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Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus is Now 3 Updates Behind Other Nexus Devices

If you were looking for one reason why the new Nexus 4 is not tied to a carrier, look no further than the Galaxy Nexus that is available at Verizon. The device, which carries the “Nexus” name, is now three updates behind the rest of the Nexus family of devices, something I don’t know that anyone could have imagined or predicted when it was first released almost a year ago. I don’t necessarily think we need to question whether or not this is a true Nexus, but I think now more than ever, it’s safe to say that the carrier approval process when it comes to updates, is about as broken as it gets. 

On June 27 of this year, at Google I/O, Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) was announced to the world. By July 9, it was headed to AOSP, followed by a rollout to the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus the next day. Before July was over, the XOOM WiFi received the update, along with a couple of minor updates to the Nexus 7, which was running Android 4.1 out of the box. An entire month then went by before we saw the first Galaxy Nexus LTE leak of Jelly Bean, a build that would eventually become the official build. That was on October 28. On September 21, Verizon approved Jelly Bean for the G-Nex as build JRO03O, almost three months after Google had announced it and more than two months since the non-carrier Nexus devices received it.

It’s now November 29, and we have seen Android 4.1.2 come and go to all non-carrier Nexus devices, along with the announcement and release of the newest version of Jelly Bean, Android 4.2, which was then followed by a minor update to Android 4.2.1. I know you can count, but again, that’s three updates since Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus received Android 4.1.1. There have been no leaks of any new builds, and at this point, we have no idea if or when the phone will see any of them. I’m sure that it will, because it’s a Nexus, it’s only a year old, and we know it can run the newest software, but since we have to wait for carrier approval, it could be a while. Actually, it has already been a while.

Speaking of carrier approval, this is a brief history of how the update process works. Step 1, Google updates Android and sends a build to Verizon for approval. Step 2, Verizon puts it in their long list of updates to approve for a variety of devices. There is no special treatment, just because it’s a Nexus. Step 3, Verizon’s testing team either approves or denies the update. If approved, they give Google the thumbs-up to make it available to your phone. If it’s denied, it goes back to Google for fixing and we do it all over again. You can see how this process can take a while.

With non-carrier Nexus devices, Google approves the software, and then makes it available to your device. That’s it. Two steps. There is no middle man, hence the beauty of a non-carrier Nexus.

I called the process “broken” up above, but I’m afraid it’s much worse than that. Thankfully, it’s a Nexus, so you can still get the newest build of Android at almost any time, as long as you are down to tinker.

  • And this is why we root!

  • Grand Master CoolWhip

    What do you expect? Verizon Wireless, Too Big to Care…

    Verizon Wireless doesn’t give a $#*& about what customers want. It’s all about revenue. They figure people will still buy the phone so why put any effort into improvements. I can’t wait for Google to come out with their own wireless system.

  • Bob Guy

    We need to make Verizon feel some pain so they push this update through.

    Everyone should call Verizon once a day and ask for the update.

    Ask to talk to a manager, go as high as you can go each time.

  • geoff

    No wonder Google switched to T-Mobile for Nexus 4. Then again you don’t get any updates on that end either..so..?

  • Amenemhat1

    Not mine.

  • It’s true Verizon is delayed, but you can’t count the third digit up dates. The CDMA builds have different third digits than GSM. The VZW load will be one digit higher than the most recent 4.2.x when it drops.

  • Just unlock the boot loader and root. Latest OS in 5 to 10 minutes.

  • wm snyder

    Not mine haha. Verizon needs to refund some money for lack of updates!! It’s not even 18 months yet!!

  • prestone1

    some how iOS updates get released immediately on verizon…guess the nexus doesnt get special treatment but the iphone sure does.

  • John Mayes

    Couple of points

    1. Verizon DOES take some risk releasing a sw build on their network. I don’t know how they quantify that risk but this is one place where Android fragmentation hurts.

    2. GOOGLE really doesn’t have pull with the carriers. Hardware manufacturers do have pull. Apple has a LOT of pull since they make things really easy on the carriers. They have really limited models with HUGE volumes. They have created a tremendous pull. iPhones practically fly off the shelves. And on their limited models, Apple is really good at sw compatibility.

    I am a Verizon Galaxy Nexus user who chooses not to root. I knew what I was getting into with Verizon. But I like their service so I choose to put up with them.

  • Is there some way to get out of the Verizon contract because of this issue?

  • iiBinxx

    This is one of the things that I don’t like about verizon they are ALWAYS behind on updates for their devices

  • Peter Heitman

    I bought the Galaxy Nexus from Verizon specifically because it was a Nexus. I proudly mentioned to people that I would be getting frequent updates and always have the latest and greatest version of Android for my phone. I’ve since installed a custom rom on it (bugless beast) so I’m not waiting on Verizon any more, but I’ll not by a Nexus device from Verizon again. I may as well buy some other Android phone since I’m going to have to root it anyway

  • BrianLipp

    id still rather be with a Nexus on Verizon and be behind on updates (if not rooted) than not have a Nexus on Verizon at all

  • Shartricio

    This is why Google asked the government for openness on the new frequency blocks. The governemnt said ok, and set a $4.6 billion dollar bid to ensure open frequency no matter who owned it. Google then bid the $4.6 billion just to open Verizons LTE, hence why we have the opportunity to download whatever app, and Verizon can’t block. They also will have to accept ALL LTE only phones, but none have been made yet. Google is forcing Verizon into this over time and that is a good thing. Soon with VoLTE and enough coverage Verizon will look more like AT&T, policy wise. Hopefully I’ll still have unlimited data by that point!

  • Mark Wilk

    The Verizon GNex was a necessary experiment by Google and I’d bet is the reason they launched the Nexus 4 unlocked and not tied to any carrier. This strategy should have carriers worried given the price of the Nexus 4 is near subsidized pricing without the 2-yr commitment.

  • DanWazz

    Google needs to remind Verizon that they’re the ones that saved them when Apple was exclusive with AT&T. Kinda B.S. that VZW can’t do Google a solid for this one phone. Also, it’s a learning experience; If you want an Android phone that gets the latest and greatest software, don’t get one on Verizon.

  • cb2000a

    Verizon has serious issues when it comes to having good devices and keeping the software up to date.

  • stewie

    Too bad for the unrooted masses.

  • Great article, no LTE for my Nexus 4? Thank goodness, when I buy a Nexus device I expect the Google updates to roll through, the CDMA GNex is such a mistake, thank you Google for not going this involving Verizon or any other carrier that would get between you and your superb devices.

  • Ryan

    After the Verizon nexus non-launch and this, I wonder why the Nexus 4 isn’t available on Verizon……..

  • dylan84

    To be honest…when they announced the GNex for Verizon I knew that this was exactly what was going to happen. Doesnt surprise me one bit.

  • Stephen Hazel

    Well, verizon is pretty cool with allowing people to root their phones. Mine is running the latest google has and it’s running pretty DANG well.

  • Jon Bishop

    I will never again sign a two year contract for a phone. It wouldn’t be so bad, but I LOVE the new keyboard on my Nexus7 and would kill to have it on my phone.

  • Crack Ass Cracker

    Verizon has officially become a joke. They can’t keep devices up on the latest software and if you have an unlimited plan they will use any excuse to screw you out of your plan.

  • T

    Unlock and Root – Custom Rom = problem solved / end of discussion

    • MrWicket

      while I get your point and have done this myself. it’s not the real solution to the problem. you should root and rom for fun not necessity.

  • Rob Reason

    To be honest i wouldn’t care about 4.1.2 or 4.2.1 they are minor updates but this definitely illustrates how broken VZW’s system is. What I don’t get is why Google doesn’t just release the factory images for the LTE Variant.

  • Michael


  • Mark

    Again, if you buy a Nexus, just root and rom! It’s that simple! 4.2.1 on my VZW Nexus. Jelly Belly 10.3.

  • Mike


  • joejoe5709

    I was very scared to venture into ROM’s until Jelly Bean. I got so sick and tired of waiting that I was forced to learn. For me, it’ll all about the dev community. I could care less what carrier it’s on.

  • Would you call the 2 latest releases from google worthy of an update? With all the bugs that 4.2 brought I’m sure verizon would have rejected it anyways.

  • Fernando Montenegro

    is 3 OFFICLA updates behind!!! I have Nexus Galaxy from Verizon with Android 4.2.1 🙂

  • If you want 4.2.1 on your Verizon Galaxy Nexus, run this ROM: http://rootzwiki.com/topic/36706-romaosp42111282012-shiny-ota-like-stock-android-421-jop40d-no-bugs/

    There are no bugs and everything works!

    It requires no root access and is the stock image that “would be” released by Verizon’s slow-as-molasses ass. Enjoy!

  • Leftlane

    It’s not about Google or Samsung, it’s about Verizon not serving or caring about customer

  • Bigwavedave25

    After the fact that Verizon is a huge bottleneck to releasing Android software updates to its phones…
    Let’s be honest here. The only people who care about instantly having the latest release from Google are those who are constantly reading blogs like this and are generally into tinkering with their phones. Therefore it doesn’t really matter that Verizon is so late to the party. I know this doesn’t slow me down from having 4.1.2 running on my phone. And people like my 60+ yr old parents could care less that they are still on Gingerbread. They are FINE with what they have.

  • Lesser Version

    If someone bought a GNex on VZW for the specs(ok, but not cutting edge when released) or with the expectation that VZW would push updates fast(never happened, never will) then you bought the wrong phone on the wrong carrier. A Nexus is generally known as a phone for people who like to tinker, hack, flash, and develop for. Always running the latest Android version here rooted, unlocked, and rom’d. The only good, OTA updates are from Verizon are updated radios. Doesn’t make it right though….

  • Scott

    I updated my wife’s iPhone 4S to the most recent OS. I downloaded it and installed. Wala. It was ready right away with none of this clearing cache 20 times to force the update. The simplicity was wonderful. Too bad the phone can’t do anything else.

  • markgbe

    Glad I switched to a nexus 4.

  • I just tweeted all the Verizon official twitter handles this article. I hope you all do the same. Maybe if they see enough of it they will start paying attention instead of ignoring us.

  • chad

    there is a reason Verizon tests the build. I wouldn’t want 4.2 with all the bugs it has. I would rather get 4.2.1 or higher when they get the bugs worked out.

  • Verizon are wireless terrorists. As low as they get.

  • renGek

    One way to look at it is that most people who wanted the GN knows what they are doing and will more than likely root and flash roms themselves. So I would expect a large portion of the GN user group won’t care about what VZ isn’t doing.

    VZ is obviously a telecomm company 1st and software distant 2nd, 3rd.. They just don’t have the process in place to deal with stuff like this. In fact, I suspect its to their advantage to not upgrade phones and sell you a new one instead.

    My beef with VZ is not necessarily with the updates since I can manage them myself. My beef is their apple like “I want to control everything” mentality. To the point of preventing users from using something useful like google wallet. I have 1 year left on this contract and then I am done with VZ.

  • Michael Wilson

    So this is how I stick it to Verizon. The only reason it appears to be low in November is due to switching numbers, otherwise averaging 18.9 GB a month with tethering. Fackwors Verizon. Fackwors.

  • While disappointing, I’m not too worried. CM and AOKP are pretty good about integrating the latest versions to hit AOSP into their ROMs and they’re both building for toro devices. 🙂

  • JulianZHuang

    and this is why i left VZN to ATT, GN to i5.

  • What i am confused on is why their phones are never compatible with Verizon. I have heard it has something to do with their Towers? Im not sure but i would like to understand.

    • SeanBello

      AT&T & T-Mobile use gsm technology, who’s drivers are open. Verizon & Sprint use cdma who’s drivers are each signed by their respective carriers. on Verizon, in order for the update to be given access to their network the update is subject to the inefficient process above. same with Sprint, except the gnex isn’t supported because they won’t even give Google access to the drivers so it was dropped from aosp.

  • strows

    I don’t even bother waiting for the update, always running newest version of CM 10. Also once Google goes live with its wireless network Verizon will be a thing of the past.

  • Andrew Campbell

    One reason to not like big red! I rooted my phone for jb after the I/o conference then unrooted it to get the Verizon ota. Now it is rooted again so I could get 4.2. Its an endless cycle with Verizon and it isn’t just the nexus line. I had to root the wife’s inc 2 so she would have ics, something Verizon said they would ota then canceled on

  • nightscout13

    Yet somehow Verizon manages to be #1 in satisfaction?

  • It’s a shame really. It makes me want to switch carriers, even though it means I’d love my unlimited data. I bought a nexus cause I wanted to latest and greatest at all times, not so I can wait 3 months for verizon’s circle jerk.

  • I hope Google fixes this in the next version of Android. They need to make it so the update can be downloaded over wifi and won’t need any approvals by carriers and won’t affect any skins. That way all phones could be updated with the latest software as soon as possible. Also make it so I can have the apps from my main account show up on other accounts on my tablet please.

  • The basterds.

  • omgitzjose

    im still lost as to how Apple and Microsoft got around this carrier BS. the manufacturers need to realize they dont need the carriers the carriers need THEM!

    • coolsilver

      Microsoft always had issues with their windows phones about upgrades. You’ll be lucky to get ONE update at all

      • omgitzjose

        yea but they send updates directly to phones not through the carrier

        • coolsilver

          Not in the Windows Mobile days. No OTA updates were ever issued.

          • omgitzjose

            well im talking about now lol

  • Steven Gonz

    Does Google have enough to buy a few satellites, or more if needed?

  • bassman418

    Not mine.. ….. 😉
    Thank you Mummzy.

  • I dont know why am still on Verizon. If AT&T or Sprint had a good nexus, I’d switch. Its not like Verizon’s LTE is so much better. On the contrary, its just be getting slower as it get more crowded. I live in a urban area where AT&T’s LTE is just as good. And whats up with blocking google wallet when I can’t even get ISIS on my phone. Dumb. Man, I hope Google makes their own wireless network.

    • coolsilver

      I do. Their network of towers. That’s the only reason other than unlimited data for now.

  • Geo

    sad carriers have this much of a hold on manufactures and are not just data tubes

  • Havoc70

    Gee Verizon is behind there is a real shocker

  • That’s why I root!

  • FortitudineVincimus

    A prime example of the over-hyped “Nexus” pure Google experience. Totally dumb.

  • Jesse Priest

    I just wish there was something we or anyone could do about this

  • hate the late update

    Well honestly, we shouldn’t care who has more power over another, shouldn’t Verizon simply give up if their customers want something done about it? After all its all up to the customers

    • Hothfox

      You have to remember probably 5% of their users actually care about AOSP and keep up on the differences in software updates. Some people likely don’t even know what version of Android their even running at the moment. So technically, they are catering to their customers right now – the average user who just wants a phone that calls, texts, has apps, and can web browse.

  • To be fair, I don’t count the update from 4.2 to 4.2.1 as 1 update. I am pretty sure that if the GNex was updated to 4.2 and December was missing, we would definitely receive 4.2.1 quickly.

  • Tom Yarrish

    Ok seriously, when they announced the phone on Verizon who didn’t see this coming? The GNex was screwed up on Verizon’s side from the very beginning.

  • RD

    Google needs to start its own cellphone carrier

    • I would jump the Verizon ship immediately if this happened.

      • Diablo81588

        You would be a fool.

    • Havoc70


    • renGek

      I suspect google fiber is part of that strategy.

    • Bob

      In talks with Dish to launch LTE network.

  • ToddAwesome

    Dammit, dammit, sunuvabitch!

  • Lets actually consider the implications if Verizon didn’t quality test the updates on their phones.

    They could very likely face civil litigation if an update that they push OTA to a corporate users’ phone ends up causing a problem (like the lack of december in the people app).

    I know we here all like to live on the bleeding edge of innovation, but businesses and corporations approach emerging technologies with a lot more skepticism and caution.

    I’m not defending the time it takes for an update to be approved by Verizon (really, it should take no more than a couple days) but I’m saying that the process is there for a good reason.

    I say all of this as a user who just flashed Jellybelly 10.2 to his Nexus the day before yesterday.

    • stevethepirate

      So how and why does Google manage to not have a problem pushing out updates? Presumably they would face the same wrath of litigation.

    • Havoc70

      Sorry i doesn’t take 6 months to quality test a new version that BS. Hold back for a few weeks to test sure that i can say would be smart but the length they take is bull$ hit and everyone knows it

  • Chris Hollenbeck

    The lack of any status updates makes it even worse.

  • EC8CH

    Not Mine 😉

  • RaptorOO7

    AND, this is why I sold my Galaxy Nexus. Verizon promised in their in-store advertising the Galaxy Nexus would be first with updates and as a Nexus phone it should be. But per usual with Verizon that means nothing. They hold the updates back and drag it out.

  • Funny though is if you send a tweet to #VZW they respond about this stating “updates are rolling out in the coming weeks”

    • Daniel Clifford


      • Seriously try it. Tweet in regards to when will my nexus get update and you will see the response.

  • It’s sad for the everyday consumer, but it doesn’t really matter for me. I’m gonna root and tweak my phone to the latest and greatest software no matter what!

  • stevethepirate

    on Apple..there is a reason there was a 3+ year period where there was no iPhone on verizon. Apple originally went to vzw but they balked at apple’s conditions. Only after they proved that the iPhone was viable and harming vzw did they come around. Google went the other route and let them do whatever just to grab marketshare as quick as possible. It was a deal with the devil.

  • zerocool79346

    Meh, I’ve been running 4.2 for 2 weeks. I understand that most don’t tinker, but honestly seems kind of like a waste with a Nexus device NOT to.

  • I thought you said you take good care of your phones?

  • disqus_GCBw2rcqAQ

    I don’t really care when Verizon releases updates as long as Sansumg keeps releasing binaries for it and doesn’t lock the bootloader. If the Nexus 4 was released on Verizon with the same update schedule as the GNex, I would buy it in a heartbeat.

  • flyinggerbil

    which is better: at&t or t-mobile (dc area specific answer would be great)

  • with CDMA carriers I believe the update goes from Google to Samsung and then to Verizon. So perhaps the issue is not Google but between Samsung and Verizon

    • Wrong. Samsung is involved, but the updates come from Google’s servers upon carrier approval. It’s that last bit that’s the real issue.

  • Michael33704

    What a surprise!

  • Jovan

    I love how dramatic the picture for this post is. Tarnished wood with a face down VZW Nexus.

  • MikeD675

    I think the testing procedure does result in a slow down, but if I remember correctly the CDMA binaries necessary for connectivity on Verizon’s network are proprietary and are not necessarily part of the original Google build. This leaves Verizon to integrate it into the build. I point the finger more at the CDMA technology, hopefully this will change when we move to VoLTE.

    • The last 2 or 3 updates the binaries have been out there for the CDMA bits.

  • Eric Soriano

    Maybe the title of this should be “Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus Is Not Really A Nexus”

  • DanSan

    the problem is, even though we all think we are all that matters we aren’t. we’re a small minority of their network as compared to normal, everyday users. people who have regular jobs, bust their ass to put food on the table, use their phone to make calls and thats it. care more about how they are paying their mortgage than an update they don’t even know existed. If Joe Smoe goes into verizon and grabs a nexus he doesn’t have the smallest idea of what it even is able to do. Frankly, he doesn’t even care. just wants it to work and wouldn’t even know if it got updated. Hell, he might even get worried and scared thinking something is wrong if hes phone ever told him there was an update.

    Basically, this small minority doesn’t matter, wont impact verizon in any way and they know it. they know it and dont give 2 shits. they will keep making money hand over fist and for every 1 person that leaves them because of updates or home button placement, 30 more people sign up. they win across the board.

    • LjHe80

      I am a person who busts my rear end to provide for my family. I have a mortgage payment, I have 4 kids mouths to feed. I have other responsibilities, but I still want the update.

      • Ibrick

        Upvote for you good sir!

      • DanSan

        well you are an even smaller minority lol. but you know exactly what i was getting at.

  • Dee

    I am kind of not too upset by this. 4.1.1 is pretty stable on the G-Nex (running a custom rom). All versions of 4.2 I’ve tried make my phone run very hot and battery drain is horrible. Has anyone else noticed this with the leaked versions of 4.2 or 4.2.1?

    • Hothfox

      I’ve actually found the 4.2 ROM I’m using now has improved my battery life and general performance.

  • Their resources are busy conjuring up new data and voice plans.

  • Shaunwin

    So what is the best carrier to get a nexus on?

    • ezpotato

      AT&T if you travel, tmo if you dont. (in the US)

      • Brent Cooper

        Travel as in outside the US? Or travel as in around the US?

    • flyinggerbil

      i am wondering the same thing. just bought my nexus 4 the other day (have a gnex on vz but plan on canceling it after testing out tmo and att) and want to switch to the better monthly service carrier.


    HAHA Verizion BITES, you would be better of with an OBAMA phone!

  • Vaporware

    Who could imagine or predict it would be like this? Seriously? Whenever anyone got bashed on this here blog about a phone other than the gnex many of us predicted it would be just like this. Sheesh go back and check. Its funny how this here blog has a selective memory. Funny how this here blog has selective memory.

  • CoCoCalypso

    Anyone know of a good 4.2 rom thats pretty close to stock? Ive been wating for Mr. Alfonso to update bugless beast but have grown impatient… really wanna give those new toggles a go : )

    • Hothfox

      Mmuzzy’s http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1762846
      It’s pretty much stock, with a quick settings mod to let you add different tiles to the drop down, and a power menu mod, and that’s it.

    • CyanogenMod or Paranoid Android

    • playboyzay

      MMuzzy’s ROM runs with no bugs that I can find.

  • Splitting hairs really. These last three updates have come out super quick, even for Google standards. It should have never been expected that Verizon would be able to keep up. 4.1.2 to 4.2 especially. Besides that, 4.2 is littered with bugs that Verizon would never approve anyway. And 4.2.1 JUST came a few days ago.

    So yeah, splitting hairs.

    • I’ll also add that this is the first time I don’t feel as if we’re missing out on much. Seriously, ask yourself, what does 4.2.1 have that you don’t have on 4.1.1? Lockscreen widgets (which run like total garbage on the GNex anyway), the quick settings pulldown on the right (which most people aren’t a fan of on a phone interface), and the updated camera app (which doesn’t support HDR pictures because of the older lense). Unless you really really like photosphere (which you can hack onto the phone with older firmware anyway), there’s not much to see.

      What 4.2, 4.2.1 DOES have however is a messed up Bluetooth stack and random reboots. I would know since I have both a Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 in addition to my VZW Gnex, both of which are suffering from these issues.

      • Phone interface for Quick Settings is better, ask someone who uses Nexus 7 in portrait 😛

    • Dee

      I agree. 4.2 and 4.2.1 on the G-Nex for me have been horrible. Phone runs super hot and battery drain like no other.

  • lovehate

    i like that there is a middle man to test it before it gets to my phone. my problem is that if your going to do that make it happen alot quicker

  • Bionicman

    so far using the GNOTE2 for a bit today and it is better than the GNex in a lot of ways. it’ll probably be better at getting updates too which is just sad…

    • Mike Cox

      no it wont get updates any faster than any other Verizon phone (6-9 months after other phones)

      • chris125

        well the razr m got jellybean pretty quick and it’s on verizon.

        • Mike Cox

          yes but what about the other Razr phone where is the JB for the Razer or Razer maxx….while the M and new HD’s get JB

  • Guest

    imagine how great it would be if google wireless existed, they would offer the guarantee of quick updates to all the devices in their line-up. any manufacturer can have a device on google wireless as long as it offers a stock android experience, which would open up the nexus program to all OEM’s. that would be great news, google unifying everything

    • Brent Cooper

      I’d love to see the ability to see stock Android dual boot with a carrier skin. I was playing with the Note 2 at the vzw store today, that software is amazing IMO. So the ability to always have the newest stock android dual boot with a probably slightly older software version would be a dream for me. On Google Wireless, of course.

    • gp126904

      Aside from Samsung and HTC’s nexi (plural of nexus) I dont think ether of them would offer a non skinned phone. Luckily Motorola seems to have gotten the message about skins, now we just need them to get the message of unlocked bootloaders and removable batteries. But if Google could pull that off it would be the greatest thing ever!

  • Because Apple posts multiple dev builds way before release. Carriers use those to do the testing with assurances that Apple will not change the network portion of the build, after Verizon approves which ever dev build. Google does not offer beta code before release. At least not publicly. What happens behind the doors Big Red and the Goog is not something I am privileged to.

  • Stinker

    Same asinine argument over and over again.

    Fact: Google’s QC is absolutely atrocious. I won’t claim Verizon isn’t unnecessarily slowing things down, but Google has shown over and over again that they let major bugs slip through frequently.

    • Um…what does that have to do with an update not getting pushed?

      The article is questioning how every single Nexus has received these updates, or are in the process of receiving these updates. Yet Verizon, mysteriously, is 3 updates behind.

      • Hothfox

        He’s arguing that Verizon is taking its sweet time pushing the update because their QC is better than Google’s. They’re not pushing the updates because they’re too buggy. I can’t say I 100% agree, since they’ve released OTA updates filled with bugs on other phones before.

    • moelsen8

      the thing is google can fix the issues (even ones they created) and push them out much, much quicker than verizon can. verizon has major trust and control issues, and as a result, all of its devices’ upgrades suffer.

  • CHRIS42060

    Cue someone blaming CDMA for the non-timely updates (even though the Sprint version is still updated way before the Verizon version) GO!

    • Droidzilla

      It’s Verizon’s fault, of course, but the underlying issue is CDMA. It’s a proprietary standard, so Google can’t circumvent Verizon’s policies and simply post a new image online or push one out without approval. Sprint is willing to play ball, which is nice, but the simple fact of the matter is were Verizon GSM the Verizon GNex would already have an update as GSM is an open standard. So it’s not the technology behind CDMA, but the politics that hold things up. If Sprint wanted to be lame like Verizon, Google couldn’t legally do anything to side step the process. If AT&T or T-Mobile want to be lamers, Google doesn’t care because they can code and push the update anyway.

  • bull3964

    Counterpoint, there’s no way in hell Verizon would have approved 4.2.0 to begin with. The laundry list of bugs is an arm’s length long and 4.2.1 does little to address them. Yes, Verizon needs to speed up their process, but there’s also something to be said for some real QA work on a new software release that’s not being dictated by a hardware release window.

    • You’re forgetting that most phones have many bugs much more crippling than the ones found in 4.2.x

      • You’re also forgetting that 4.2.x didn’t bring much to the table that aren’t already found in 3rd party apps. Not even worth Verizon’s time to update.

        • itznfb

          IMO Google Now is a game changer in the way smart phones are used.

          • I totally agree. But that’s also in 4.1.x :p

          • itznfb

            Well never-mind then 🙂

      • bull3964

        I don’t know. 4.2 completely crippled my Nexus 7 to the point where I don’t even want to use it anymore until I get around to flashing back to 4.1.2. The UI changes were questionable (hate the implmentation of lock screen widgets) and the bugs were unforgivable (let’s rewrite the entire bluetooth stack and then forget to test it!)

        To top it all off random reboots for everyone! (my nexus 7, my cowoker’s GSM Galaxy Nexus, and a friend’s Galaxy nexus.)

        • Reboots and bluetooth issues (while big deals) are still not HUGE compared to the issues some phones have had in the past on Verizon. Some Android phones were completely unusable when they were released, constantly losing signal, locking up, etc, etc. 4.2 is a bit of a mess, but it is the picture of stability compared to what OEMs tend to do to Android.

          • bull3964

            Hmm, constantly losing signal, almost being completely unusable…

            Yup, that described my Galaxy Nexus on 4.0.2.

            Sorry, I’ve owned 5 android phones over the years and the Galaxy Nexus was the worst one out of the whole lot. I was excited for the pure google experience again after owning an OG droid, but I quickly realized that was code for “Google Beta Tester.”

          • Sorry about your issues, but I’ve not had any signal issues with my Verizon Gnex since I got it on launch day, ESPECIALLY on 4.0.2. 4.0.2 was actually a really great update for me, and 4.1 was even better.

          • bull3964

            That’s great and all, but mine on 4.0.2 would just drop off the cell network entirely on it’s own requiring a reboot to fix. I was missing phone calls, everything. Flashing the leaked 4.0.4. fixed it, but as I got it from Verizon, it was completely unusable as even a phone.

            Compared to a 2012 phone, there’s no contest. I moved to a Razr HD MAXX and couldn’t be happier. I’m getting and holding LTE signal in places that my Galaxy Nexus would fall back to 1x and I actually have enough battery life to USE the phone. I didn’t even mind going back to ICS either as a Razr HD on ICS runs faster and smoother than a Galaxy Nexus on Jelly Bean.

          • I guess I wouldn’t notice issues even if I had any. I don’t really use it as a phone all that much and my 4G signal is really strong at my work, and I use wifi at home.

          • Jim McClain

            Doesnt run better than my gnex on jb

          • Diablo81588

            Stop lying. You’ve said yourself previously that you had signal problems when you first got it, before the 4.0.4 update.

          • KleenDroid

            I had big problems for the first two weeks of owning the phone but it all got worked out somehow. I think it was network related because there is no other reason it would work itself out.

          • KleenDroid

            Luckily I must have gotten a good one. Best phone I’ve ever owned.

          • Jim McClain

            since I rooted and started running Bamf Paradigm 2.4 , which is 4.1.2 , my Lte Nexus is perfect

          • asianrage

            I got mine on launch day and it wasn’t my initial experience of the GNex. I did lose 4G signal and went down to 3G from time to time. But that happened on the TBolt to and had to do with the nascent 4G network, more so than the radio, FWIW.

          • burntcookie90

            Relativistic importance of issues is not how you should be gauging the 4.2 update. It’s a version bump and has more issues than it should.

          • I only brought it up because bull3964 said “…there’s no way in hell Verizon would have approved 4.2.0 to begin with.” and I was simply saying that you can’t assume Verizon wouldn’t have approved it given that they have approved phones/updates with much larger issues in the past. None of these issues are acceptable, but that doesn’t mean Verizon wouldn’t have approved them.

          • WickedToby741

            The difference is money. Verizon is more than eager to shove an unfinished build out the door for a product launch because product launches mean money. There’s really no money involved in Verizon updating devices, so they do it at their pace and make sure for good measure it takes a while so the impatient among us buy new phones.

        • KleenDroid

          That’s odd. My Nexus 7 running 4.2 is flawless.

          I think it’s like every phone ever in that there is always someone who has problems. And then there are those who have no problems.

          And if you don’t like lockscreen widgets don’t use them.

        • renGek

          Lots of N7 folks on 4.2 with no issues as well including me. No interface issues, no bluetooth issues and my BT is on 24/7. I use my N7 daily for at least 2-3 hours/day. I’m rooted but I haven’t flashed any roms. So maybe consider what else you have modified that could be the issue before blaming 4.2.

          • bull3964

            My N7 is completely unmodified. It’s great that you aren’t having problems, but the bugs are real and acknowledged in Google’s bugtracker. Bluetooth audio streaming is currently unusable for a LOT of people on 4.2.

            Other issues with 4.2 include idle battery drain. My N7 drains 3% per hour sitting there doing nothing now. There aren’t even any wakelocks. I’m lucky if I can get 1 day of pure standby with hardly any use. I used to be able to get 6 or 7 hours of screen on time, now I’m usually getting 3 1/2 to 4.

            I might be willing to overlook it if 4.2 actually offered anything worthwhile. But the only tangible things are a lock screen that flashes an ugly box at the side of the screen every time I unlock the device and a change in the notification shade that makes it nearly impossible to access notifications if I’m using it one handed with my right hand.

        • itznfb

          4.2 and 4.2.1 run great on my Nexus 7, Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus. I haven’t seen a single bug introduced. Not only do they run great but 4.2 is such a vast improvement over 4.1 that I can’t ever see using a device that doesn’t run 4.2 or higher. Once I got my Nexus 4 I was finally motivated to ditch my Thunderbolt to get a GNex just so I could use 4.2 on all of my devices.

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      Google seems to have the habit to have issues in each Android update. With 4.1 I thought that had finally gone away, but 4.2 is just like the 2.3 update that caused battery drain etc on the Nexus S. For Google, all fixes come in x.x.1 and x.x.2 updates >.>

    • Gr8Ray

      This is exactly what I was thinking when I read this. I’ve already passed on flashing custom 4.2 ROMS on mine after reading all the issues people are having, and how many are reverting back to 4.1.2. My Nexus 7 has suffered after the update, and I’ve wished multiple times I could “Undo” the OTA, but it’s not rooted and I wanted to try to keep it stock. That might have to change soon though.

  • I didn’t get a Nexus because Google could install software updates for me. I got a Nexus because *I* can install software updates. I can run AOSP on my Nexus and I’m happy. Sucks to be other Nexus users that feel like waiting for Verizon to push updates.

    How’s that S3 coming? Isn’t that still on ICS?

  • ddevito
    • Droidzilla

      <3 Sad Tuba.

  • mtmjr90

    While yes, it sucks…the way I see it, there are two types of people that own the VZW Galaxy Nexus: those who need/want Verizon for whatever reason but are the tinker type and love the idea of Nexus, and those who are on Verizon and just bought the phone because it looked cool (or there was a deal, etc.)

    For those in category 2, they don’t care which JB build they’re on, except maybe if they read somewhere or someone told them they should care.

    For those in category 1, they’ve unlocked the bootloader and are likely already running 4.2 (or 4.2.1 if their ROM of choice has updated). This is why I still believe the VZW GNex is still a Nexus, at least insofar as offering the ability to customize and tinker to hell for those who truly care.

    • Will Newsome

      im in category 1, however the rom im using is still on 4.1.2, still waiting on the 4.2 rom update lol

      • Hothfox

        There are a few custom ROMs already available. I think it’ll be a while before you see factory images for the Verizon GNex.

      • carluverdrm2004

        Yep, waiting for the latest Bugless Beast build over here.

        • Will Newsome

          i think i may try the xenon rom

  • I want to blame Verizon, but Verizon never cancelled Christmas… Maybe a bit more testing wouldn’t be the worst thing.

  • MikeSaver

    I have a rooted Verizon GNEX and I still don thave the update. Waiting on BB

    • Hothfox

      Mmuzzy’s 4.2 ROM is what I’ve been using while Pete works on BB. It’s pretty much what you’d expect from a BB ROM, and I might not switch back.

  • shecalledmejay

    It would be nice to get the latest update without factory resetting but it’s a nexus do it yourself

  • Tsabhira

    I love my Nexus, and Verizon’s network has been good for me. But I’ll never buy another phone through Verizon because of this very issue. If Google’s still selling cheap, amazing, off-contract phones when my Gnex’s contract is up, it’ll be a no-brainer to switch. Verizon’s handling of this Nexus has been utterly abysmal.

    • ezpotato

      so have the general sales of the nexus, which is why verizon dont give a rats ass.

      • Could possibly be because they aren’t pushing to sell it, nor were they when it launched. Hell, the manager of my verizon store just about chewed the rep out when I went and returned my Moto RAZR for the Nexus which I called in advance and had the rep hold. They went so far to charge my RAZR back to the store I got it from.

    • CHRIS42060

      I was talking to a sale person at Sprint and he was telling me about how few Galaxy Nexus devices they actually sell. I am sure it is the same with Verizon. Those of us who enjoy a “vanilla” Android experience are definitely not the majority of phone buyers.

      • Hothfox

        There is a very small percentage of users who actually care about the vanilla Android experience. These are the people that buy out the stock of Nexus 4’s in 20 minutes, or the 2 people who wait in front of the Verizon store the day the Galaxy Nexus came out. Everyone else who wound up with the phone was probably on “accident” because it fit their budget at the time they wanted a smartphone.

  • ezpotato

    couldnt be happier leaving my nexus after a while to the RAZR MAXX HD. hardware doesnt compare at all, RAZR whoops it. although the curved screen was the sexiest part of that device.

  • Tim Swann

    The sad part is that since CDMA is really only supported in the US and by just VZ and Sprint, we will probably never see another Nexus compatible with Verizon’s network.

  • I can somewhat understand VZW using their update process on a non-Nexus phone. Less likely to get an update that ruins your device resulting in company costs to fix it. I just don’t understand why they force their own process on a Nexus device when it’s clearly not needed.

  • randompsychology

    Google should just post their approved G’Nex LTE build for download by anyone who wants it, thereby sticking it to Verizon. If they’re not partnering with VZW in the future, then who cares about the relationship?

    Maybe Google could even do their own OTA to VZW Nexus owners, cutting Verizon totally out of the picture?

    • Must have something in a contract that doesn’t allow this, but I’m with you. Google should just post the update and say, “Here, if you want it and know what to do with it, come and get it.”

      • Jeff Tycz

        Or maybe they could say “oops…. somehow the unofficial “official” build got put on the internet…oh well…”

        • WickedToby741


      • WickedToby741

        I wish there were more “leaks” from Google before the builds even go to Verizon. You know, like “Whoops! Guess I just posted that stable build for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus to the web. No getting it back now!”

        • antinorm

          The 4.2.1 binaries (hardware drivers, basically) are available for toro, but not the factory image.

    • Tim Swann

      that would be awesome, but there is probably a contractual obligation that prohibits that. Don’t forget, Google never sold the CDMA Nexus directly to customers.

    • Droidzilla

      And now you all see the problem with CDMA. To everyone moaning about the Nexus 4 not having LTE: this is why. If Google can make enough of a dent in Verizon’s bottom line (either through lost profits or missed opportunity for new customers) with how they’re selling the Nexus 4, you might see Verizon’s policy on Nexus updates change. They’re a business, so they’re in it for money first and foremost (which I have no problem with). If they see that letting Google handle Nexus updates directly (and selling phones directly) will make them money, Verizon will go for it.

  • Google should make good for us and just bypass VZW on updates for this thing all together

  • You neglect to post why the most recent update is needed… and its precisely why verizon takes longer making the updates go through more strict testing. And it still is the fastest updated phone on verizon thanks to it being a nexus phone, so the delays on the phone manufacturer side are minimized.

  • scrub175

    Broken for some OS’s on VZW’s network…

  • Nex__

    Install AOKP or CM or BB. Problem solved. yes i know that should be the problem solver, but that’s life on the Verizon network. B.T.W. AOKP.co site is back up

  • MooleyBooleyTroll

    How could you not question it? This is Verizon we are talking about here… Anyone who thought that it would get timely updates just because it’s a Nexus device was blind and fooling themselves.

    • I fooled myself, bought it and signed a new contract when it first came out. Fortunately, my contract will be up before yet another Nexus is released. I know better now that I need to go with the non-carrier version and just get on T-Mobile or AT&T.

  • Hothfox

    Yes, it sucks. But I can’t say I expected anything different going in. I wanted Verizon’s network and the open-ness of a Nexus. I am already running 4.2.1.

  • Viciousking1914

    ….and tinker I shall

  • damn verizon and their great service area. its like they know they have the best service and they rub it in our faces by making everything else difficult.

  • chris125

    Apple has no issues with this. Google needs to put its foot down and tell the carriers what is going on.

    • Danny TwoTones

      Amen brother

    • guest

      it would be cool to have a program like itunes, but for android, all the oems collaborate and release their updates through the program

      • Abhijeet Mishra

        Being a cloud-loving company, Google I’m afraid will never make a PC Suite software for the PC. Nokia’s PC Suite is perhaps the best PC suite software ever and was so useful on Symbian (or any Nokia device), but when it comes to Android, Google just won’t do it as they prefer people to get things over the air.

    • Still something I don’t fully understand. I guess Google just doesn’t have that kind of pull in the wireless business yet. Hopefully they do soon.

      • ddevito

        or they don’t care

      • IMO, Google just doesn’t exercise its muscles. It could, theoretically, told Verizon that if it doesn’t approve update within a certain period, it will deny access of all its Android device access to Google Play.

        • And that would hurt Google more than it would hurt Verizon.
          People buy Android, yes. But don’t think for a second that Verizon is that indebted to Android that they wouldn’t just push Android and Windows Phone to pick up for Android being gone.

          • zulu208

            once upon a time, vzw thought they were so bad ass that they rejected the iphone …. present day, they got down on their knees and sucked some you know what to get what was first offered to them. I doubt they can’t just make the switch so quickly.

          • mbaldwin85

            They weren’t bad ass. It’s just that AT&T was smart and had the iPhone on lock to their network. Then that agreement ran out.

          • kg215

            Actually Verizon did think they were “bad ass.” They refused to give in to Job’s demands whereas At&t didn’t mind at all. Job’s actually didn’t want to go with At&t because he felt their network wasn’t up to par but Verizon was and is too cocky.

          • mbaldwin85


          • zoobey

            Correct, VZW was never offered the iPhone – it was ATT from Day1.

        • WickedToby741

          And Verizon would chant “Yay! More chances to load bloatware!” and load everyone’s devices up with the Amazon Appstore instead.

        • Michael G

          Agreed. The iPhone alone won’t give Verizon the revenue they want. Google needs to put it’s gigantic foot in their arse and tell them they’ll take the Razr line and Android elsewhere.

        • Jon

          Google simply can’t do that. Once it releases it’s version of new updates to the open Software Alliance, it’s software is open source and available for anyone to grab. So Samsung, Motorola, HTC or whoever grabs it, and makes it their own. They do so to the custom request of each carrier they are selling the phones to. Thus once those folks step away from the core Android, it’s a sure recipy for delays from there on out for updates.

          And outside of Google providing the Nexus line of products, there really isn’t much else they can do. They can’t say…hey you Verizon! Why aren’t you updating that phone that you bought from Samsung, that got the open source version of Android and customized it (which they are totally allowed to do)????

          See the dilema? Google has done all they can do outside of Buying T-Mobile or starting their own Wireless carrier in partnership with Dish.

          • Jon

            and if you take a look at Asus who is known for updating their tablets really quickly after a new Android update, they are able to do so largely because they leave most of Android untouched. They add a little here and there, but they don’t get too crazy with customizing Android. That way, they can have their developers update their devices in fairly short order, like 2 months rather than 6-12 months.

          • Asus’s devices are all wifi (except for the phonefone which im not sure ever even released) so you don’t have the carrier restriction from a data radio in it as well as having to write new kernals for the many radios, just gps and wifi which id imagine are pretty standard and universal

          • Derp

            I think you mean PadFone, and yes it was released. In fact there is even a PadFone 2. Also, there is a cellular version of the Nexus 7 now.

          • TheOiulkj

            He said to deny access to Google Play, not to Android itself. Google Play belongs to Google and they can allow/deny it’s use. So basically, verizon would have to remove all google apps from their phones before selling them.

            Though, I still don’t see it as a very realistic solution.

          • duke69111

            I agree, because Verizon would just go with the Amazon App Store.

          • itznfb

            I think you missed the point of this thread entirely. It’s a Nexus device. Google has a lot of control over what happens with Nexus devices whether they are on a carrier or not.

        • creed

          Good idea. Then we would be stuck with verizon’s half ass attempt at their own market. We could download vzw navigator, isis, and vzw tones. Woo-hoo!

      • Google doesn’t make Verizon hardly any money, Samsung does.

        • Diablo81588

          Samsung would be nowhere without Google. They put Samsung on the map in the mobile business.

        • Fattie McDoogles

          That by definition can’t be true. Samsung makes Verizon money by selling Android phones which are powered by Google. So Samsung is ONLY making Verizon money because of Google. And since Verizon sells other Android phones besides those made by Samsung… Google makes Verizon SIGNIFICANTLY more money than just Samsung.

        • omgitzjose

          actually Moto does. where would verizon be if it wasnt for Moto Droids.

      • Nex__

        That’s a distrubing thought considering the market share.

      • zepfloyd

        Part of it is Apple just inverts the process. They work backwards so updates hit collectively based on the slowest point. It seem’s like they do it together, but really they just wait until it can go all at once.

        • Fattie McDoogles

          I never thought about it, but that makes total sense. Since they only have a couple pieces of hardware it would be easy for them to just do it that way. And not announce the software until they are ready to release it globally.

      • palomosan

        I think it also has to do that there’s only one iphone on Verizon and many Android phones which it might make it harder or longer for the process to take place, I’m pretty sure if all Android phone were stock Android this would be less of a problem.

        Google needs to tell Verizon and every other carrier, the updates come from us, we don’t need your approval, I’m pretty sure Apple has each carrier phones at thier location to do the testing before realesing the update, Google should do the same.

        • There is only 1 Nexus on Verizon. What is your point here?

          • zurginator

            That Nexus only sold like 1% of what the iPhone did.

            The big thing Apple has is “Well then you can’t have our phone”. NO carrier is going to do that anymore, due to sales. Google can’t pull the same thing because the Nexus line doesn’t sell much, and it’s up to other OEMs to do so for their product (which Samsung is finally beginning to have the power to due thanks to their huge success with the S line).

      • Eric

        Nothing to understand. Apple tells Verizon to bend over and they happly do so.

      • Alan Taylor

        @ Eric exactly right, hopefully this does change if the rumors about Google Wireless are true.

      • Fattie McDoogles

        Google just doesn’t care enough. They let the OEM’s and the carriers work it out between them. Google has more than enough clout to do the same thing that Apple does as far as software versions and even hardware if they wanted too. I think they are really working on the Play Store as an alternative to carriers globally. They are picking and choosing their battles

      • Stevedub40

        Our company actual works with apple, as they use our storage products. I must say, they are the biggest bunch of whine-asses I have ever dealt with. In fact, we do a lot of special treatment and apple-specific firmware release just because they bully our management around. It doesn’t surprise me that apple gets their own way with any other company that they deal with. God, I cannot stand apple!

        • cizzlen

          EMC, NetApp or SAN? Hard to understand how any company regardless of how big manages to bully yours into providing some sort of exclusivity on their support. Unless Apple pays extra rates for those contracts which is something they would easily be capable of doing.

      • Droidzilla

        Android has that kind of pull, but the Nexus (currently) doesn’t. The iPhone clearly does. The only Android handset that might have that kind of pull on Verizon is Samsung’s Galaxy series. That’s why I’m upping stakes and getting a Nexus 4.

        • That is just it. Verizon shunned the iPhone as long as they could until the demand for it was so great they felt they would lose significant subscribers if they didn’t stock it, but they don’t like it. They don’t push it much in their stores and they license the Droid trademark for THEIR Android phones. Unfortunately, until now, Nexus has not sold well enough for Verizon to think they would lose significant subscribers for not carrying it.

          I left Verizon because of it, but I am a heavy data user, so they were glad to get rid of me. They would prefer people who can pay for their high costs and not use much of it, so they could continue to provide high quality network and a sizable profits, like any for-profit company should.

          • Droidzilla

            You hit the nail on the head. The Galaxy Nexus doesn’t effect their bottom line enough for them to roll over on updates, and unlimited data customers don’t effect their bottom line enough for them to roll over on data usage. That’s why I’m hoping Google will be stupid successful with their Nexus 4 ploy and Sprint/T-Mobile will be with their unlimited data plans. Verizon will only care when they lose money or lose out on potential additional revenue.

        • antinorm

          Samsung’s Galaxy series includes the *Galaxy* Nexus, so clearly ‘Galaxy’ doesn’t mean anything to VZW.

      • itznfb

        Obviously Google doesn’t care about what goes on at Verizon. Hence, no Nexus 4 on Verizon. I think people are under the false assumption that Google takes this seriously when in reality they just don’t give a F.

    • anezarati

      i’ve always wondered if it really was the power of apple that allowed them to work around this and get all their updates ontime. you think apple waits until verizon (which seems to take the longest) reviews their update, then release it to all carriers so it seems like all phones are updated at the same time, in reality the others were delayed cause of verizon?

      did apple have this kind of control when the original iphone came out?

      • mrsbelpit

        Apple announces 6 months before the update is released, then everyone gets it at the same time. You can bet the carriers test it as well.

        • Brendon Martin

          Apple’s intermittent updates on Verizon are delayed as well. I think 4.3 came out on the other carriers first.

          • atm153

            Not anymore, ever since they added the OTA update feature in iOS 5 or 6 (I think) they’ve had all devices updating at the same time.

          • Brendon Martin


    • Matt

      I agree, and have rooted and rom’d my gnex so it really doesnt affect me. I also love the timely updates. But I think a big reason Apple is more ‘efficient’ is they have far fewer updates to push out. I’ve never had an i*hone but don’t they update their os like once a year?

    • I agree, iPhones with Verizon update the same day the release comes out.

  • #1 ranked national wireless company for customer satisfaction.

    #1 ranked national wireless company for not sending out updates

    • That should tell yout:

      1. Majority of Verizon’s customers don’t give a sh*t about the latest Android updates.

      2. Verizon doesn’t give a sh*t about the latest Android updates as long as they’re functional.

      • coolsilver

        Verizon openly lies to customers about what is the latest Android in their stores. While they go about what they have released may be the latest THEY offer, it’s certainly a pile of excrement they explain it that way.

  • Not if you root your devices, like Nexus phones are built for!! Less QQ and more root root

  • Bad on you Verizon. Bad on you.

    • EC8CH

      Verizon.. villainous den of Fackwors

      • Bob

        Fackwors is the new shenanigans.

    • yarrellray

      Verizon is extremely pitiful it can’t get any worse.

    • anywherehome

      Terrible how any one can compare with Apple’s non innovative updates…… Please, stop, Apple is completely different world without freedom, so it’s always easy to push updates as a dictator

      Think twice: multi user feature +widgets vs. still still boring icons
      So please, stop comparing 😉

      This is aimed to Howard….