Asus to unlock Transformer Prime's bootloader, issue Android 4 update

ASUS logoAsus has announced plans to unlock the bootloader on its Eee Pad Transformer Prime and bring Android 4 to the device by January 12. After facing customer scrutiny Monday for locking and encrypting the bootloader on the device, Asus announced plans to release an unlocking tool for the tablet/PC hybrid.

A post in the XDA Developers forum Monday pointed out that the Transformer Prime, a Tegra 3 quad-core tablet that can be attached to a laptop-like dock, had been released with a locked and encrypted bootloader. The poster implored others to contact Asus about unlocking the bootloader so that developers would have the freedom to install custom ROMs and engage in other experimental activities.

ASUS Transformer Prime

Asus responded in a statement, saying that the bootloader is locked "due to content providers’ requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible." Despite that requirement, Asus stated it will release an unlocking tool for the development community, but it noted that using the tool will make renting videos via Google impossible and will void the warranty for the product. Asus did not specify a release date for the unlocking tool, but said that it is in development.

Asus is the second company this week to support the unlocking of bootloaders. HTC faced a consumer backlash in May over the locked bootloaders in its devices, but on December 29 the company released a tool to unlock the bootloaders in some phones and tablets.

Asus also announced it will be releasing Android 4 for the Transformer Prime in an over-the-air update on January 12. Another recent software update improved the camera's focus, the "fluidity" of the touch experience, and "the APK capabilities in the Android Market" (whatever that means).

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: ASUS, tablets

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