The benefits of owning a Nexus and Google Play Edition (GPE) device are quite apparent; no bloatware, no ghastly OEM custom skins, and mainly, quick updates straight from Google. However, from what we have seen with this update to Lollipop for GPE devices, it seems to be taking a bit longer than the two to few weeks Google and OEMs initially mentioned for devices to be updated.
While Google still works to push updates out, its Support team has updated language on their device update page relating directly to GPE and Nexus devices which run on carriers. As we all know, carriers here in the US are the main reason updates are sometimes delayed, and Google needed to update its language to reflect this.
Taken from the new addition, Google states that once an update is available for devices, it can take up to two weeks to receive it, but, “Based on your carrier, it may take longer than two weeks after release to get an update.”
Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, and Nexus 10 devices receive the latest version of Android directly from Google. Once an update is available, it can take up to two weeks for it to reach your device. Based on your carrier, it may take longer than two weeks after release to get an update.
Nexus devices may not receive the latest version of Android if they fall outside of the update window, which is usually around 18 months after a device has been released.
While the Nexus 5 update to Lollipop was timely and has gone smoothly for most users, this updated language could have meaning to owners of the Nexus 6, which is highly tied to carriers here in the US. Once a major update is pushed down the road for that device, it could take more than those two weeks to see an update, as Google states. How carriers and Google would stop anyone from sideloading a future update is a little unknown, given that they all feature the exact same software, but it is unclear if carriers will want to run each update through a “certification process.”
GPE and Nexus devices are still a great buy, but it is necessary for Google to be clear on when folks can expect their updates. We buy Nexus and GPE devices to have the latest hardware from our favorite manufacturers, plus the quick updates from Google. If the updates are no longer quick, then that takes away one of the huge advantages to owning these devices.
As always, we shall continue to shake our fists at carriers.