I have a Galaxy Tab 7" WiFi running Android 2.2.1. This particular device will be used for business purposes (I am working on developing some local custom apps for my department), and I would much prefer to use Honeycomb instead, due to the encrypt device support.

However, reading around I understand I will lose some functionality if I manually upgrade. What will I lose?

Also, as an addendum, if I upgrade but it does not work out, I assume I can do a factory reset. If this is incorrect, please let me know.



  • Were you looking at this build or is there another one floating around? That one seems to be more of a novelty than anything else, honestly. Developing for it seems like it would hardly be worth it :-/ Jun 19 '11 at 22:11
  • @eldarerathis - How did you come to that conclusion? Jun 19 '11 at 22:20
  • @Jared: Well it's basically the SDK emulator image made to boot on a Tab since that's all they have to work with. They call it an "Alpha" and say in the description "Using an alpha rom can be very dangerous. Don't just flash, because you see its HONEYCOMB, read everything very carefully first!". It also looks like it doesn't have 3G, screen rotation/gyroscope, GPS, bluetooth, mic support, hardware acceleration, or stable audio output. It's an impressive effort to get it working, but it definitely doesn't seem to be feature-complete or stable. Jun 19 '11 at 22:28
  • Actually, some of that information looks like it's in the GSM thread but not the CDMA one. They seem to be the same base ROM, though, as far as I can tell. Same developer at least. Jun 19 '11 at 22:29
  • @eldarerathis - Hmm, that's interesting. So you're saying unless I want to walk on the wild side, I should probably stick with Samsung's Froyo on the Galaxy Tab 7"? Jun 19 '11 at 22:34

I realized that I'm going on and on in comments for no real reason but perhaps this is better suited for an answer.

The only Honeycomb build I'm aware of for the Tab is this one on XDA (there are two versions, GSM and CDMA). It is, for all intents and purposes, a bleeding-edge attempt to get Honeycomb running on the Tab. The developer refers to it as an "Alpha" and essentially says to expect things to be buggy.

Since there is no public source code for the 3.x releases of Android yet, the build is based on an extracted image/filesystem from the Android SDK, meaning that it is not optimized for the Tab and probably lacks 3rd party drivers (excepting any official 2.2 drivers that happen to be compatible with 3.x).

The GSM thread lists the following as "not working" under the current build, meaning this is the minimum you should expect to lose:

*Gyro (no rotation, there is an app installed but rotates wrong way)
*Settings window not appearing when expanding from the Notifications menu
*3g data nor phone abilities
*hardware acceleration
*SD card on boot
*headphone audio

In general, builds like this show up on devices when a new major release appears in the SDK but they tend to be fairly unstable and also fairly slow. The videos I've seen of this ROM appear a bit more performant (in general) than other SDK ports I've encountered, but your experience may vary.

As for restoring, the "Factory Reset" option doesn't usually touch system files on most devices, from what I know. It's possible I'm mistaken on this and that the Tab does actually restore the firmware, but I'm not incredibly familiar with the Tab. You'll probably want to do a little digging to see what a "Factory Reset" actually means (might be in your manual, perhaps).

That being said, there are instructions for getting a Verizon Tab back to stock here, and there might be similar ones floating around for other carriers. If you can get a custom recovery on to your device then you can simply back up your system before trying Honeycomb and then restore from the backup. The easiest way to do it is probably just to install ROM Manager and flash ClockworkMod recovery from there. There appear to be manual instructions about but they vary by carrier.

Personally speaking: I would not use an SDK port for anything other than showing off to people (which can admittedly be a whole lot of fun). In a production environment I definitely wouldn't risk it, and I honestly never kept them installed for more than about 30 or 45 minutes at a time to play with before restoring to a stable ROM. They were fun sneak-peaks, but I've always found them highly unreliable (though "your mileage may vary" is probably a good catch phrase here).

Edit: A word of caution to Wifi Tab users, this post on one of the Honeycomb threads indicates that the current ROMs (as of 6/19/2011) WILL NOT WORK on a Wifi Tab. I personally can not verify the validity of this statement, but this would not surprise me as other devices (e.g. the Xoom) have similar incompatibility among ROMs.

  • @eldarerathis - I certainly appreciate your efforts; I'm still working on figuring this out, and wish that Samsung had better update support (obviously, that's a known issue). I'm not actually using a GSM/CDMA device though; it's a WiFi device (perversely, a GT-P1010). Does that change anything? Jun 19 '11 at 23:14
  • @Jared: That may actually mean that these ROMs could brick your device :-/ I have a 3G Xoom and I know there's actually some differences under the hood in the firmware. People who tried to install 3G ROMs on Wifi Xooms have all kinds of nasty trouble with them. I'm not that familiar with the tab, but this post claims similar incompatibility issues. Jun 19 '11 at 23:21
  • @eldarerathis - You certainly raise many good points that are easy to miss for the novice. I appreciate you helping me understand the issues, especially since I'm sure I would have gone ahead anyways. Hopefully, others will see this question before they go too far. Jun 19 '11 at 23:28
  • @eldarerathis - This is an aside, but I probably need to encrypt my apps database on Froyo. Any ideas? Thoughts? Jun 19 '11 at 23:29
  • @Jared: To be honest, I'm not really familiar with the best way to handle that (never tried it myself). I feel like I saw a Stack Overflow question about it recently, but I don't think I ended up reading it, ironically. Jun 19 '11 at 23:52

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