Samsung will release a new update for the Honeycomb-powered Galaxy Tab 10.1 that fixes a lot of common problems with Android’s tablet OS.The update, which brings Samsung’s TouchWiz skin to the Galaxy Tab, will be available to the public on August 5 as an over the air download. I got my hands on TouchWiz for Honeycomb today. Keep reading to see what I think.
The update is Samsung’s TouchWiz skin for Honeycomb, which adds a bunch of new widgets and apps for Honeycomb that can run in the foreground without closing the app you’re currently using.
The apps are pretty basic, including a calendar, notepad, and music player. Samsung also updated Honeycomb’s control dock with a new look that appears a lot more user-friendly than the one included with Honeycomb.
There are a bunch of widgets pre-loaded now, including Social Hub for managing your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. You’ll also get the typical clock, weather, bookmark, and mail widgets. Honeycomb has been missing these since the beginning.
Finally, Samsung included Swype, the keyboard modification that lets you type by sliding your finger across the keyboard. Many Samsung Android phones use Swype on their keyboards now.
The update will be available to Galaxy Tab owners beginning August 5. You can download it directly to your Tab.
TouchWiz Makes Honeycomb Better, But It’s Still Far From Perfect
I’ve only been using TouchWiz on the Galaxy Tab for a few hours, so this is far from a full review. But I can safely say that Samsung did a great job at targeting many of Honeycomb’s flaws and making them better.
That’s better, not perfect.
I like that there’s now a control panel to control things like Wi-Fi, GPS, aeroplane mode, etc. from the notifications menu. Before, Honeycomb made you dig through the settings menu to do that.
The Music Hub, Samsung’s music store, has a decent selection with 11 million songs. It’s not as robust as iTunes, but it should get the job done for most people. Android has been missing a solid music store for years.
Media Hub, the store for downloading movies and TV shows, doesn’t have the best selection though. The library is populated with a bunch of sub-par videos. Again, I think iTunes is much better for video, but Media Hub is a sorely-needed feature for Honeycomb tablets.
To get a full taste of what else is new with TouchWiz on the Galaxy Tab, check out my screenshot tour below.