It may not have happened within the month Samsung had mentioned in June, but just last night, I turned on my Galaxy Tab 10.1 to see an update prompt for Ice Cream Sandwich. The update will place users at the Android 4.0.4 marker and weighs in at a healthy 254MB.
My device was still fully functional during a lengthy download over WiFi (which seemed to be interrupted a few times but re-synced automatically) and I was able to enjoy what seemed like my last few moments on Android 3.0 – Honeycomb. Needless to say I was not at all regretful as this update has been on my wish list since it was announced a few weeks ago around the beginning of August.
As soon as the update was finished downloading, I was prompted to reboot my tablet, with a warning that I should backup all my data (via KIES or otherwise) and contact samsung.com if I needed further assistance. After the shutdown I was greeted with an Android update icon shown below as all of the kernel packages and applications were updated.
Interestingly enough, the boot animation and sounds remain the same as the Honeycomb versions and do not follow suit with the Galaxy Tab 2.0 7 & 10.1 revamped boot animation and chime. Not like it mattered to me at this point, I was too busy anticipating the first boot of my new Ice Cream Sandwich Galaxy Tab! (with fingers crossed that there were no errors to greet me XD )
I may not be a lover of the Samsung Touchwiz interface, but the sleek, simple and clean look of the new Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 is enough to impress the most diehard Vanilla fans, like myself.
My first encounter was sheer bliss. From the sleek contemporary look of my lock screen (I have a locking PIN enabled) to my first look at the home screen, I was impressed to say the least. Be warned however that this update will reset all your existing Honeycomb screen layouts, widgets and customizations to Samsung Touchwiz Defaults with the main home screen populated and all the others blank.
The tablet seemed responsive enough to the touch and the home screen transition animations are outlined by a ghosted white outline instead of the glowing blue that marked the honeycomb screen boundaries. After swiping around the home screens to see how snappy the device was on this new updated OS, I realized that the home screens now scrolled in a loop from one side back around to the other, unlike Honeycomb 3.0 where it was restricted to scrolling one way until you reached the end, and then back the other way if you wanted to navigate to the other side of your home screens. I thought this was a convenient improvement.
The look of the App Drawer hasn’t really changed much except for the fact that Samsung had now grouped all of the pre-installed apps on the first screen, and then all of my custom installed apps on the following app screens, which now also scrolled in a loop as the home screens do.
The Widget Drawer retained it’s look and functionality as well and from what I can tell in this first look, not much has changed at this point.
Even though this article is strictly limited to first impressions at this point I will make note of one drastic improvement which I purposely sought out. The stock browser. For anyone who owns a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, no explanation is necessary, but those annoying little tabs across the top which contain your open pages, and also coincidentally a teeny ‘X’ to close them (which by the way is almost IMPOSSIBLE to hit on your first attempt without hammering along the top of the tablet)…have now been totally redesigned and improved drastically, almost with a true Chrome feel. I was very satisfied by this as to me, it was one of the most annoying parts of browsing the web with my device, particularly if I had multiple browser tabs open. Thank you Samsung!
All in all, for a first impression, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 has made a very good one, with a sleek new Ice Cream Sandwich update that I am sure will satisfy Android users for a while to come, and breathe new excitement into their cherished device. Stay tuned for a more in depth review as I log more hands on hours with my newly updated Tab.
][ce over and out.