Some weeks ago, Samsung announced that an update for the Galaxy Tab would start appearing in its Kies update and media sync program. Any Android update usually generates a lot of excitement among certain people, especially us Labs bloggers.
Samsung doesn't make it easy, though. When we connected our Tab to a laptop running the latest version of Kies it detected an update, but it wasn't the 2.3.3 we were hoping for. Instead it was a minor security fix. No matter how much opening and closing of the app, or pressing the 'check for upgrade' button, Kies wouldn't play ball.
But Kies isn't the only way to get an update to 2.3 on your Galaxy Tab. There is a more risky process that forces an update of your choosing onto your device. We had done this before with a Samsung Galaxy S, so felt confident having a go.
We shouldn't have been confident, because it was our ruination. The update didn't go well, and we ended up with a device that was essentially 'bricked' (it wouldn't boot up). It's lucky for us that Samsung makes kit that's well designed and resilient to this sort of thing. Recovering a tablet or phone in this state is possible but, even when we thought it was fixed, the tablet would reboot every time it was put into standby mode, rendering it unusable.
So, more online instructions were needed. Thankfully thegalaxytabforum.com came to our rescue. A thread on the site explains how to install Gingerbread on your Tab and gives detailed information about each step.
We wouldn't recommend that anyone tries this themselves (it's a heart in mouth moment even if everything goes well) but, if you're someone who needs to test security or other features before updates hit the mass market, updating before everyone else can be handy.
It was all worth it, too. The interface tweaks of Gingerbread and the increased battery life have given a new lease of life to our trusty 7in Galaxy Tab.
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