Galaxy Tab eats Ice Cream Sandwich

21Jul12

I’ve had my original Samsung Galaxy Tab for over a year now, and it’s a great device. I particularly like that it has 3G (and that it came with a SIM that I can use relatively inexpensively in the US[1]). It shipped with Android 2.2 (Froyo), and after rooting and restocking I’ve pretty much left it alone as the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) version of CyanogenMod that I run on my ZTE Blade never officially supported the Tab. I noticed the other day though that the Tab is now supported for the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) version of CyanogenMod (CM9).

Installation

Unfortunately the upgrade instructions assume that you’re already on Android 2.3, which I wasn’t, and after copying over the suggested kernel I found that I had an unbootable device:( I fixed this up by running through the restocking and upgrade process for Overcome, and then used the Overcome recovery to install CM9 and Google Apps.

In use

It’s like having a new tablet – faster, better looking and more robust. The only drawback seems to be that battery life might not be what it used to be (or maybe I’m just using it even more now). It would also be nice if I could get rid of the soft keys (since the Tab has hard keys), but that’s a minor annoyance. The newer Swype is awesome too.

Conclusion

Better tablets have come along since the original Galaxy Tab, but it’s still a great piece of hardware, and CM9 gives it a fresh lease of life. My fingers are crossed that they’ll port Android 4.1 (JellyBean) over to it too.

[1] In the UK I have a Three SIM that came with a MiFi and gives me 15GB data/month (always more than enough). When I travel to the US I use AT&T’s tablet plan to get 3GB for $30 that lasts a month.



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