Here at DroidDog, all of our writers are usually in constant contact, using a group chat client to organize and converse among ourselves. More than a few times we have disagreed with matters, and last Friday was no exception. Dima Aryeh, one of our writers and a longtime friend of mine, felt that it was a good thing that Samsung is releasing a ‘stable’ update for his Tab 10.1. He has taken to the site to write his opinion on it, and the following paragraphs will express mine.
Back in early June of 2011 (seems a lot longer than a little over a year ago, I know), Samsung released the Tab 10.1. It was considered the luxury tablet of new Honeycomb tablets, with a slim design and powerful internals. A few months later, Google released the full Ice Cream Sandwich code to the world. That was in November of 2011, and now, 8 months later, and the Tab 10.1 is finally getting its official taste of Android 4.0. You read that right, not 4.1 Jelly Bean, but 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.
It took Samsung 8 months to update the Tab 10.1, and while the update is supposedly “stable” (something manufacturers can’t always say), 8 months is a very long time in this industry. Jelly Bean, the successor to Ice Cream Sandwich, was officially released to the world before the Tab got the update it had been long needing, and this not only speaks of the lack of care by Samsung, but every Android tablet OEM out there.
ASUS did a great job with updating one of their tablets, the Transformer Prime. The update was released earlier than expected, in fact, at a CES keynote on January 6th. That’s less than two months after Ice Cream Sandwich source dropped. Granted, it wasn’t fully functional from day one, but within a week ASUS sent out another update to make thing nice and stable. With that update, ASUS proved something: a stable Ice Cream Sandwich could be done in two months or less.
Did any other manufacturer even get close to what ASUS did? Not a chance.
And beyond that update from the Transformer Prime, ASUS got flaky. The original Transformer’s ICS update damn-near destroyed the device, and it took months before things could be deemed stable. At that point, my hope was lost in terms of Android updates for tablets. They took less priority than a phone would, and with good reason. Honeycomb tablet sales weren’t too great for the most part, so manufacturers decided to update their phones first. That doesn’t mean something like the Tab 10.1 can be forgotten, though. 8 months is far, far too long.
In that 8 month span many things happen. There was a new iPad, the release of a Nexus tablet, and the announcement of Microsoft’s own foray to the tablet world. Those 8 months treated owners of the Tab 10.1 poorly, and at least one commenter on our site has stated he sold his Tab for the lack of updates.
So, now it’s time to wonder when the current generation of tablets will receive their updates. Will it take another 8 months for Samsung to update the Galaxy Tab 2? What about ASUS and the Transformer Pad Infinity? The coming months will be hectic for the tablet market. With rumors of an iPad mini, the upcoming Microsoft Surface, and the next Kindle Fire, it’ll be tough for a stock Android tablet to fit in. If Samsung could prove to consumers that they’re actually capable of keeping their products up to date, there’s a chance they could move some tablets.