New Multitouch Gestures

When used with the Eee Pad Dock you used to get a blue mouse cursor that you could use in place of your finger, controlled by the Dock's trackpad. With the 3.2 update the cursor is gone and replaced with a larger circle. Alongside the pointer change is support for pinch/stretch to zoom in the browser.

The other big change here is you can now treat the trackpad like the multitouch display. Nearly all gestures you'd perform on the display now work on the trackpad. The big addition here is pinch to zoom support via the trackpad. In the screenshot above I'm zooming in on the AnandTech homepage using the trackpad alone. The experience is unfortunately not as smooth as it is on the touchscreen with most gestures resulting in a fairly choppy response from the UI. Two finger swipe between home screens and double tap to zoom are of course supported. You can also tap and hold on the trackpad then flick up/down to scroll, just like you would on the screen itself.

Final Words

It's a small update, but it's good to see forward momentum from Google with its tablet platform. It's also good to see ASUS, a newcomer to the Android space, receive such positive treatment by Google. While the Eee Pad wasn't first to get the 3.2 update, it wasn't too far behind Motorola's Xoom.

Now the question becomes how long will it take after the launch of Ice Cream Sandwich to see it on these Tegra 2 tablets.

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  • oliwek - Saturday, August 6, 2011 - link

    you should try to install and use Wifi analyzer :
  • darkhawk1980 - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    Anand, why didn't you bring to light the other 'new' issues that the 3.2 update has brought with it? The wifi connect/disconnect issue (randomly losing your connection) which can only be fixed at the moment by setting a static IP for your tablet.

    Also, what about the 'default application' issue? Say you have multiple media players installed (Diceplayer, Rockplayer, Moboplayer, and stock player). Try to open up a video through the file browser. You will notice the screen dim, but no 'default application' choice window pop up, correct? Now rotate your tablet 90 degrees, and then back 90 degrees, and suddenly it's back. Why? Better yet, after you set a default application, reboot your tablet and repeat the above. You'll see it hasn't saved the default application!

    I'm also concerned that you haven't really reported on video playback at this point. I really would think that this should become a standard test for tablets. More importantly, try playing back a 720P high profile video with any video player (besides Diceplayer). You will notice that you get no audio and very choppy video. Now download Diceplayer (there's a trial version available) and play the same video. You get good video (as long as you play from the internal memory, or a high speed SDCard, my class 6 card couldn't do it) and audio (even if it's encoded in AC3 or Dolby Digital). I find it slightly disturbing that even the stock video player can't do this, yet a developer's player can.

    Lastly, and while this is rather unique to the Asus Transformer, you might want to keep in mind that at this point, I think it's the only tablet that you can install a full version of Ubuntu onto the tablet and essentially get a notebook out of it, even more so if you have the dock. This is a rather unique feature (while unsupported by Asus though). I think it's something that should atleast be mentioned.
  • B3an - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    Completely agree about video, it should be a standard test on all tablet reviews and maybe even OS updates like this, atleast with big updates. And not just for Android but any tablet or OS.

    I'd also like to see how tablets handle all kinds of video formats, plus codec performance, and include things they cannot play at all. Maybe even image quality tests if possible, or atleast a mention of it thats done with your own eyes if theres nothing out there yet to test video image quality on the OS.

    And... it would also be great to see image quality tests with the the GPU regarding 3D rendering. Something like you often get with AMD or Nvidia card reviews. Again If possible.

    When Android Ice Cream comes out then iOS 5 should also be out, and it would be really great to see a highly detailed article comparing them both and all the things mentioned above.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    We talked about video playback in the initial Honeycomb reviews. Tegra 2 doesn't officially support High Profile H.264 which is why there are issues with the stock video player.

    I actually hadn't run into the default app issue because I haven't played with some of the other media players, I'll start doing that now though :)

    Take care,
  • darkhawk1980 - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link


    I really suggest looking at Diceplayer though. I'm not sure how the dev does it, but somehow they manage to get 720P high profile to work on the tablet. This is the only media player I've found that can pull this off so far.
  • jaysns - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    Does it make the interface seem any quicker at first glance or apps load a little quicker? I know this isn't a full blown review but any initial responses on this would be appreciated if you could. Thank you. :)
  • darkhawk1980 - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    Honestly, I haven't noticed a huge difference. It's about the same as it was in the stock 3.1. There are tweaks to improve the performance, but from a purely stock perspective, nothing really has changed, sadly. I'd like to see some kind of general improvement in the UI and it's feel. That's about the only thing that I can say I feel IOS in general has gotten right. Their UI does not feel slow at all.
  • IKeelU - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    There's only 1 thing that really jumps out at me in those graphs: the iPad2 is fast as hell. Android is nice, but for gpu prowess, there's really no competition it seems.
  • darkhawk1980 - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    Go back and read the Ipad2 previews. Another thing to bear in mind, Ipad 2 runs at 1024 x 768 compared to 1280x800. Less pixels means less processing which means higher FPS (which stupidly, is what those graphs about comparing apples to apples instead of apples to oranges?).

    Also bear in mind, the Ipad 2 is using the SGX543MP2. When the TI OMAP 4 4470 hits, it will seem slow in all respects. Granted Tegra 2 can't compete as well, but for Tegra 2 being NVidia's first real SOC, it's not surprising.
  • Miggleness - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    If you do the math though, the Transformer has 24.4% more pixels than the ipad2. Add that many FPS to the transformer, the Ipad2 still beats it by a good margin. Of course, the amount of pixels being processed and gain in fps aren't directly proportional. Hope to see new hardware soon!

    Good to read that android updates are happening more frequently across different manufacturers as compared to last year.

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