Sony Tablet S gets major update in the U.S. – not Jelly Bean, but surely the next best thing

by: AdrianSeptember 28, 2012

Sony’s been rather busy lately, releasing a bunch of new phones, as well as a pretty well-received tablet, but that doesn’t mean it has forgotten all about slightly older devices. The Tablet S has never been extremely popular, despite being upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich back in April, but maybe it’s finally time for the 9.4-incher to shine.

That’s because Sony’s decided to extend its software support to its 2011 flasghip tab, rolling out a new OTA (over-the-air) update for U.S. users. Granted, it’s not Android 4.1 Jelly Bean that’s hitting the Tablet S, but it might just be the next best thing, bringing the slate’s software on-par with the one on the new Xperia Tablet S.

The changelog is pretty massive, and, while Sony forgot to mention anything about the upgrade’s “weight”, you should make sure your battery is above the 50% mark when starting the download and installation.

Guest Mode is by far the upgrade’s piece of resistance, being highly acclaimed by pretty much anyone who’s seen or used an Xperia Tablet S. The new feature on the S will allow you to “easily share your tablet with family and friends”, meaning you can create different modes for different people using the gadget and restrict or grant access to specific apps.

There aren’t any more brand new features and functions hitting the Tablet S with the Android 4.0.3 update, but you should notice improvements to several apps, including the media players and the Remote Control.

The IR app has been upgraded to allow you to add six programmable macro keys, so you now have the ability to turn on and control multiple devices at once, including TV sets, Blu-Ray Disc players and audio systems.

As for the media player apps, they have been redesigned from the ground up, offering several new helpful functions, but also looking sleeker than before and working much smoother. The Small Apps feature has itself been improved with much more liberty for the user, while the Social Feed Reader Cloud has been revamped as Socialife.

Last, but not least, there are new widgets added to the Home Screen, which might annoy some of you that are into vanilla Android, but which will definitely give the Tablet S another touch of originality. We’re guessing a number of bug fixes should also be rolled out with the brand new update, although there’s no mention on Sony’s blog about anything like that.

Now if only Sony would understand that keeping this big guy’s price over the $300 mark is a big-time mistake…

  • this looks like a good upgrade! my friend is downloading it today. i’d like to see the result.

  • GJ

    is this coming to canada??

  • jitters

    Installed the update last night – no Guest Mode. Anyone?

  • I picked up a refurbished one from cowboom last weekend for 189. Pretty nice little tablet. I’ve owned several tablets including the holy grail iPad and this thing holds its own. My last tablet was a Nexus 7 so I just wish this had Jelly Bean.

  • Ham Dash

    Update was awful …it suddenly shuts down..vpn doesn’t work..walkman doesn’t have folder view

  • pr0xyw0rm

    I thought it was the JB update. I was disappointed when I realized it wasnt. It’s nice to c that Sony still cares about this tablet(I know is only a year old). I hope they keep pushing updates a little bit longer. I wanna c this tablet running JB without having to install a custom ROM.