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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.

  • amen ramly

    if i rooted my phone..will it automaticly update when jb released?

  • yarrellray

    Thank God I am not on this wheel. The Galaxy Nexus on Verizon is HISTORY in my world. I welcome my smooth working Galaxy S3 on Tmobile now and I couldn’t be any happier. I killed three birds with one stone. I dumped Verizon for Tmobile and it’s superior GSM HSPA PLUS 42MPS network, I dumped my poor reception and piss poor signal strength Galaxy Nexus thank God for that, and now I can wait for the next new Nexus coming November which will be brought from the Google play store. My Galaxy S3 bitch slaps any silly Verizon Galaxy Nexus even if it has jellybean.

  • Was deliberating “to flash or not to flash” since Google IO. But this post did it. Flashed 7/19 nightly Bugless Beast JB. Was paranoid before as had burned my fingers while flashing 4.0.4 before. This is what I did this time, if anyone in my situation wants to know –

    1. Took a full backup of the apps and data with Titanium bakcup root.
    2. Synced/Uploaded all these backups to Dropbox. (In case sdcard gets wiped)
    3. Used “FolderSync” to upload other important sdcard data to dropbox.
    4. Boot into CWM touch (wooo-hooo) and factory reset, wipe cache, wipe delvic.
    5. Flashed the rom zip. Reboot
    6. Thank god it didn’t boot loop. Initial Google login dance and I was in.
    7. Open play store and install Solid Explorer & Titanium Backup root.
    8. Thankfully SDcard wasn’t wiped and everything was still there. Else I would’ve had to download my backups to my sdcard.
    9. Fireup Titanium Backup; it detects the backups. Switch to batch operations and click “restore missing apps with data”.

    This is currently going on in my cell while I am typing this.

    Compared to horror of last 3 flash, this one was breeze.

    Issues with this ROM – any download from Play Store is taking too much time to start. Once download starts, it finishes fast. But start takes time.

  • trigun123478

    I have rooted and installed jelly bean and I love it. The point though is that Verizon shouldn’t be allowed to have this much control. I *******Verizon for this. I mean why doesn’t google just pay a bunch of money to ensure the Verizon Nexus gets updates pushed. I mean I wish google had the power apple does. I want to leave Verizon so bad but no other carrier has the coverage in my area. sigh.

    • Apple doesn’t have any more power than Google does. Apple just hides it better. They delay releasing GSM builds until their CDMA builds get approved, then they push them both at the same time.

  • Its another life lesson. Not to buy a carrier branded Nexus. I’m riding my contract out

  • MrEnglish

    Here’s the answer I got from VZW today:
    Hello (redacted), My name is Steven. We apologize for any confusion regarding Google’s recent announcement of Android Jelly Bean. I too will be waiting for this new version of the Android OS when Google releases it. I have read many articles about Jelly Bean, there are many of them stating phones that Google has implied it will be available for first, but it is still being developed and tested. There has been a recent release of the SDK version by Google, this is a developer version of the software and is not considered a finished product. When new software is developed we do need to have extensive testing of the product on the phones it will be released for, before it can be sent out as an update to the public. This process is collaboration between Google (the software developer), the phones’ manufacture, and Verizon Wireless; please understand that this process takes time. We hope that Google and us are able to get this software upgrade soon after Google has released the finished product. We appreciate your business and loyalty. Please have a wonderful week. Sincerely, Steven Verizon WirelessCustomer Service

    • trigun123478

      I hate Verizon

  • CHRIS42060

    I’m just biding my time until the end of my contract with Big Red. My next Nexus device will be purchase from Google and activated on a GSM Carrier. I commend Google for attempting to reach out to us CDMA folks, but giving Bid Red so much power over the “Google Experience” is so unfortunate.

    • interstellarmind


  • UrDoGG

    I’m tired of Verizon’s tactics, so I’m going to root and rom my GNex this weekend so I can get JB. I’m looking for a really good totally stock JB rom (like as stock as they come). Can you guys give me some suggestions?

    • Tyler Chappell

      Bugless Beast is probably your best option. The one by Team Vicious is pretty nice too.

    • BuglessBeast great rom strick AOSP, only problem I’m having with all JB roms are GPS lock

  • BB Rockin out!

    Finally gave into peer pressure. I’m now rooted and sporting BB. I must say it is awesome! Now I’m back to ROM update addiction like I was with the OG Droid.

  • Str8Rippin

    FNV JellyBean ROM is running like butter…

  • chuckg73

    Does iPhone software updates get the okay from Verizon before it gets pushed out. If not then why is Google playing this game

    • Yes, Apple has to go through the same approval process so I’m told.

  • fanboy1974

    Last time I used a factory image was on the first day I got my Nexus and I never looked back. Within 10 minutes I already unlocked my device and had a custom rom up and running. At this stage having a unlocked bootloader beats out the importance of having timely updates on Verizon. Imagine if the Rezound had a unlocked bootloader from day one. For me that phone had more hardware potential but because of the silly workarounds I got a Nexus. And now look where HTC is. So as of today I still love my Nexus and I prey that Verizon gets another one this year with unlockable boot loader.

  • I can’t believe Verizon basically neutered a Nexus! Its the one phone that is supposed to get timely updates. This is beyond horrible.

  • Sith77

    Welcome to what rezound owners have been going through since nov, Verizon is horrible ………..absolutely horrible . I can’t believe their lies and bs . Then to see today that their quartly earnings report showed that their profits were up almost 50% that should show you they could care less about updating and more about making u buy new devices …..@ssholes

  • guest

    this post and the comments under it inspired me to root my phone. just installed pete’s bb… google now/siri-like thing is cool. working on getting all my old apps back on…

  • One question. I have an unlocked GNex and want to root and rom to Pete’s BB. Do I need to uninstall Google Wallet first so that it doesn’t lock up my NFC chip? Once I figure this out, its time to rom.

    • no u dont but make sure you wipe etc before flashing

  • I unlocked and rooted the first day I had it. I’m sorry to say that OTA isn’t what Nexus is all about. Nexus is about taking the power away from the carrier and putting it into your own hands.

  • Goat1202

    I’m unlocked but not rooted on Verizon. I heard you can flash stock jelly bean but will then be rooted. Where could I find this and would I flash it like I would a leaked OTA with CWM?

    • Check rootzwiki or XDA. They’re not 100% stock, but are community-submitted builds.


    If you don’t have Jelly Bean on you Galaxy Nexus it’s your own damn fault.

  • name

    Sorry guys but must ask what bout RAZR and the d4

    • Droidalicious

      Don’t hold your breath

  • Steve

    As my “Flagship” Tbolt waits for ics..

    • Jwhap

      ………yeah. I would sell it on ebay and get a nexus!

    • bwhahaha pathetic god you give me flash backs of when i use to actually hate my phone

    • tyguy829

      I somehow dont think its coming. Didnt you hear the desire hd’s ics was just cancelled due to “performance issues”…they are pretty much the same phone so i’m skeptical

  • wm snyder

    The wuggs root tool kit, titanium backup, rom manager and 4.1 rom

  • Ok, this article put me over the edge. Is there a walkthrough on droid-life explaining how to root and rom. Sorry, I am a newbie.

  • Fear-mongering, eh?

    • How do you come to that conclusion?

      • In the article he suggested it could take longer than 6 months. We have no idea, really. So saying oooh, this could be another huge mess is fear-mongering. How do you read this site and not realize that Kellex likes to sensationalize?

  • MrEnglish

    Guess I gotta crank up my winblows machine and put the root to the Gnex, cuz I sure as heck am not doing it on a mac.

  • MrEnglish

    I am so close to rooting and rom’ing but this phone is so important to me insomuch as I use it primarily for business that I don’t want to take a chance, oh screw it. Time to break away from VZN’s BS hold.

    • Jwhap

      you will have better performance from most of the jellybean roms than you will get on stock ICS.

    • all your apps will work just go with bb jb

  • Jroc869, Cool story bro

    I just got the white gnex and when I got it I noticed it was a yakjuxw. I thought that was only for verizon nexus devices but i saw some posts with other people having gsm nexus devices that were yakjuxw. I wasnt getting the update and I just ended up flashing the factory image for 4.0.4 yakju and that worked for me. I have no clue if you can do that with a verizon nexus but like I said i was able to flash it to my gsm model.

    • yakju/takju is GSM only. toro/toroplus are CDMA.

      • Jroc869, Cool story bro

        Thanks for the clarification this confuses the hell out of me lol.

  • I’m never buying a nexus on verizon

  • Tyler

    Currently running Vicious 4.1.1 v1. Its been good but what are some other ROMs that are getting updates? I was thinking about pete’s BB 4.1 rom. Any other good ones?

    • Bugless Beast is the best one I’ve seen so far.

      • Jwhap

        I still have not tried it yet. I started downloading it today but got to 28% and had to leave wifi……It looks great though. Any known issues on BB?

      • / agree

  • But remember, 4.0.3 never even made it to GSM Galaxy Nexus phones. It went straight to 4.0.4. We got 4.0.4 on our phones about 6 weeks after that happened. I say it’ll be sooner than that since we gained AOSP though. It won’t be that much longer.

  • Alright I’m on a non rooted G-Nex I’ve really thought hard about rooting but as far as JB roms are concerned wouldn’t the GSM version work with our LTE version ? I think I read something that they are nearly identical and could work on either device? Also if I do ever feel confident enough to root what are some key rules I need to always remember?

  • I wish Google would go the Apple way does with pushing their own updates to Nexus devices and if carriers don’t want it, oh well, its not up to them. Apple has it good — they aren’t impeeded by the pathetic shenanigans of all the carriers holding back their stupid updates (among other things, like only having two screen sizes to build for and all).

    I don’t understand why they don’t do this and I don’t understand why we let Apple get away with it when Google can’t. It’s not fair to Google, the manufacturer, or the customer and only helps fuel “fragmentation” talk and makes Apples misinformed keynotes sound better.

    PS: I’ve been on Jelly Bean since the first leak and was rooted long before that. The rest of my four friends with Gnexs aren’t though, and they’re wanting JB features…

    • What most people don’t understand is Apple’s CDMA iPhone updates go through the same approval process. Apple just holds off and releases both GSM and CDMA together once they’re all approved for release. That way it makes it seem like there’s no delay.

  • BrianCherry

    I want to know when the Nexus S is going to receive Jelly Bean since im using Windows 8 and the drivers and Rootkit arent compatible which prevents me from installing custom ROMS

  • Frank Davis

    And.. not to mention, we Verizon Xoom owners got the ics update like 4 month after it was released to wifi owners.

  • randompsychology

    I’m running with Jelly Belly 3.6, and I have to say–the battery life on Jellybean in general is *incredible.* Even the ports from GSM G’Nex had better battery life than ICS. LTE is still a bit of a drainer, sure, but in every other scenario, my phone could run for multiple days on Wifi.


  • HeartStrong07

    I believe the best strategy to speed-up OTAs is for more people to unlock, root and flash ROMs. Honestly, it is not difficult and it add to the fun/value factor or the Galaxy Nexus.

  • MikeSaver

    Would someone be willing to hold my hand while I root for the first time to get Jelly Bean? By that I mean help me via e-mail and direct me to a good ROM.

  • nightscout13

    OG Droid will probably receive JB before the Verizon G-Nex does.

  • tech247

    Rolling with Bugless Beast already with JB Verizon binaries. Only suckers wait for Big Red to fulfill their desires…..

  • Merlin

    Too bad there wasn’t any carrier testing on the last update for the original Incredible. Seemed to have trashed almost everyone’s phone. Or, maybe that’s what Verizon wanted.

  • The problem with unlocking the bootloader for people who haven’t done it the first day is that they will lose a lot of their data even if they backup and restore. I found that many of my games weren’t back up. It really sucks that very few developers choose to save their app’s data on Google’s server, and it’s unbelievable that Google still doesn’t realize it is a problem — you don’t have to unlock the bootloader to be bothered by this problem. Everytime when you change to a new Android phones, you will lose your app data if you are not root and aren’t using something like Titanium Backup.

    • Jwhap

      I had to go through this when I unlocked and rooted my phone in February. I honestly never thought I would need to because I was going to get updates first. When that did not happen, I took matters into my own hands. But loosing everything kinda sucks!

  • William White

    For those of you on the ‘just root do it now OMG you’re an idiot if you don’t, there’s no reason not to!!!’ train, please be aware that there are people like myself who use this phone for business in addition to personal use. Many business apps–such as Good for Enterprise–do not function on a rooted device. As a result, we can’t root our phones and are stuck waiting on official updates.
    Could I go back to carrying two phones, having the BlackBerry for business and rooting/ROMing my Nexus to my heart’s content? Yes, but the advantage of having just one phone outweighs my desire for the latest and greatest OS update.
    Just wanted to mention this, as I’m getting sick of seeing so many people say there’s no reason not to root. I know users such as myself are a minority, but we are out there.

    • kervation

      Totally agree. If it makes sense for you personally then that’s great. But for some people rooting is not an option. The GNex is stiil a great phone either way.

    • randompsychology

      You can actually install a custom ROM without being rooted. Yeah, most of the custom ones come pre-rooted, but there are ways of disabling that.

      To my knowledge, apps can’t detect an unlocked phone, only a rooted one. So, you really could actually use a custom ROM in a business setting. 🙂

      • SolipsisticPsychologist

        See, example well illustrated. Very courteous advice, but yet those who root just cannot fathom, or be content with those around them having an independent opinion, or the gall to not root their device. “Yeah that is great and all that you are completely fine with a stock device, but here is a way you can root it anyways. Join us, all those who do not are morons”.

        • Got your panties bunched up awful tight tonight eh? Randompsychology never insinuated the guy was any of the colorful adjectives you’ve got coming out of that pent up nerdrage. William said “hey I can’t root my phone cause my apps won’t work, so I’m stuck on the official rom”, Random said “hey, thats not quite true, if you want to there are options”. Then you came in all stompy like a three year old hopped up on sugar ranting how “omg you’re being a dick to the guy, whahahahaha” all because he offered a suggestion. I suggest you check your meds, you’re a little off there pal.

          • Seth Crain

            Actually solipsisticpsycology said that about ALL who root, not just randompsycology. So who’s the close minded biggit now?

        • me987654

          It’s actually a horrible travesty that devices don’t come rooted. It amazes me that people are willing to pay so much money for something they don’t even have control over

    • Sergei

      It’s not true. I have rooted phone and Good for Enterprise is running with no problem.

    • AMEN. Wow, I’ve been trying to write those exact paragraphs for a couple months. Props, bro.

    • SolipsisticPsychologist

      Yeah you will always see that elitist condescending attitude anywhere there are root discussions going on. If you don’t do what everyone else is doing, well you are just wholly inadequate and very worthy of mindless drone scorn. Or to put it in Netard speak “you’re doing it wrong! umadbro?! I not mad, I mad homosexual though, yagnawlawmeenz?! LOL (but I’m not literally laughing out loud, in fact I’m not even snickering to myself) umadbrosexual?”. I saved people the time and frustration of hiring a Netard translator, you are quite welcome.

      • jaydub

        what….. what are you talking about? have you been eating peanut butter? Because it sounds like you have been eating peanut butter..

    • ostensibly

      overall you’re probably in the majority, just in the minority here 😀

    • JimboAndroidDude

      I totally agree with William.
      More people are using personal devices (BYOD) in the workplace. Bring your own device is growing very fast and MDM systems check OS versions and kicks out jailbroken and rooted devices from connecting to corporate networks. Over the next year BYOD will be even more common and those people will be impacted if they Root their phones. Small minority today, good number of them 12 to 18 months from now.

    • NorCalGuy

      I believe in cm it comes not rooted and then you can choose levels of root when you want to use it. Also what about using an app live voodoo ota root keeper and just frees root for work and then root and ROM when you want to have fun(rooting and in rooting take only a few seconds with this app)

    • ABerry5

      I rely on my phone for work.. navigation, calls, emails 12 hours a day… what you are saying is exactly why I didn’t root for 5 months.. when I did I realized I was a complete idiot for not doing it sooner

      • Gr8Ray

        ^- This!

    • me987654

      It’s unfortunate that companies choose to use software like Good with anti-employee settings. I’d laugh at my employer and move on if they tried that here, but I realize not everyone is in that position

  • NYAvsFan

    I’m enjoying some Vicious Jellybean on my unlocked GNEX. Why, was Verizon planning on getting JB at some point as well??

  • why does it take 9 hours to download BB?

    • will bartlett

      i thought you got rid of your gnex

      • Busted.

        • Jwhap

          That is funny! Though I have to agree, the size of bugless is a bit crazy!

  • Rob

    And is it just me or is anyone else wondering if there is a “buttered popcorn” version of JB? I friggin’ LOVE buttered popcorn flavored jelly beans. It seems that people either love em or they hate em.

    • SolipsisticPsychologist

      Heck yeah, I love those Jelly Belly’s! Those and the spicy cinammon and Dr. Pepper ones are my favorite jelly beans.

  • Anonymous333

    Ok somebody help me out…i also dont want to wait for verizon anymore so please tell me whats the best place to root my phone and what is the best jelly bean ROM out there?

    • kervation

      As far as best place, Rootzwiki & XDA have some good tutorials. Start a Google search like “How to root the Galaxy Nexus” will bring you a ton of info. As far as best ROM, that is alway subjective based on personal preferences. Just take a look in the forums and see what the community votes up or down. Good luck!

    • duke69111

      Just an FYI, Unlocking your phone will wipe it.

  • Rob

    How complete are the JB ROMs out there? I have seen a few that lacked some features; just curious really.

    But then again I don’t remember if what I have read is for the SGS3 or G-Nex (regarding the completeness of the JB ROM).

    • Our ROMs are complete. Check out Bugless Beast. SGS3 doesn’t have it since the locked bootloader happened

  • otter34

    Really good article.

  • Trevor-kai Craig

    This is a great article that reminds me of the wonders of having a ROOTED Nexus device (which Verizon is trying to get rid of as well).

  • yep

    i haven’t read the comments yet but I’m assuming this is the part where everyone with a Nexus says “I have Jellybean. I manually put it on and I love it blah blah.”