Upgrading The ASUS Transformer TF101 to Jelly Bean
It’s getting close to years since the ASUS Transformer Android Tablet launched. Since then, various iterations have been released and the series continues to be sold today.
The Transformer was at the time one of the best Android tablets on the market. Thanks to the frequent software upgrades, the original Transformer eventually even received a well-deserved serving of Ice Cream Sandwich, keeping it up to par with newer tablets, at least from a software perspective. Hardware is, as you can imagine, much more difficult to upgrade after the fact.
Of course, eventually support for older products slowly disappear. Such is also the case with the TF101. When the original Transformer was not mentioned in Jelly Bean upgrade announcement from ASUS, I knew that getting an official OS upgrade from ASUS was unlikely.
That left me with a predicament: I had a tablet that was working fine. Yet, being a techie, I like being on the cutting edge. Having rooted my various Android phones over the years, my mind immediately started considering whether this was an option for my trusty tablet. I held off for many month, figuring that ICS wasn’t so bad. It worked pretty well after all and why go through the trouble of reinstalling everything.
However, just after Christmas, I started running out of patience (and it takes a lot for that to happen with me). As much as I like my tablet, it was just running slower than what I felt it should. I started browsing various forums online, such as transformerforums.com and xda-developers.com and quickly realized that rooting my tablet and upgrading was likely to speed it up quite a bit, in part thanks to the new software in itself.
I set out to do just that. I decided that Jelly Bean was going to meet my tablet.
After a lot of reading and researching, I felt I finally found the proper upgrade path. To make a long story short, it didn’t take more than about an hour or so to go through the whole process. The result? A Transformer TF101 with Jelly Bean 4.2.1. Not bad.
Was it what I had expected? Yes, yes and beyond yes. Having used the Chameleon Launcher for a while before I did the custom ROM, the difference in using this launcher in itself was remarkable. I went from laggy to snappy. Screen transitions are a joy to watch and I’m feeling like I have a brand new tablet. So yes, it was worth every minute of reinstalling old apps…and really, it ended up being a good opportunity to remove some of the stuff I never did use. After all, what’s the point of taking up 8GB of space for games I never play?
My advice for any other ASUS Transformer users out there stuck with ICS: upgrade! You won’t regret it!
As far as the details on how I actually did it…that’ll have to wait for another time. It’s real easy but I still want to take the time to write it up. If you want some pointers, leave a comment and I’ll point you in the right direction. Transformerforums.com is a good place to start.
Update: I’ve added a short post with some useful links here.