Here is a story I didn’t think I would be writing a year ago. Google is disappointing a lot of Nexus S owners with their inconsistent software updates, as our very own Dustin pointed out earlier this month.
Now JR Raphael of Computer World has graded most of the major manufacturers on their promises to deliver Android 4.0 updates and the results confirm what others have been saying. Acer, Archos, ASUS, and HTC all received better grades than Google when it came to updating their devices to Android 4.0.
Last year at Google IO 2011, Google and their partners announced the Android Update Alliance to help speed up software updates, but it doesn’t appear to have had any effect. There have been a lack of updates about the alliance, which led some to write that it failed before it really started.
JR summed it up perfectly when he said, “While Google doesn’t tend to promise explicit upgrade dates for its devices, the company has trained us to know that its Nexus and ‘Google experience’ labels come with certain benefits, and early-and-often upgrades are at the top of that list. Worse yet, Google has stayed silent on the matter and given users no update on what’s going on.”
We have already covered the whole mess pretty extensively, so I don’t really have much to add to the matter. Hopefully Google will improve their communication with the Android community and let them know when to expect these updates.
Until then, what’s the point in owning a Nexus device (if you are not a developer)? Maybe as some have suggested, the Nexus series is coming to and end. But then again, the Sprint Galaxy Nexus has yet to be launched.
Update: Google just announced Android 4.0.4 is coming to the UMTS/GSM Nexus S, Xoom WiFi, and HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus. The Sprint Nexus S 4G, Verizon Galaxy Nexus, and Verizon Xoom 4G should be updated in the “coming weeks.”