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How to Install Android 4.0.3 ICS on the Galaxy Tab 8.9

January 4, 2012

Until the Galaxy Tab 8.9 gets an official, stable release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Galaxy Tab 8.9 users have an option of trying out an unofficial alpha build of Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich. A team of coders from XDA Developers has put together a ROM which gives many users a taste of what it would be like to run ICS on their Galaxy Tab 8.9.

Before you get too excited about this preview, there are a few snags that are worth mentioning. This release is quite buggy. Some of the features that don’t work are the camera, 3G, YouTube HD videos, and Google Voice Search. Wi-Fi, however, can be used, as well as GPS and Bluetooth. If you’re willing to overlook a few catches, then this alpha may tide you over until Google officially releases ICS for the Galaxy Tab 8.9.

If you’re still determined to install this alpha of Android 4.0.3 ICS onto your Galaxy Tab 8.9, you’ll need a few things before you begin:

  • A rooted Galaxy Tab 8.9, with ROM Manager and ClockworkMod Recovery installed
  • Android 4.0.3 ICS for the Galaxy Tab 8.9
  • Google Apps package (gapps) for the Galaxy Tab 8.9

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Download the Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich update package for the Galaxy Tab 8.9 from here. Save it to your computer.
  2. Download the Google Apps (gapps) package for the Galaxy Tab 8.9 from here. Save it to your computer.
  3. Connect your tablet to your computer using a USB cable.
  4. Copy both ZIP files to your tablet’s SD card.
  5. Disconnect your tablet from your computer.
  6. Run the ROM Manager app on your tablet. Tap the “Reboot to Recovery” button to reboot your device into ClockworkMod Recovery. (If this doesn’t work, reboot into ClockworkMod Recovery manually.)
  7. In the recovery menu, select “Wipe Data/Factory Reset”.
  8. Under Advanced, select “Wipe Dalvik Cache”.
  9. Select “Wipe Cache”.
  10. Once you’re done, navigate to “Install zip from SD Card.” Then, select “Choose Zip from SD Card” and select the ICS update file to start flashing it. Repeat this step for the Google Apps ZIP file.
  11. From the main menu, select “Reboot System Now”.
  12. Once your device has rebooted, set up your Google Account.
  13. Download and install a CPU control app of your choice. This build has been tested with SetCPU, No-frills CPU Control, or Antuantu. Set the app to “interactive governor”.

If you notice that the device boots slowly and apps start slowly the first time, don’t worry. It’s expected, since this ROM is a deodexed ROM.

The team behind this alpha build is still working to fix a few more bugs, but until then, enjoy your alpha copy of Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich on your Galaxy Tab 8.9.