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Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi gets ICS

Samsung is updating most of its tablets to Android 4.0 and now it is Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi’s turn. It turns out that Samsung has rolled out Ice Cream Sandwich update for Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Android powered tablet in the United States.

Several owners of this device have already reported on various websites that they have been able to upgrade their device to Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. The update is, however, restricted only to Wi-Fi only version of the tablet. Given the track record of US carriers making their customers wait for system updates, folks out there owning Samsung Galaxy 8.9 and locked to a carrier can expect extended period of waiting in order to receive the update.

The reason why carriers take so long to release updates is due to the fact that carriers actually test the firmware before releasing it to their customers. Sometimes, there may be a carrier specific overlay which needs to be tested so that their customers don’t have a bad time with it. Nevertheless, those few people who bought the overpriced AT&T 4G HSPA+ model will have to wait for few weeks, or may be months!

Owners of WiFi only version of Galaxy Tab 8.9 should be able to pull down the update now. If you don’t find the update, you know the drill to check for updates: Settings > About device > Software update. The update will run you about 313 MB. At some point in time while following the drill, you will be prompted to install Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The update will take some time to happen as the file that needs to be downloaded is pretty big. Speed will obviously depend on the WiFi network you’re connected to. Those who like to make easy things difficult, apart from OTA update, you can also update your device by tethering the slate to a computer via USB connection. With Samsung Kies application on a PC, you’ll have your device up and booting Ice Cream Sandwich in no time.

It’s good that Samsung has finally decided to bring out the update to Galaxy Tab 8.9 as it has been running Android 3.0 Honeycomb since its launch last Fall. The South Korean technology giant first updated its GALAXY Tab 10.1 offering to ICS, and had also released a list of tablets which were scheduled to receive 4.0 update. Below is the schedule:
GT-P6210 Galaxy Tab Plus 7.0 WIFI
GT-P6200 Galaxy Tab Plus 7.0 WIFI + 3G
GT-P6810 Galaxy Tab 7.7 WIFI
GT-P6800 Galaxy Tab 7.7 WIFI + 3G
GT-P7310 Galaxy Tab 8.9 WIFI
GT-P7300 Galaxy Tab 8.9 WIFI + 3G
GT-P7510 Galaxy Tab 10.1 WIFI
GT-P7500 Galaxy Tab 10.1 WIFI + 3G

Many of the above devices have already received the update in several markets around the world. Going by the schedule, Samsung is right on track.

Galaxy Tab 8.9’s update will bring in several changes over the Honeycomb it has been running until now. Android 4.0 ICS is of course a vital update as it is and will make the device compatible with several apps from the Play Store which requires the device to be running Android 4.0 or later version of the open source operating system. Apart from the usual Android 4.0 ICS features, the update will also bring Samsung’s own Touch Wiz UX interface changes. You can expect an all new user interface, improved browser, better multitasking support and many more.

Apart from the new features, Samsung seems to have also conducted some bug fixes and enhancements which should improve the user experience and solve the issues owners have been facing on Honeycomb. That said, ICS can bring in some bugs too.

If you’re planning to update using Kies software, make sure you’re running the latest version of Samsung Kies and have a minimum of 50 percent battery life before attempting to update.

Do you own a Galaxy Tab 8.9? If yes, let us know how the update is treating you using the comment form below.

Quick device review: Samsung GALAXY Tab 8.9 is the younger sibling of GALAXY Tab 10.1. As the name suggests, it has an 8.9 inch touchscreen, but the most attractive design feature is its 8.6 mm thickness. Yes, Samsung’s GALAXY Tab 8.9 is 0.2 mm thinner than the iPad 2 (which was the market leader at the time of launch). The 8.9 inch screen has a resolution of 1280 x 800 (a higher PPI ratio than the XOOM, which sports the same resolution, but on a 10.1” display). Equipped with dual core 1 GHz Cortex A9 processor on Nvidia Tegra 2 T20 chipset, the device weighs only 470g. GALAXY Tab 8.9 comes in 16/32/64 GB storage flavors and 1 gig of RAM.

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