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Galaxy Tab Firmware Update ‘JMG’ (Europe) – Worth Having!

Posted on 26 April 2011 By Steve Chippy Paine


Update: See notes about wifi below. I’m still having problems.

I haven’t been keeping a close eye on Galaxy Tab firmware updates as I’ve been very happy with the stability but, in preparation for V2.3 which appears to be confirmed, I took the chance to set up Kies, the Samsung phone/tablet management software this evening. I downloaded and installed the latest firmware for my region and ended up with an update to the ‘JMG’ version which dates from late March.

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Interestingly, it did more than I thought it would.

The AllShare DNLA app seems to be updated (although it still doesn’t work with my Vista-based media center,) the Gmail app is updated to the latest version (supporting some great new features) and there’s a new Social Hub application. At least I think it’s new on my Tab!

More importantly though. The device is working more smoothly. it could be that a firmware re-build has deleted all the cache and temp files but there’s one other test that proves it’s more than just a clean-up. DrumKit is an application I use to test the touch latency of the Tab and other Android devices. It has steadily been getting better over time through developer optimisations but I have never seen it this responsive. It’s far from perfect (actually far from usable in any serious manner) due to the delay that still exists but it’s noticeably better. Version 2.3 has specific enhancements for touch responsiveness so it will be very interesting to see how it improves with the big 2.3 upgrade.

Other things I’ve noticed (that may or may not be new!) Take a look at the new Sunspider result.

  • The application library seems to be sorted by alphabet. (Or was it originally, with new apps just being added to the end of the list?) Update: No changes there.
  • My Wifi connectivity didn’t come up as default. Despite settings being saved it switched to 3G data. Update: It dropped my Wifi connection a few times while I wrote this article. That’s not good. Update 2 – After 2 hrs my wifi seems stable. Could be because 2 members of the family with 3 wifi devices have left the room. Will continue to monitor this. Update 3 – it dropped again and locked into 3g mode.
  • All screen layouts, widget setups were lost
  • Am I seeing a few new widgets? Date,Time,Weather – Dual Clock? Not too interesting though.
  • Fonts – Look smoother. Maybe the font even changed slightly. I noticed it when I went into WordPress. I’m also seeing some changes in color to improve contrast in some pre-installed apps. Calendar for example.
  • Sunspider 0.91 – Using Dolphin Browser – 5948ms.
  • Sunspider 0.91 – Using default Browser (All running applications closed) – 6009
  • Original sunspider result from my review – 8455ms. The results show a 30% improvement in JavaScript processing speed.
  • Quadrant -  1007 (Original result 1050)  The I/O part of the Quadrant result is still very poor.
  • Benchmark Pi – 1423ms –  (Original result 1387) Slight slow-down.
  • Linpack – 6.07  (Original result 5.94) Slight slow-down.
  • Readers Hub new design. (Clearly I need to update the apps within it though and that wood effect still looks very plastic to me!)

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I’m sure there are more changes under the skin too and many more aesthetic changes I haven’t seen yet. Maybe, however, you’ve already got these features. My Tab was an original from the first batch and has only seen one firmware update since launch and of course, while these updates are welcome, it’s Gingerbread we’re really waiting for right?

10 Responses to “Galaxy Tab Firmware Update ‘JMG’ (Europe) – Worth Having!”

  1. daniel says:

    The Drumkit lag is due to the intrinsic Android audio latency, not to the touchscreen interface. Regards, Dan

    • chippy says:

      But there’s an intrinsic touch response problem in pre 2.3 android afaik. Its fixable in 2.3 by the use of new libraries. You could be right though. Audio delays would have the same effect. Thanks for bringing it up.

  2. Mike Cane says:

    Is Gingerbread even possible? I keep having one dev insisting GB is for X-sized/density screens and NFW will any 7″ tablet get it. Personally, I expect Samsung to kill the model you have and come out with a new one more in line with the design of the 8 & 10 models coming this year. I really do not like the design and feel of your Tab. The face is ugly and sharp and the plastic feels cheap and slick. Nice HxW, but too fat in depth.

  3. thaikhoa says:

    Hi,

    What exactly is the firmware version after updating? I’m looking for an update for my Galaxy Tab for a half year.. thank to Samsung.

  4. saheela says:

    thaikhoa if did’t receive the update through Kies you could use odin.

    Chippy i heard there is a customized Kernel which could speed things, even touch sensitivity and transition smoothness.

  5. thaikhoa says:

    Hi saheela,

    The problem is that I don’t have any experience using Odin. Is it easy to use? Do I have to remove the battery by using Odin?

    Thanks!

  6. peare says:

    Most important issue is the wifi. As noted in the review it drops constantly, and my data plan is consumed. That is terrible! Shame on you Samsung! It never reconnects, scanning is active though. You have to manually reconnect the wifi, and for how many minutes, God knows. The other downsize is that the bootloader is locked with this one and you wont be able to try a cooked (not signed) roms

  7. saheela says:

    make sure your tab is in recovery mode (i think this what they call it) while the the tab off hold volume down then hold power until the mode is activated.
    odin is very easy just check all check boxes at the top left, check PDA and browse to the update file from here http://www.samfirmware.com/fwandroid.htm.

  8. Ben_Voigt says:

    WiFi is still okay on my Tab after the update, but I had to switch my language setting from Deutsch (Deutschland) – German (Germany) – to Deutsch (Schweiz) – German (Switzerland). Both the Germany and the Austria setting now use the azerty keyboard layout (that’s the French and Belgian layout) instead of qwertz.