One of the biggest draws of owning a Nexus device is getting updates directly from Google. In fact, it’s one of the few things that make a Nexus a Nexus. We’ve talked about this on Android and Me many times and more, but today it bears repeating. Because apparently, not all Nexus devices are created equal.
Now before anyone gets up in arms, your newly purchased Verizon Galaxy Nexus will be updated directly by Google. It’s the GSM Nexus that’s under fire today.
You see, over on XDA some GSM Nexus owners have been having problems manually flashing the recently rolled out update to 4.0.1. Unfortunately, there’s no problem with the update file. It has to do with custom Samsung installed firmwares.
Some GSM Nexus devices are shipping with region specific Samsung firmwares. There’s a fingerprint in the build.prop file for all Android phones. The direct-from-Google Nexus has the hardware code maguro and the software code yakju. Once Nexus owners started having signature problems when trying to manually update to 4.0.1, they started checking their build.prop file to see if there was something wrong. And sure enough, there’s several different Nexus configurations that come with Samsung controlled firmware.
All GSM Galaxy Nexus devices still have a hardware code of maguro, but different software configurations include yakjuxw, yajusc, yakjukr and yakjuux. As far as anyone knows so far, any Nexus with one of those software codes won’t be updated directly by Google. But there’s still some confusion surrounding the subject.
yakjusc and yakjuxw are indeed the two Samsung-prepared builds I'm aware of at the moment, but I'm discovering them as they get released. I only have some visibility over the builds that are prepared by Google, i.e. yakju. Everything else comes from Samsung, and I don't know what their schedules and release plans are.JBQGoogle
At this point, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can do to receive your updates directly from Google if you ended up with an xw, sc, kr or ux device. While it’s not being endorsed by Google, some users have flashed yakju software to their Nexus without problem. Allowing their device to receive the 4.0.1 OTA, and presumably, any other updates Google sends out in the future.
It’s nice to see that, yet again, the Android community has come up with a solution to a problem with their device. But that doesn’t change the fact that quite a few Nexus devices out there are missing something that is, for most people, a major selling point.
Is this the death of the Nexus as we know it? This same question came up when it was revealed that the Verizon Galaxy Nexus would come with third-party apps pre-installed. The fact that it would still be updated by Google, not Verizon and Samsung, made up for that. The same can’t be said in this situation. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this story and providing you with any information we can get our hands on. For more details on the unique builds, visit XDA.