Being an old device, the Galaxy Tab 2 will no longer receive official OTAs from Samsung, which means that you won’t be able to test the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS. That’s true only if you want to keep everything like in the book; but if you want to spice things up a little bit and play with the internal system of your tablet, you can choose to flash a custom ROM, which will ensure the Marshmallow system among other dedicated features, apps and capabilities.
Now, for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, the CyanogenMod platform is currently the best option you can choose, if you want to flash a custom ROM. The new CM 13 release is based on AOSP Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS and brings further features that cannot be found on the default version of the Android software. Through these dedicated features and in built settings you can then tweak your tablet in order to bump its speeds, upgrade the battery life, reduce the reboot / power on time and improve the general performances by optimizing the RAM usage and by customizing the Android UI.
Basically, with CM 13 installed, your Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 can run better and faster than before, while you will be able to use a stable and a smooth version of the Marshmallow firmware. However, do note that you might also find some minor software related issues along with all the other features and apps. The CM 13 software isn’t released by CyanogenMod, but by those of xda-developers, who managed to bring compatible Android 6.0 updates for all the Tab 2 models – as you will see below, you can download compatible ROMs for the Tab 2 7.0 with the version numbers of P3100, P3110 and P3113, and also for the Tab 2 10.1 with the version numbers of P5100, P5110 and P5113.
Before deciding whether to resume the guidelines from below or not, keep in mind that CM 13 is not an official Marshmallow update released by Samsung for your Galaxy Tab 2. The CM system is an unofficial ROM that is only based on the stock Android OS, but which comes with its own features, apps and UI. Moreover, the firmware is developed by third party devs and has nothing to do with Samsung or with Google. Bottom line, the result is that you will now lose the warranty of your tablet.
Thus, in a few words, starting from now, taking your device back to service will imply in paying for any technical assistance. That’s why, I usually recommend a dedicated troubleshoot solution through which you can resolve, by yourself, almost all the Android software related issues that might be caused on your tablet by this process or by other similar custom operations.
Moreover, since it is an unofficial operation which can be only manually completed, you first have to prepare a few things – the pre requisites will be explained below, so read all the lines from this tutorial before doing anything else.
Now, the best way in which you can avoid unpleasant situations from taking place is by making a Nandroid backup. This operation will save the current Android OS that powers your Galaxy Tab 2. Thus, if the CM 13 firmware will not run as expected, you will be able to use the Nandroid backup for going back to stock.
As mentioned, you can update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, only if you first take care of the pre requisites; all these preparation tasks are being detailed during the following list of tasks:
- Root your Samsung branded device because a custom ROM such as CM13 can be successfully flashed only on an unlocked device – and gaining root access is the only way in which you can unlock the Android system that already runs on your tablet.
- Install a custom recovery image on your device – use CWM or TWRP recovery if that’s possible. Through this environment you can make the Nandroid backup and you can also wipe the system and clear cache on your tablet (these operations are required during the Marshmallow update process). Also, through the custom recovery image you will finally flash the firmware file, so you cannot complete this guide without using CWM or TWRP recovery.
- The Marshmallow update file and compatible Google Apps package must be first downloaded on a computer, so make sure you can use such a device, along with your tablet’s USB cord.
- If you have problems while trying the download the mentioned files, temporarily turn off the security protection from your computer.
- On your Galaxy Tab 2 you have to gain Developer Options: tap several times on Built Number, an option which is located at “menu – settings – about device”.
- Moreover, on your handset check the USB Debugging option from the following path: “menu – settings – developer options”.
- It is important to observe the battery status on your tablet. If the power left will be lower than 60%, a good idea will be to plug in the charger – skipping this process might put your Tab 2 in a danger place, as if your device will get turned off while you will try to update its system, different software related problems might be issued and you might end up with a bricked handset.
I mentioned something about a wipe. Yes, clearing the internal storage system of your tablet is a must or else the CM13 ROM can’t run properly. Thus, due to same reasons you can end up in losing everything that’s important for you. Of course, making a backup is therefore the operation that you must complete before doing anything else. So, sync your data with your own account, use other cloud storage platforms or download dedicated backup and restore apps from Google Play and save everything you might use afterwards – on your way, don’t forget about internet settings, EFS folder, contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, calendar info, saved passwords, IMEI / NVRAM data and so on.
That’s it; now you can safely resume the steps from down below.
How to Update Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (all models) to Android 6.0 Marshmallow with CM13 Custom ROM Firmware
- On your computer download the proper Android 6.0 M CM 13 firmware file for the version of your Galaxy Tab 2: for the Tab 2 7.0 with the version numbers – P3100 (here), P3110 (here) and P3113 (here), and for the Tab 2 10.1 with the version numbers – P5100 (here), P5110 (here) and P5113 (here).
- Don’t forget to download compatible Google Apps from this page.
- Now, save the update file and the Google Apps package on your desktop.
- Then, connect your Galaxy Tab 2 with your computer with the help of the USB cord.
- Transfer the downloaded files on your tablet and when done, remove the USB connection.
- Now power off your device and wait while the shut down process is completed.
- Next, enter recovery mode on your tablet.
- The first thing to do from recovery mode is to wipe the system. So, select “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvik cache”.
- Aferwards, go back to main menu of recovery and from there choose “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
- Pick the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS and install CM 13 on your Galaxy Tab 2.
- Then, repeat the last step and pick the Google Apps package and install the same on your device.
- When done, from main menu of recovery select “reboot system now”.
That was all. You can now test the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS on your own Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Do check how CM 13 runs on your tablet and don’t forget to share your results with other users who might be interested in trying out this dedicated step by step guide.