To the relief of us Padfone owners, ASUS kept it’s word by releasing a long-awaited upgrade for Padfone 2 to Android 4.4 KitKat with ASUS ZenUI. This is an article on how to update ASUS Padfone 2 Firmware to Android version 4.4.
Ever since the Heartbleed Bug became public knowledge, I’ve been dying to receiving this update for my device, which still used a vulnerable Android version of 4.1.1. ASUS Padfone 2 was missing out on all the updates it’s siblings, like the Transformer Pad Infinity were enjoying. I recall ASUS once promised an update for Padfone 2 to Android version 4.2. But it never came. They also promised an upgrade to Android version 4.3. As you might have guessed, it never came either.
However, I wasn’t too worried. That was until I became aware of the Heartbleed bug. A bug which shook the very core of the Internet. It also happened to apply to my dear Padfone 2, a device I used for accessing the internet. For example, I used it daily to read my emails. A suggestion from the security professionals was not to use the phone until the fix would become available. So needless to say, I really awaited for an update.
NOTE: Update for V126.96.36.199 is over 900 megabytes, so you might want to start downloading it now from the ASUS website (See section Firmware).
How to update ASUS Padfone 2 Firmware manually
Updating the firmware manually means the phone will be reset to factory defaults. It is crucial to make a backup of everything you have stored on your device. The version I will cover here is the WWE V188.8.131.52, which I think is mainly for the European users. It seems the update also applies for other SKU (language) versions.
- Check Software version of your PadFone 2
Path: [Settings] –>[About PadFone] –>Build number
Example: You should be able to see the build number TW_PadFone-11.X.X.X, where “TW” means SKU.
- Download the right PadFone Firmware SKU version
Download V184.108.40.206 for your SKU version. Firmware update cannot do “SKU conversion” and downgrade version. Wrong SKU may cause update failure, You can only update your software version on the same SKU version.
Here’s a list of things to consider before updating
- Make a list of every mandatory application you use, so you won’t forget anything important.
- Take notes of your installed services, especially the email settings, like ports and credentials needed for access. I had like 10 different services, including Exchange and IMAP emails with different incoming and outgoing servers.
- Make a backup of your apps. Use a third party software if available. Why? Because, version 4.1.1 of the Padfone 2 has a backup and restore software by ASUS. But for some reason version 4.4 does not! Maybe you can install it from the Play store after the update, but I can’t be sure. I did a backup using ASUS software, but I didn’t use the restore. Instead, I decided to have a clean install, which worked great for me. It requires a bit more work though.
- Backup your SMS messages. Once backup is done, the file is located in /sdcard/smsbackup/. Copy the file to your computer and copy it back into the same location after you have installed the update. You may have to great the folder manually.
- Be sure your contacts are saved on your accounts (Google or some other account) and not on your device. Copy contacts to the accounts if they are saved on the device.
- Backup your photos and videos, which are located in the /DCIM/ folder.
You may have some extra steps for your own configuration but this was what worked for me.
Install the update and reboot
NOTE: Here’s an official PDF file on how to update Padfone 2 Firmware, but as it says on the file, the backup is only available in Android version 4.1.2 which I did not have (my version was 4.1.1).
Now when you’re ready with backing up your stuff, you need to:
- Download the firmware update, if you haven’t already done so.
- Unzip the downloaded file. WWE version is named WWE_PadFone2_user_11_8_3_3_UpdateLauncher.zip. There is another zip-file inside the archive called WWE_A68-220.127.116.11-0-ota-user.zip.
- Copy the file WWE_A68-18.104.22.168-0-ota-user.zip to your Padfone 2 root folder /sdcard/ using a USB cable.
- Reboot your device
- You should now see an icon in the menu indicating that an update is available.
- Make sure you have enough power in the battery. Choose to update.
Conclusion, is it any good?
I spent a few hours installing my apps and services, while playing with the new features at the same time. In the overall, I like it very much. And I haven’t found any bugs yet, so the update seems quite finished. Everything went smoothly and I’m very happy with the result. ASUS has fixed many of the things I hated in the old version. For example, you can now start the camera app, even when the device is locked.
However, one thing I noticed after the update, is that the phone input seem a bit sticky at times. But it’s too early to judge all the aspects of this update. I let you to find out for yourselves, enjoy your Android 4.4 with ZenUI!