Samsung's Galaxy Tab gets a beefy update from Verizon with performance improvements, a battery life fix, and an Adobe Flash update, but the tablet is still stuck running Android 2.2.
Lance WhitneyContributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Verizon Wireless has rolled out a beefy update for owners of Samsung's Galaxy Tab.
Now being launched as a mandatory system update dubbed EC02, the 35MB package offers a variety of fixes and enhancements for the Tab.
Verizon and Samsung are promising better speed and performance for the built-in browser and less drain on the battery when searching for Wi-Fi hot spots. The e-mail and message apps have been enhanced as well. Tab users can now access hyperlinks within e-mail messages, manage and download attached Word 2000 and 2003 documents, and open video attachments 5MB in size. Adobe Flash also has been updated to the latest 10.2 version.
You must be on a Wi-Fi connection to receive the update, according to Verizon's documentation (PDF). After the notice appears, you'll be prompted to download the update. Verizon says the package will take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to download and another 5 minutes to install.
Though EC02 does offer several useful fixes and improvements, it still leaves the Galaxy Tab stuck at Android 2.2, aka Froyo. With the launch of the Motorola Xoom and other upcoming tablets sporting newer Android versions, will Tab owners ever get beyond Froyo?
Though unsubstantiated rumors have surfaced claiming the Tab would eventually get a newer OS, Samsung has so far been mum about any specific OS upgrade plans for the 7-inch Tab. The company seems to be more focused now on prepping three new versions of the Tab, including a 10.1-inch dual-core edition and two "thin" models, one with an 8.9-inch display and the other with a 10.1-inch display, each running Honeycomb.
A developer on the XDA Developers forum managed to create a hack that does let current Tab owners upgrade to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. But as is the case with all such hacks, users are warned to proceed at their own risk.
Tab owners using Sprint as their carrier also recently received an update in the form of an "ID pack." This pack includes updates to Android 2.2 and Adobe Flash and also offers a collection of wallpapers, widgets, apps, and other gadgets to choose from.