Android 3.1 Has Finally Landed

Although we completed the update without incident, there were a few bumps before we were able to get it going. When we turned on the Iconia Tab this morning, a message appeared that an update was available and asked if we wanted to install it. No. Of course we do! But after clicking OK, the status bar never changed. After about an hour, we powered the unit all the way down. When it restarted, the process repeated and worked properly from then on.

The update file itself took about eight minutes to download over WiFi. It took another two minutes to unzip, during which it displayed a text box and circular activity indicator. After about two minutes, the Tab shut itself off and didn't come back on. Once we realized after a moment that it wasn't coming back on by itself, we hit the power button and up popped the green Android alien standing next to what presumably was a box of software (shown). A few minutes later the system rebooted itself and Android 3.1 appeared just as we had left it.

The first thing we noticed was the keyboard sounds, which mimic a real one. It even plays a different sound for the space bar. Testing one of its new features, we plugged in a USB mouse. It worked immediately. When we plugged in a keyboard, the hardware became the default, and the software keyboard no longer popped up when the cursor called for text input.

From what we've seen and read about Android 3.1, including its increased use of USB peripherals, HD output and improved user interface, it's clearly a worthwhile update. We can only hope that bumps in the road caused by Acer's upgrade infrastructure will be smoothed out before the next major refresh.

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