Acer Iconia A500 Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 update

Well this just isn't my week for upgrades. After some debating as to whether or not I should upgrade the Iconia A500 to Ice Cream Sandwich, I decided to do it for one very specific feature that I didn't get. What I did get was an ICS release that probably will need an update or two to correct the new issues encountered in this release.

First the good news: ICS feels much faster and more stable overall than Honeycomb ever did. It's more responsive and things like swiping across home screens feel more fluid. I have yet to experience one of the occasional random reboots I had on Honeycomb. Definitely big pluses.

The bad news is there are a few rough edges still needing to be polished. The most obvious and annoying bug encountered so far is a screen flashing / hanging bug that I've seen in a few applications (it seems somewhat app specific so far.) The times I've encountered this, tapping the home button to exit the app in question did return me to the home screen and the screen stopped flashing though attempting to restart the app caused the problem to resurface. Rebooting seems to be a work around most of the time but obviously this isn't something you want to have to deal with. There are a few apps that worked under Honeycomb on the Iconia, and still work under ICS on my Nexus S, that are now force closing. There is also an issue where the logs are getting filled with MLUpdateData error (code 26 ) errors that looks like it's related to the screen orientation. Likely related to the log errors is the fact that auto rotation (portrait/landscape) no longer works. As Acer was pretty good about pushing out 3.x updates, it seems logical that they'd continue to do so for 4.x so expect that these issues will be corrected in the not too distant future.

For most users, I'd suggest waiting at least until Acer comes out with an update to fix the screen flashing bug and you'll most likely be very happy with this release. However, in my specific case I was weighing wanting to keep the device on Honeycomb to make it easier to test my apps on 3.x vs. upgrading so I could enable 'Show Touches' in developer options for some screencasts I'd like to record. Unfortunately, Acer did not include this or most of the other developer options so I'm stuck not being able to go back to 3.2 and upgrading to 4.0 hasn't gotten me what I needed. Since Acer hasn't budged from their policy of locking down the A500, a root and ROM workaround may not be an option though there are reports over at XDA of some successes.

Given this situation and my positive experiences with the ability to root and ROM the Nexus S, I'll probably be steering clear of locked down devices in the future... I just don't need the hassle.

Shop at Amazon and support this site

Copyright © 2006-2013 Quantoa LLC.
All rights reserved.