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I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. I love it. I think Google's default honeycomb UI is fine, but Samsung wanted to improve upon it with their own UI called "TouchWiz". Following an annoying trend however, they released their device before their software was finished and promised to provide the new UI and software enhancements in a future update.

Well, that update is now available, and my tablet has been nagging me for more than a week to apply it. I keep hitting "postpone". If the update includes bug fixes or improved functionality, then I might be better off applying it. But I'm a bit worried about performance. It seems to me that alternative home screen managers, Windows explorer shells, browser toolbars, and other UI "enhancements" available on the various platforms tend to bog down the system, put their little hooks into everything, and just generally get in the way. I'm also worried that applying this patch might disable something in the vanilla functionality that I need. I haven't heard that that's the case, but it's not unusual for manufacturers to turn off functions that the vanilla Android OS has built in.

So, what I'd like to know is, will applying the software update for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 cause any issues that I'd want to know about? Will it hurt performance? Will it take up tons of system resources? Will it disable features I need? I'd love to see a post-TouchWiz review of the machine from a major tech publication, but I haven't found one yet.

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I don't have a Tab so I won't answer, but I much prefer TouchWiz on my Galaxy S. It doesn't seem to slow down the phone noticeably; the lag everyone complains about on the SGS is due to the RFS filesystem, which is why I am using an ext4 FS. –  Matthew Read Sep 2 '11 at 16:43
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Well, nobody seemed to be able to answer this question, so I went ahead and applied the update.

Overall, I'm glad I did. I haven't noticed any significant change in performance. I could take or leave most of the UI changes included in Touchwiz, but there are a few things in the new UI that are very nice. One is that toggles for things like bluetooth, wifi, and auto-rotation are now immediately accessible in the notifications pop-up when you touch the notification tray. Another nice thing is a dedicated screenshot button that appears next to the regular android buttons in the control bar at the bottom. Press it at any time for an instant screenshot.

I haven't noticed that any features have been disabled. I don't have a 3G-capable tablet, so I don't know if the "portable wi-fi hotspot" functionality would be affected by the update. But everything else I've tried functions as it did before.

Also, an unexpected bonus to the upgrade is that Samsung released a bunch of new apps bundled with the new UI, some of which are very useful. The ebooks app especially is nice for me, it reads EPUB and PDF files, and it formats EPUBs better and performs faster than some of the other apps I've tried (like FBReader). There's also an app for making adjustments to photos, and a few others that I haven't really used.

The new TouchWiz UI also includes a handful of mini-apps that can be launched from the android control bar at any time. These apps appear in small windows that float over whatever other apps you're running, and they can be moved around. None of these apps are really awesome, but some are useful. For example, you can bring up a mini-view of your calendar, a small music player, or a note pad you can type into or draw on, without leaving the app you were using before. It's kind of a neat idea, although I'm glad this isn't a standard android feature or there would be way too many apps written this way, and Android would lose a lot of its ease-of-use.

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