At the beginning of March, ASUS became the first company to push Android 4.2 to a non-Nexus device when the update came to the TF300. At the time, the company promised 4.2 for the TF700 and MeMO Pad Smart sometime "in the second quarter." We're now three days into Q2, and ASUS has started pushing the update to the TF700 (Infinity). Talk about delivering on promises.
It seems that no company can keep a secret for very long. With I/O fast approaching, Google and ASUS are in the spotlight again as details creep out about a pending refresh to the Nexus 7. According to Reuters, two undisclosed sources have leaked plans for a likely release date around July with pricing as low as $149. The tipsters also let slip that the revised tablet will be packing an unspecified Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and that Google hopes to ship 6-8 million units before the start of 2014.
The Transformer Prime (or TF201 if you're nasty) had its share of GPS problems when it first came out. So much so that the company began sending out dongles to fix the issue. Well, that didn't prevent a class action lawsuit from being filed and, as a result, ASUS has settled the case. What does that mean for you? Well, if you purchased a TF201 between December 1, 2011 and February 19, 2013 and you didn't get a refund, then you qualify to receive $17 and a free GPS dongle.
ASUS has just pushed the latest update for the PadFone 2, bringing it to v10.4.12.24, and it contains a whole host of fixes and improvements. The performance of the PadFone 2 Station has been enhanced, the camera's firmware has seen an upgrade, and a number of improvements have been made to the phone's applications. Here's the full list of changes:
PadFone2 Firmware: V10.4.12.24 (Android 4.1) Improved: 1. Enhanced PadFone 2 and PadFone 2 Station performance and stability 2. Improved Wi-Fi connection and stability 3. Upgraded the camera’s firmware and optimized the camera’s HDR and automatic brightness control functions 4. NFC file sharing on ASUS Studio 5.
The PadFone 2 may have received its Jelly Bean update at the end of last year, but original PadFone owners haven't been so lucky. Fortunately, ASUS has decided to level the playing field again, releasing an update for the original device with Android 4.1.1.
In addition to the OS upgrade, the latest update also provides some improvements to other areas of the phone. Here's the full changelog:
PadFone Firmware: V10.2.1.9 (Android 4.1) improvement: 1. OS upgrade to Android 4.1.1 2. Improve dictionary function 3. Improve Camera preview function 4. Improve Scrapbook function 5. Improve File Manager application 6. Improve Volume Key problem 7.
When I first read the specs and saw pictures of the MeMO Pad Smart, the only thing that popped into my mind was this is just like a TF300, minus the dock. It was beyond me why ASUS would even build a tablet that is essentially identical to one of its other tablets. Sure, the price is $50 lower, but still – is there really a market for this?
I imagine that, like me, the majority of you also judged this tablet based merely on the spec sheet. This is last year's flagship, you might have said. And of course, I understand that.
In what seems to be a fairly arbitrary move, Google has trimmed the fat from the Play Store's Nexus 7 cover selection. The lineup, which formerly included pink, light blue, and gray, has been cut down to just the light blue color in the US, with the pink cover variant appearing outside the US. The gray cover has been axed completely.
It's been over four months since Google officially announced Android 4.2 and slightly less time since the initial round of new Nexus devices running it went up for order. Much like the gunshot that kicks off the 100-meter tortoise race, that launch signaled the silent contest to see which manufacturer could get out a non-Nexus update first. Today, we have our winner: ASUS, with a shiny new version of Jelly Bean for the Transformer Pad (TF300T).
The manufacturer has also promised that there will be updates to its App Locker, Virtual Keyboard, Lock Screen, and Setup Wizard applications. Initially, the update will only be available via OTA for U.S.
Yesterday, we attended a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where we were treated not only to the unveiling of ASUS' new Padfone Infinity and aptly-named Fonepad 7" tablet phone (with which we later got some hands-on time), but also to the dazzling (ly awkward and hilarious) antics of a "tech illusionist," and plenty of other awkwardmoments.
We were able to share a pretty detailed account of the event, along with a short video, but those who want to see the full unveiling from start to finish can now do so, thanks to ASUS' own YouTube channel.
At an afternoon press conference across the street from MWC 2013's enormous venue, ASUS has just wrapped a (hilarious) press conference that saw the introduction of two new devices (or three?) – the Padfone Infinity and the Fonepad. Before we dive in for hands-on, let's take a quick look at the specs and pricing for the devices.
Jonney Shih with the Padfone Infinity
The Padfone Infinity is the tablet/phone combination we were expecting from ASUS today. It's got decent specs, and boasts ASUS' new AOCC "Ubiquitous Cloud" functionality, but has a rather stunning price, pegged at €999. The device isn't expected to make an appearance States-side.