Fragmentation feels like a dirty word these days, but let’s face it: not all Android devices are running the same version of the operating system. And it seems like it gets a little worse every day as Google keeps pushing out updates and it’s up to manufacturers to determine if and when to push out updates for their products.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Case in point: As promised, Asus has started rolling out an Android 3.2 software update for the Eee Pad Transformer. Users are reporting that they’re already getting notifications about the update. And as expected, there aren’t a lot of huge changes in the new tablet software. There’s better support for apps written for smartphones with lower resolution displays, and there’s support for multitouch gestures when using the optional Transformer keyboard dock.

But at the same time, Acer is still rolling out Google Android 3.1 for its 10 inch tablet, the Acer Iconia Tab A500. Acer started offering the update earlier this month, but German customers are just getting the new software today. It’s not clear when the company will offer an Android 3.2 update

Honestly, there’s not much difference between Android 3.1 and 3.2 as far as most users are concerned. Apps written for one version of the operating system will likely work on the other. But that’s not always the case when it comes to operating system updates. Many apps written for Google Android 3.0 and up won’t run on Android 2.3. And many apps written for Android 2.1 and up won’t run on phones using Android 1.6.

That’s not a huge surprise. I wouldn’t expect a Windows 7 app to work on Windows 3.1, after all. The difference is that those two operating systems were released nearly 20 years apart. The pace of change in the Android world is much faster, and there’s no guarantee that if you buy a tablet today you’ll be running the latest software next month.

Fortunately there’s an active community of hackers that does a pretty good job of offering the latest software for Android phones and tablets even when the manufacturer doesn’t — so there’s not a huge risk of your device becoming completely obsolete. You just might have to be willing to void the warranty to keep running bleeding edge software.

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7 replies on “Android 3.2 comes to the Asus Eee Pad Transformer (while Acer’s tablet gets Android 3.1)”

    1. Correction – I was able to fix the calendar issue.  I deleted the app and then put it back on…now my calendar is working again.  Hope this helps!

      1. My calendar app says “NO APPLICATION INSTALLED” when I select it after 3.2 update. How did you delete it, it’s an embedded app. Are you using the native calendar app?

        1. I had the same problem with my calendar app.

          Asus included the new version for 3.2, just create a new shortcut.

  1. I wouldn’t expect apps written for 3.0 to be backwards compatible with 2.x because that would defeat the entire purpose of a major number release — you change major api’s and generally break the whole world in order to bring in lots of new functionality (or speed, or whatever). I *would* expect most apps written for 3.2 to run on 3.0, because that’s the point of a minor release — you add some new functionality but you don’t break the whole world. Apps that use the new functionality won’t be backwards compatible, but ones that don’t use new functionality should work fine.

  2. Thought I’d toss this out here for those interested in the Transformer:

    $440 deal on the 32gb version, compared to $489 at amazon.

    Asus has really been impressing me with their tablet, overall good product, good price, and excellent on the update route. Going to be keeping an eye on them as the tablet industry evolves.

  3. The calendar app stopped working on my EEE Pad Transformer when 3.2 was installed.

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