and forms had changed somewhat, but we both found one that suited us.  The Husband was feeling very affectionate towards the EP121, which was now non-dockable, but had a faster processor (i5) and came with a bluetooth ‘desk set’ (keyboard/mouse).  For what I was wanting a tablet for, the TF101 was exactly what I was hoping for.  A dockable (which is a keyboard that doubles as an extra battery) tablet running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb).  Having held one of these, I know that it’s the perfect size, even with the keyboard attached.

They were launched in the last month, and have been all but impossible to find in the stores.  Thankfully we were able to secure one fairly quickly.

This is just me pulling it out of the box, and what it has.  Soon I’ll be doing a video on the Android Honeycomb Tablet interface and my first ‘impressions’ on the Transformer.

This product was purchased by us, and all opinions are my own.