Asus Eee Pad Transformer Android 3.2 Update Underway
It took a very long time for Android Honeycomb tablets to appear on the market, if the timeline under consideration is the first announcement of the Motorola Xoom to its actual launch. Since then, a small number of additional tablets of the same ilk have appeared at retail. However, the market is readying itself to launch numerous products in the final quarter of the calendar year, and corporate management and shareholders want to see those products on retail shelves so as to maximize the opportunity to increase revenue is very high.
And so the market is seeing a steadily increasing number of Android tablet announcements every week. Soon, this market sector will become analogous to its smartphone counterpart, where it is very difficult for manufacturers to differentiate one Android handset from its competitors. One way to ensure that a product breaks out against the field is to support it well and deliver timely updates. That is the tact Asus is taking, as the update to Android 3.2 is being made available for its Eee Pad Transformer.
In contrast, the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is just recently seeing the update to Android 3.1 in some parts of the world. It is one of the dynamics of the Android device market that has been becoming steadily more transparent over the last year. Consumers are becoming more and more aware of which hardware manufacturers deliver Android updates quickly and which ones tend to lag. This could very well be a variable that drives customer choice when it comes time to select which Android tablet to buy.
While it is possible for a user to root an Android device and apply any one of several custom ROMs made available by the mod community, many consumers desire to run their device in its stock configuration. The Transformer's update to Android 3.2 is being made available roughly six weeks after Asus made the update to 3.1 available, which was released in early June.
Delivery of OS updates for Android devices within this fast a time-frame could drive potential customers to choose the Eee Pad Transformer over other devices in this category, provided Asus can get enough stock into inventory channels. Asus' other soon-to-be-released tablet, the Eee Pad Slider, is expected to receive the update to 3.2 shortly after its launch.
Asus announced the Android OS update on its Facebook page in the middle of the week. Comments and forum posts have been going up on the web on various sites confirming that users were seeing the update available on their device near the end of the week. Responses so far appear to be a mix. There have been a small handful of complaints concerning more frequent drops in WiFi connections, and Google Calendar no longer updating. Other users are disappointed by the continuing lack of direct NetFlix support on the Transformer, and the change from a pointer-style mouse cursor to the new pointer, which is a circle.