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How To … manually update your Sony Tablet S to ICS

UK customers are still waiting for the ICS update, days after it went live in America. We show you how to get it now

If you’re an impatient Sony Tablet S owner that can’t wait for the UK release of the update to Android Ice Cream Sandwich, we’ve got some good news – with a few simple tools, you can trick the powers-that-be into thinking you’ve got a US device, letting you download the update before it officially gets released on this side of the Atlantic.

A word of warning before we begin – this process involves rooting your device, which can invalidate your warranty. If you don’t want to lose it, we would suggest waiting a little longer for Sony UK to release the update over here.

First off, you’ll need to install the USB drivers normally used by developers to install custom applications. This will let you access the inner workings of the Android operating system. Normally, you would do this using the Android SDK, but a very useful self-extracting installer found over at XDA-Developers will let you get the drivers without having to download lots of unnecessary files.

ADB driver installer

Before you run the installer, go to your tablet and open the settings menu. Choose Development and tick the USB Debugging box. Now connect it to your PC using a USB cable – the Windows device driver installer will probably fail, which is normal. Now extract the files from your download and run Install ADB drivers.exe. Once this has finished, you’ll need to download the excellent ALLinONE tool from XDA-Developers forum member condi. As well as providing lots of developer tools and software hacks, it also roots your device.

ALLinONE folder

After downloading the file and extracting it to the root of C:, run the .bat file and select option 1 to unlock your tablet. Once it’s finished (it should take no longer than five minutes) re-run the tool and choose region changer. Change the region to US, using the correct model from the list, and let your tablet reboot again.

ALLinONE tool

You should now be back at the Android home screen on your tablet. If a notification hasn’t already appeared, connect to a Wi-Fi network and go to settings – about tablet and click check for system update. It should prompt you to install an update, which is in fact ICS. Download and install it, and you’ll have all the new features of Google’s latest and greatest OS.

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