Sony has released Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the U.S. version of the Sony Tablet S on Saturday, Sept. 28, adding a significant number of Sony features to the device.
The newly added Sony features include those found in the recently announced Xperia Tablet S, such as guest mode, media players, and new widgets. On the other hand, the Over-the-Air (OTA) update also changes some features, including the DLNA app, the Throw feature from the Gallery, and widgets from the Video and Music apps. Those features are now available through the WALKMAN, Album, and Movies applications.
The new features added with the Ice Cream Sandwich software update include:
- Guest Mode, which allows users to share their tablet with others. An icon for guest mode will now appear in the upper right corner. Accessing this feature enables users to create modes for friends, children, or family members, restricting or granting access to specific apps based on the user.
- New media player applications - WALKMAN, Album, Movies. Sony has redesigned its media players to offer "some useful new features."
- New Small Apps - users can now overlay a small browser, calculator, IR remote, voice recorder, and timer on top of another app. Users can also register and use widgets as small apps.
- New macro functionality on the Remote Control App - users can now add six programmable macro keys to turn on multiple devices, including TV, Blu-ray Disc player, and audio system, with a single button. Users can program sequenced commands such as "Play Music," for instance, and they can also choose a different skin for each device.
- Topics and new widgets - the update will add new large widgets to the Home Screen, showing more content, including Topics.
- Socialife - the revamped Social Feed Reader Cloud app allows users to find news, videos, and social networking feeds in the same place.
- Watch Now - this app provides an interactive, visual program guide based on preference and real-time trends from the user's social media feeds. Watch now will make relevant recommendations, and allow users to change the channel with the flick of a finger or share content via Twitter, Facebook, or Get Glue.
The update also brings a few more things, such as new icons and a better copy/paste capability. Sony did not mention the upgrade's "weight" in the announcement, but make sure the device has more than 50 percent battery life before starting the download and installation.