John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Samsung Galaxy 7 Plus ICS Update

The long awaited update to Ice cream sandwhich (4.04 to be specific) for my Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 plus finally arrived. I actually had given up on it ever coming. I had to update the Samsung hub first then the update came through. It was a smooth and painless procedure that could be done over the air or using Samsung Kies. I have been told by numerous friends that it’s not a huge update from Honeycomb (Version 3).

On initial boot it does have a shiny new feel to it. The lock screen is different. And overall it feels smoother. My homescreens were all 100% wiped out. The Launcher changed to non alphabetical (this took me a minute to find how to put back). I had actually thought it had uninstalled a few apps, but it hadn’t. Once I had those figured out I was off to the races. The center button now is smaller making typing a little easier (I use to hit it by accident on the on screen keyboard).

There are a number of places to control system font which is nice (Accessibility font size, and display font size). I look forward to this on my phone. More than I recall on Honeycomb. And definitely more than Gingerbread.

Samsung have included a new app called SamsungDive which allows you to find your device, make it ring, lock it, and even wipe it. I had trouble with this at first. I had to manually delete the Samsung Account and manually re-add it to get this going.

Samsung have removed the restriction keeps apps like AndFTP from writing to the SD card. Woohoo. This is an awesome improvement and one of the things that has hinder my ability to use a uSD card! Yippee! If nothing else was new this is enough!

Kies air (a web interface to your device) is not included in the ROM but can easily be installed. Not sure if you could add it when Honeycomb was on it or not. I don’t recall.

I don’t see anything new in Allshare (Samsung’s DLNA client). Still can’t stream to a remote device other than a PC. No idea why this limitation exists. It would be nice to be able to use my phone to stream to my tablet (basically using the phone like a remote control, as well as being able to keep content on one device) but this doesn’t work. Pooh.

Allshare Play is talked about and allows cloud based playback of photos, movies, music etc. The tablet doesn’t seem to have Allshare and is not in the list of compatible devices. One of the neat features of this is the ability to auto upload the pictures you take off your device to cloud storage. After some digging I found “At present, you can register only mobile devices that have the AllShare Play application installed. However, we are planning to support downloading the application for previous models in the future.” in the FAQ. Pooh

The menuing system allows you to hide applications. I like that! You can use it to hide apps that were part of the ROM you can’t uninstall but never use!

The individual apps have been freshened. The music app has a nice (for me) interface. Video app still includes the ability to delete (my Captivate does not) yay! Right from the video you can change the output device so you don’t need to go into Allshare to do it. Nice.

I have noticed a number of programs in the market place that are not compatible with ICS so this is something you should be aware of. You could loose a program you really like or need.

You never know if upgrades are going to break things you like and use. I’m happy to report HDMI output and video playback work as well as they did before. Smooth bright and vivid. I output to a 40″ LED screen from it and it looks great!

Unfortunately there still is no support for NTFS or ExFAT so still no way to have video files greater than 4G on the uSD card. So you will have to use local storage for that.

All in all this is a welcome upgrade and I look forward to when my phone is upgraded and have both on the same version of the OS. Thanks Samsung!


August 25, 2012 - Posted by | Android

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