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Five Months Ago Today the Galaxy Nexus was Released on Verizon, It Hasn’t Been Updated Since

If anyone told you back on December 15, the day the Galaxy Nexus was released on Verizon, that it wouldn’t receive another update for at least 5 months, would you have believed them? I wouldn’t have. But that’s where we stand now that it is May 15. The G-Nex, as we like to call it around these parts, was bumped up to Android 4.0.2 on release day and hasn’t budged since.

Two different and “official” Android 4.0.4 updates have leaked, along with an Android engineer pointing out that carriers may be to blame for the slowness, but none of it matters. Here we are with a “Nexus” that feels more like a skinned mess of a phone at times, supported directly from an OEM or better yet, the carrier. Is this a Nexus? Yeah, it essentially is. However, if your definition is that a Nexus should receive timely (or before anyone else) updates and be supported by AOSP “officially” from Google, then the line has been blurred. 

Who is to blame for the lack of support? Your finger can be pointed in a variety of directions. The Android team has been able to push updates to every other Nexus on the planet other than the Verizon variant of the G-Nex, so I think you have one option there. Verizon’s call centers (at least according to our readers), tend to point out that the update is coming from Samsung, so there is another culprit. And Samsung, well, they shouldn’t have anything to do with it since Google is producing the fully-stock software.

At this point, I don’t care who is to blame. It’s beyond all of that nonsense now. The problem here is that stock Android 4.0.2 is garbage. Hell, even Google knew that, having announced the day that the Verizon Nexus was released that Android 4.0.3 would be the new starting point. Dating all the way back to my week at CES, I can tell you that this software should have probably never been released to the public. My phone would reboot at least a dozen times a day while completing a normal task, the battery life was horrific, and at times, the mic would cut out during calls.

And yes, I know that custom ROMs are all the rage. I’m a part of that crowd. Love me a good ROM. However, not everyone bought this phone to make it their own custom Android playground. They bought it because it was stock Android, with zero bloatware (OK, almost zero), and most importantly, for the fact that it should receive updates more frequently than any other phone. So much for that last part.

  • Verizon and a true Pure Android device just don’t work together. Verizon made a deal with Google to install crap ware, “My Verizon Mobile and Backup Assistant”. Google caved because they needed there brand to get out to as many people as possible. But Google learned that this hurts the Pure Android “Nexus” brand, it will be the last time Google plays with Verizon like this. Anyone wanting a pure Android phone should stay away from Verizon.

  • Five Months Ago Today the Galaxy Nexus was Released on Verizon, It Hasn’t Been Updated Since*


  • dooooood

    Techsup just said 5/22 to moi.

  • Just got this from Verizon Wireless Customer service (wfmmwirt) after I kept pushing my complaint about the bugs and lack of an update in the last 5 months. Issues that have kept me from using my Galaxy Nexus for any calls that are important or serious. After a few emails back and forth they simply started blaming Samsung.

    “I have reviewed the previous emails and I know you are waiting a software
    update to fix a lot of the bugs that are on the device. I receive many emails
    like this and I wish that I had the ability to expedite the process on sending
    the update. Unfortunately, this update comes directly from Samsung. I know this
    information was provided from the previous representative but I would like to
    provide the direct number to Samsung so that you may receive even more
    information. Samsung can be reached by dialing 888-987-4357.”

  • Cefiar

    Meh. Verizon is further up the chain than Telstra (Australian carrier).

    On Telstra, the GNex still at 4.0.1. No OTA updates at all.

    Stupid carriers.

  • Yes, but…
    I recently traveled to Paris on vacation and, since the Galaxy Nexus won’t work there, I got a world phone from Verizon through their Global Travel Program. The two Android options available through the program (Droid 2 Global and Incredible 2) were all loaned out, so Verizon gave me and my partner LG Fathom Windows devices. Using them made me feel like a stroke victim who used to be able to perform a particular task (say, use a touchscreen, look up information on a webpage, or play Words with Friends). The only way to “turn off” data usage was to create settings that don’t work–there’s no off switch.
    The thing I missed most during the vacation, other than my pets, was my Galaxy Nexus. I missed it more than my car, more than my TiVos, more, even, than TV. It’s got it’s issues, yes, but I would gladly go two years with the current unupdated OS rather than switch to anything other than another Android 4.x phone.
    BTW, device manufacturers should be begging Verizon to use their best new devices for this program. What better way to get customers to switch device manufacturer or OS next time they get a new phone, than to loan clients the best, latest stuff? Giving us old devices made us think poorly of the makers of the device (LG), the OS the device was running (Windows Phone), and the provider (Verizon).

  • I know everyone has to start somewhere. I know enough about computers and phones to be dangerous, BUT where do I start? Is there a link or somewhere that I can look that will take me from step one to the final rooted GNEX? I would love to learn how to root my GNEX without bricking my phone, that way I can be part of the rooted community. Especially now with the information about the unlimited data plans being changed.

  • itswhip

    I’m soo tired of waiting. When I got the Dinc on its release I quickly became connected with the world of rooting and ROMs and kernels and such… but once CM7 came out, that was it. They perfected it and I had no more use for tinkering.
    I used that ROM on that phone until I got the Gnex (VZW v). To be honest, I got that phone for the pure Android experience. I didn’t feel like going through and learning how to root again, and testing out ROMS and kernels and doing 5 Nand restores a day. I thought GOOGLE would be PUSHING UPDATES to this phone.
    I’m seriously thinking of going to Verizon, telling them that they falsely advertised the device I bought, hence negating my contract. The only reason that I won’t is because I’ve been a VZW customer for 15 years (like they care–$30 upgrade fee??) and I have unlimited data at a fixed rate.
    It’s seriously so out of hand, and I should have known after the long wait for Gingerbread on the Dinc, but I figure “Nexus” IS GOOGLE’s phone, NOT Verizon’s and things would be different. In a world where change is the only constant, I suppose being the same is different.

  • Scott Holstein

    I live in a rural 3g only area. The signal strength in db on my gnex has been terrible from day one. I have held on and on and on hoping new radios would help, but none of them have. I resort back to my old DX2 because the signal in db beats the pants of the gnex. The camera does too. While I would rather have ICS than gingerbread, all operating systems suck when you can’t get a signal. The gnex playing second fiddle to the DX2? I would never have thought so, but if you live in a sub par signal area with no 4g service, it certainly does. I know people in strong signal areas who are completely satisfied with the phone. I have traveled to 4g areas and used it…it is amazing then…but for a daily driver where I live, it can’t compete with a DX2…unbelievable and not what I would expect form a “nexus.”

  • Happy VZW GNex Owner

    Rabble rabble rabble. You bought a phone on Verizon. Switch carriers. I heard that Sprint has a two Nexus phones and that they have Google Wallet and Google Voice integrated as intended. I personally love my GNex on Verizon, problems and all. When it updates and I get better battery life, great. Better signal, great. No reboots, great. My phone lasts for 17 hours on an extended battery. My signal issues are minimal. I plan ahead when I am going to be in a poor signal area and I change settings. Not hard. I understand what I bought and it was not Verizon’s unicorn. It had all of the features that I wanted on the network that I wanted it to be on. Get over your first world problems.

  • this is my last Verizon phone im gong back to ATT

    • Q

      Have fun being throttled.

  • edmicman

    My money is on no updates until Google IO, where they will push out Jellybean to the VZW Nexus.

  • Chet Stovepiper

    im running an aokp 4.0.4 and i STILL have 3g/4g handoff issues. I drove over a bridge that is a data dead zone yesterday and couldnt get my music streaming for about 5 minutes after that.

  • cherriza

    I will tell you my experience with the GNEX. Yes I am upset that it hasn’t gotten an update that’s one reason I waited for the GNEX because my OGDroid got updates quickly I thought this would be the same. I haven’t had the problems that most describe but I will tell you I bought an extra battery and my phone started rebooting and shutting off by itself and rebooting to the android screen like it was trying to install something. When I had my other battery in my phone worked fine. So I took the other battery in and made them replace it. They told me it couldn’t be the battery and ordered me a refurb phone along with replacing my battery. With the new battery I haven’t had any problems with my phone at all.

    It may be the battery.

  • trevorsalienarms

    Granted, it took three tries but since I got this third Nexus a couple of months ago (via Amazon), it’s been absolutely flawless on 4.0.2. I mean, completely and utterly issue free and I totally love it. I have zero interest in rooting/rom’ing, and I don’t think that’s a pre-requisite to owning this device either. In fact, that’s a silly concept, that’s it’s ok to accept faulty equipment because of the “developer’s phone” caveat. Puh-lease. Developer phone or not, the thing should be useful as a *gasp* phone… at the very least.
    Having owned two Nexuses with the signal issues, I know first hand how massively disappointing and frustrating the situation really is and I hope 4.0.4 shows up soon and actually addresses the problems for those that are still hanging in there.
    I still wonder though, that if the delay isn’t intentional to try and force as many devices with bad hardware out of the market through attrition because the software update is incapable of fixing the issues. So to lessen the impact of releasing an update that is perceived as not fixing anything, they are waiting for a certain percentage of faulty devices to be returned or exchanged before proceeding.
    Sounds a little extreme, but I could see this happening before anyone at Samsung admitting there was a problem with hardware. Everyone assumes software updates can fix anything, but what if they can’t?

  • Oldman_58

    If you want a stable incredible build look to BAMF… I have been running their ROM since the beginning all I can say is WOW… incredible work.

  • no

    My Thunderbolt still has no ics ……..

  • Darkseider

    Seems to me that Big Red is the culprit here. All the other G-Nex handsets out there on carriers all over the world are getting updated except for this one. Me thinks that Verizon sucks ass.

  • Dom Suppa

    and thats why I traded up to a Maxx. Firgured if i wasnt getting updates from google on gnex anyway, might as well have a better phone.

  • Magnus

    Its simple really…VZW will not release an update for the Galaxy Nexus until other devices on the network start getting ICS. Then magically the Nexus will get it…they do not want their skinned versions looking super far behind the Nexus.

    Sad really because with the new multiple Nexus thing and buy direct option ALL VZW customers are going to be screwed…here hoping for a AT&T promotion like bring your Unlimited Data Plan to us or something. Otherwise only options on VZW are going to be skinned “Droids” and the iPhone.

  • brando56894

    I understand the situation is different with the GNex since it should be getting updates frequently, but I’m in the same boat with my Rezound. I was told back in November that it would probably get updated to ICS within a month or two. Here it is 7 months later and IIRC not ONE update has been issued. Definitely no mention of ICS over half a year later. We know they’re working on it since we have 3 leaks and I’m currently running the latest one but 7 months with no update for any device is pretty damn ridiculous.