Sony Tablet S Receives Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)Users of the Sony Tablet S have been eagerly anticipating the eventual release of Ice Cream Sandwich on the Android tablet. That day has finally arrived. You are now able to update to ICS from within the tablet, and the entire process takes about fifteen minutes.

For many users, automatic updates are on by default, allowing you to receive an update notification with an option to initiate the process when you unlock the tablet. If you do not have this feature enabled, you can manually initiate the update by going to Settings > About Tablet > System Update and following the commands from there.

New features being introduced with ICS include an enhanced lock screen giving you the ability to access your camera directly rather than having to go through the menus in the primary home screen. The camera itself has been improved with the addition of a panoramic mode allowing you to take multiple shots and stitch them together.

An improved Android browser allows you to switch between desktop and mobile versions of a given site as well as store sites for offline viewing. This is a great feature if you come across something worth reading but may not have an Internet connection along the way. Being on a bus being one example of where this sort of thing could really improve your experience.

One play that seems very similar to iOS is the addition of folders allowing you to group application icons together in what appears to be a bubble of icons rather than a square box. You can name this folder by tapping on it and then tapping the name below the icons. It may not be quite as smooth or aesthetically pleasing as iOS, but it is a pleasant site to see here.

File management has also improved some, allowing you to manage and edit photos on an SD card as well as directly access files stored within. Transferring data from a PC or camera to the tablet is much easier this way, allowing me to finally put this SD slot to good use. This is a hardware feature of the Sony Tablet I didn’t find particularly useful until now.

One feature exclusive to the Sony Tablet is the presence of “small apps” such as calculators, browsers, and remote controls that don’t take up the entire screen, and can be moved to the side of the screen to save space. This is a multi-tasking benefit that makes life a little easier for users that want to take advantage of these little tools without necessarily having to swap applications to do so.

This update has been long awaited in our household. The Sony Tablet S has been gathering dust for the past few months as I haven’t found it particularly useful or revolutionary beyond the initial “newness” when it first arrived. Perhaps this update will add function to form and make the tablet less of a novelty and more of a productive piece of hardware ready to help me get things done at a moment’s notice.

Do you own a Sony Tablet S? How are you enjoying the new update?