Time, and time, and time again, I’ve been known to sing the praises of Google’s Nexus series devices, because they are updated directly by Google. Which should mean fast, consistent updates to the latest version of software Google is working on (or at the very least, a fully functioning device). Right? As a large group of Reddit users have been discussing for the past day, wrong.
Back in October of 2011, Nexus One owners were given quite the shock when it was revealed that the first Pure Google Experience device would not be updated to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. Less than two years after it had been released, it was already being abandoned by Google. Consumers were being abandoned by Google.
Fast forward to now, and Nexus S owners are facing a similar problem. An update to Android 4.0 was being rolled out for the T-Mobile (i9020-T) Nexus S, until some battery life issues prompted Google to put the update on hold. That was in December of 2011. Anyone who received the update could be faced with any number of bugs. Anyone who didn’t receive the update is likely wondering what the hell is going on. Google has not issued any comments on the situation.
Despite being advertised as the phone for “Android-powered players who want the latest Google Apps and OS updates as soon as humanly possible,” Sprint’s Nexus S 4G, and AT&T’s Nexus S for that matter, have not received any information about Android 4.0 at all.
I use a T-Mobile Nexus S, and I thought I was one of the lucky ones to receive the update shortly after it was announced. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After a good couple weeks of use, my phone had reached the point of being unusable. Ice Cream Sandwich was a disaster. Nine hours of battery life on low to moderate usage, when I used to get over 24 (!!!) on Android 2.3, Gingerbread. A ton of apps didn’t work. I was constantly getting storage error messages. And probably the thing that infuriated me the most, the camera data had been corrupted. To this day, even after rooting my device and trying both MIUI and CyanogenMod 9, my camera doesn’t work. It worked fine before my phone was updated to Android 4.0.
Unfortunately, Google’s actions toward the issues and problems surrounding the update to Android 4.0 aren’t new. Many users, like our own Taylor, experienced issues with their Nexus S randomly rebooting on Android 2.3. It took nearly two months for Google to release an update that remedied the problem. Which means that for two months, a good portion of Nexus S users found their device practically unusable. And there was nothing they could do about it.
At this point, I find myself wondering, would Samsung have fixed an issue like this sooner on a TouchWiz device? Would HTC come to my rescue and fix my broken camera if my phone was running some Sense slathered version of Android? The Galaxy S II is already being updated before the Nexus S (there goes the whole ‘Nexus devices get updates before anyone else’ thing), so maybe they would have.
Instead of seeing my device updated with the latest version of Android and enjoying a bug-less build of vanilla Android the way it was meant to be, much like thousands of other Nexus S owners in the world out there, I’m left feeling abandoned and thrown away. Why should I buy another Nexus device again? There’s other ways to use a stock Android device. And besides, maybe third-party skins aren’t so bad. I’m going to have to go with Reddit on this one, “FUCK YOU GOOGLE.” I won’t be buying a Nexus device again.