Yesterday a lot of things happened in the world of the Asus Transformer Prime. Which by the way we reviewed here if you haven’t read it yet.
First of all cast your minds back several months ago when the whole world was up in arms because Asus announced that the unreleased Transformer Prime was going to have a locked bootloader. LOTS of people got upset and several days later Asus said they would release a warranty voiding tool to unlock your bootloader if you wanted to. Well guess what? Yesterday Asus actually released that tool. You can find details on it here at the Asus support site. Don’t forget, if you use it, no more updates from them, no warranty from them, you will be dead to them. The other thing to bear in mind is if you break your Prime trying to use the tool they probably won’t care either.
So why is this so important I hear you ask. Well the bootloader is a piece of software that handles what firmware is installed on your device. Most manufacturers encrypt this so that hackers cannot install custom roms. i.e. Motorola. For people wanting to install custom roms like Cyanogenmod then with a locked bootloader it is impossible. So yesterdays release from Asus is a big thing in the Transformer Prime hacking community.
The next exciting thing that happened yesterday is that within a very short period of time of the above tool being released, some clever people over at xda created a custom Clockwork recovery for the Prime. This means that custom roms and kernels can be easily flashed. Users can now also create proper backups of their devices as well. Known as a Nandroid backup. XDA user -viperboy- has created a windows tool that will flash all of the relevant files across to your Transformer Prime. It is called Vipermod PrimeTime. It will root your Prime and flash clockwork recovery. You can read about it here. Again this is entirely at your own risk. Beware.
Then something that I as a Transformer Prime owner have been looking forward to happened. Developer Bumble-Bee flashed Cyanogenmod 9 onto the Prime. All within a few hours of the tool being released. Speedy work. A video of this can be seen below. This isn’t available for download yet so be patient.
Then lastly the Virtuos team over on XDA released a custom rom for the Prime. It is basically just the latest Asus update with a few tweaks. Details can be found here.
If you are reading this wondering why someone would want to bother with all of this. Then I don’t know what to say really. The custom rom community will no doubt keep the Transformer Prime updated for longer than Asus will and many many updates, features and bug fixes will also appear from the community. This is the sort of thing thats marks out Android against the competition and this sort of development for arguably one of the most tablets in the world is great.
One thing is for sure and that is, this weekend I will be attempting to break mine!