I’ve had my Sony Tablet S for almost a year and it keeps getting new updates. The Ice Cream Sandwich update also brought along something called “small apps” that can run over the top of other apps for multi-tasking. Now, another software update has been pushed out to the Sony Tablet S, bringing more “small apps,” plus a new feature called Guest Mode.
The new Guest Mode is similar in some ways to the multi-user function on the new Nook tablets. For the most part, smartphones and tablets are an individual experience, but what if your friend wanted to borrow your tablet briefly? With Guest Mode, they are given a completely separate session with separate home screens and logins from the main account. This way, they can’t snoop around in your Facebook or Gmail.
You can password protect Guest Mode and hand-pick which apps they can (and can’t) use. You can even have multiple guest modes, in case you want one for your colleagues and another one that’s a little more censored for the kids.
The update also brings along more of the “small apps” that came along with the first ICS update. The browser is still there, making it easy to check things while still in another app, but they’ve added a handy calculator, voice recorder, and countdown timer, as well as faster access to the universal remote. I particularly like having that calculator there.
There are also some other changes, like a new “Walkman” app for music-playing and a new “album” app for viewing your photos, but these don’t really change your experience all that much. If you’ve got a Sony Tablet S, just wait for the update to get pushed to you over the air and run through the steps. The update takes about five minutes and then your tablet will restart itself. It’s still ICS and not Jelly Bean, but I am digging some of these incremental upgrades. If you’re interested in buying one, the price has dropped to just $329, not too bad for a 9.4-inch, Tegra2 tablet.