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When is the Verizon Galaxy Nexus Going to Receive Jelly Bean?

Verizon’s version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was released on December 15, 2011. At that time, Big Red customers all thought they had hit the jackpot. This was the first time since the original DROID that they would be able to lock into a 100% stock Android phone with an unlockable bootloader. Not only that, but as a “Nexus,” it should receive updates before the rest of the world and in an incredibly timely manner.

On day 1, it received an update to Android 4.0.2 – life was grand. Then the next day, Google announced that Android 4.0.3 was the new starting point for Ice Cream Sandwich and the waiting game for it to arrive on Verizon’s version began. As you all know now, we waited almost 6 months for that update to arrive. In fact, 4.0.3 never did show up. Instead Verizon skipped it in place of 4.0.4, which was nothing more than a bug fixer.

But now, Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) has been announced and is already rolling out to every GSM Galaxy Nexus on the planet. As you can imagine, every Galaxy Nexus owner on Verizon has asked countless times, “When will we get the update?” 

It will receive Jelly Bean

First of all, the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon is going to see Android 4.1, no matter what. It’s the most current “Nexus” device and since other versions of it are already receiving it, we have no reason to suspect that this version won’t. Not that any of you were questioning this idea, but we just want to make that clear.

But when?

Well, if you go off of the previous schedule for the 4.0.4 update, we could be looking at upwards of 6 months. Since we have no other time frame to go off of, you shouldn’t be surprised if it takes a while. We should also point out that the jump from 4.0 to 4.1 is much larger than the jump from 4.0.2 to 4.0.4 was. In fact, Android 4.1 is big enough to warrant a name change, but beyond that, it introduces so many new features that it would take us an hour to list them all out. Again, if it took 6 months to push a bug fixer, how long could it take to push a significant update?

What’s the holdup?

Unlike other Nexus devices, this one requires carrier approval on updates before Google can release them. The updates still come directly from Google, but Verizon wants to sign off on them beforehand and that’s what took the update from .02 to .04 almost 6 months to be released. I hate to say it, but if we have to wait for Verizon’s extra long testing process on 4.1, you can uncross fingers and try to get comfortable with 4.0.4 for a while. VZW is known for having one of the slower more thorough testing practices when it comes to both devices and updates. We would have hoped that this process would have been streamlined for a bare bones Nexus, but so far that hasn’t been the case.

Seriously, when can we expect an update?

If you want Jelly Bean today, go ahead and root your device and flash one of the many Android 4.1 custom ROMs that are available. If you are only into official builds that come from Google, it could be weeks or even months. Unless there is a separate team at Verizon dedicated to testing only Galaxy Nexus builds, I can’t imagine they are going to drop testing of ICS for the Rezound, Spectrum, Bionic, and DROID 4 so that G-Nex owners are happy. While that would be ideal to many of us, it’s probably not a reality.

I know that doesn’t give you much of an answer, but it does lay out the process and the past. We know that not all of you are into ROMs, but the quickest way truly is to take advantage of your Nexus phone and think about rooting it and tossing on a custom Android 4.1 ROM. If you are afraid to, don’t be. It’s almost impossible to do anything to your phone that it cannot be recovered from. Google has given you the stock files to return from anything disastrous. For the time being, feel free to dabble and hack, you may learn something or find a new passion for Android. Not only that, but it will help pass the time while we wait for the carrier barrier.

  • Everyone needs to remember that it took Google until the end of March to release 4.0.4, Verizon’s update appeared 7 weeks later. Unlikely to take 6 months as the author stated.

  • jrfergy

    Verizon claims it is Samsung that is holding up Jelly Bean. Who is really responsible, Verizon or Samsung?

  • don omar

    Flashed JellyBean Bugless Beast Toro and it works amazingly smooth

  • don omar

    Reading this article made me finally unlock my boot loader and root my phone. The wugfresh was self explanatory. But it did wipe everything out, including picks.

  • yummypocalypse

    Fark waiting. I am about
    to do the root canal to my

  • Woody Fentress

    Wugfresh Nexus Root Toolkit is seriously a lifesaver for backing up, unlocking and rooting for someone like me who has not rooted a phone in over 2 years and has no idea what he is doing. I was about to walk away from the idea of rooting but my mostly android clueless ass was able to follow his instructions and app very easily.
    Hope this helps someone out there!
    Just putting it out there in hopes that more people use it!

  • cgmartin33

    Just wanted to say that I am a Motorola fanboy (since the OG)…over the years went to the DX…Bionic…now RAZR running ICS and couldn’t be happier. I stayed away from the GNex because of the radio issues, poor build quality, etc…but on Amazon’s 1 penny day I added a line and couldn’t resist. Holy sh!t this think is badass! Within an hour I was unlocked, rooted, running Vicious V1 (based off of 4.1.1) and overclocked to 1.8ghz. I feel like I did with my OG Droid customizing everything from the battery indicator to the navigation control height and color. Call quality is great…no data drops…no WiFi issues…feels just like the RAZR but much faster and running JB..Love this thing and can’t beat it for a penny 😉

  • A Network locked Nexus is NOT a true Nexus… Simple…

    Also, being a Nexus device, you need not always need your operator’s permission to enjoy latest and best Android experience… Root it, flash custom ROM, ENJOYYYY….

  • Chris

    I went to the local VZW store yesterday to get some help with my GNex voice connectivity issues, still having occasional, but less frequent, mic mutes (or whatever they are) and sometimes my phone doesn’t connect to the network when I dial out. The sales person gave me the typical run around telling me that the issues are from their upgrading our local network to LTE and that there are also some known issues with the GNex and Charge. She claimed that the phones had the same issue and that a software fix is coming “ASAP”. When I asked what ASAP mean, she said, “who knows with these guys, it could be tomorrow it could be next week”. She then said she could give me another GNex but it would have the same problems. So I just thought I would include to this discussion what I found out. Of course it doesn’t really mean anything, just one more example of lack of support from VZW.

  • Idk what y’all are talking about my Verizon gnex already has 4.1…….I do t know of this slow update process you speak of ???

    • Yes, we get the joke. You know how to flash a ROM.

  • Well, mine received JB about 12 hours after it was announced. If your question is when will it OFFICIALLY receive JB… probably about the time the next OS comes out.

  • Gr8Ray

    I really don’t get it. Out one side of your mouth, you complain about locked bootloaders, while out the other side, you’re complaining about slow OTA updates. Seriously, WTF? The whole point of unlocking a bootloader is to manually flash updates. If you want to wait for OTA updates, get a Droid and STFU.

  • Russell Sprague

    It’s a nexus, it suppose to be rooted. The root process is so easy on this phone, there is no excuse not to root it. Why wait, JB is the best android build so far, get to rooting!

    • HueThree

      You almost have to root if on Verizon

  • VZWDicks

    My Maguro has it already. If you have Toro you should probably root if you want JB, cuz Verizon isn’t giving it to you anytime soon. They are dicks…but they are giving you what you wanted right. Family Shared plans are more important (lucrative) than updates. Go carrier unlocked and enjoy freedom. Tell VZW to eat it.

  • John Hance

    Some of these JB builds have been really iffy for me. I finally found one that doesn’t get stuck in a bootloop every time I turn it off (JellyBelly 3.7), but the actual performance doesn’t seem much better than ICS. I’d like to know how VZW tests these phones and why they have a >6 month queue to release an update.

    • Jwhap

      Bugless Beast is close to flawless! I have ran Jelly Belly, Vicious and Vanirbean and BB is smoking them all! you should check it out he just released a nightly 2 days ago.

  • Guest

    Suckers!! And you think Verizon cares about its customers?

  • trust_worthy1

    someone point me in the direction of the most stable ROM for the VZ gnex please. I haven’t rooted, but I think its time. I cannot wait 3-6 months for JB. That’s insane for a “nexus” device.

    • jk

      i’ve been running razor’s jelly for the past three weeks and have not had a single problem, not even one reboot the whole time. it’s by far the most stable rom i’ve ever run. it’s not based off of 4.1.1 but it’s been spectacular – i don’t have a single complaine.

    • Jwhap

      Bugless beast seems to be the most stable from what I have come across so far. A good majority of them are running very good though. Vicious, Jellybelly and Nexusbean are all good.

  • Lamar Sumner
  • trust_worthy1

    thanks so much. I was waiting for a story like this from DL. I may root. I rooted and ROM’d a Nook Color, but that was a while back. I’m rusty. I might just hold off until CM10 RC1

  • Absolutely. I learned a lot unlocking, rooting, and flashing ROM’s on my Verizon G Nexus. Verizon has the best service by far in my area, so I am stuck with them. I’ve been running Jellybean for a while. My girl liked it so much that we got her a Galaxy Nexus and rooted and Jellybean(ed) it… LOL.

  • markuz

    All I got to say about this is F*** Verizon!!!!!!! They get paid every month but they don’t want to do their job! F*** Them!

  • SecurityNick

    This is one clear advantage that iPhone users have. Apple obviously bullied the carriers with their contracts that did not either 1, require them to test updates or 2, doesn’t even give them the option to test updates. It’s kind of ridiculous that Apple has that much power over the carriers, but it’s even more ridiculous that they bow down. Apple pushes out updates, and everyone gets them. Also, buying an iPhone is even a different process than any other phone at Verizon. They actually have a different ordering and payment process. It baffles me.

  • ABerry5

    simple answer.. 2 weeks ago .. but now i’m on 4.1.1 for about a week now