“People are f*cking idiots if they bought a Nexus for updates,” said a commenter on reddit. I’m not sure if I fully agree with that statement, but I feel like an idiot after I purchased the Verizon Galaxy Nexus on launch day and then recommended it to our audience of hardcore Android fans.
What’s wrong with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus?
The problem with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is that it suffers from a handful of annoying bugs that have existed since it launched. Customers with the device have reported it has random reboots, multi-touch issues, suffers from poor battery life, has slow screen rotation speeds, and a number of other minor bugs.
All these problems haven’t prevented me from using the Verizon Galaxy Nexus as my daily driver, but it has caused me a lot of frustration and made me wish I owned the GSM Galaxy Nexus instead.
To this day, Verizon’s device is stuck on Android 4.0.2 and it hasn’t been upgraded since it launched on December 15th, or 140 days if you are counting. The good news is that the newer Android 4.0.4 includes over 100 changes and fixed most of the problems reported above.
Google had some issues getting out Android 4.0.4 to some of their Nexus devices, but they finally started pushing it out last month. Verizon has been testing this Android 4.0.4 update since February, but they have yet to approve it and roll it out to their subscribers.
Is the CDMA Galaxy Nexus for Verizon and Sprint a “fake” Nexus?
Some people saw this problem coming. Engadget editor Myriam Joire dubbed the Verizon Galaxy Nexus as the “#fakeNexus” and predicted it would not receive updates on the same schedule as the GSM Galaxy Nexus.
Early this year the CDMA Galaxy Nexus disappeared from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) page. Google’s Dan Morrill explained that certain .apk files needed to be signed by the carrier so “pure AOSP builds running on these devices can’t place calls, access mobile data, and so on.”
At this point, I’m not really sure what the Nexus brand stands for anymore. Initially, we thought of Nexus phones as reference devices for developers so they could test their apps on the latest version of Android. But then Verizon came along and started selling the Galaxy Nexus in stores as a consumer device.
Now Google’s own Jean-Baptiste Queru says, “”The Nexus name is related to the consumer experience, and has nothing to do with AOSP support.” The only problem with that definition is that customers on Verizon and Sprint with the Galaxy Nexus will not be receiving the same consumer experience as those with the GSM version on other carriers.
What’s the hold up Verizon?
So do Verizon customers with a Galaxy Nexus actually have a right to complain? Some could say they are lucky to be on Android 4.0.2, while around 97% of Android devices are still stuck with older versions of Google’s mobile OS.
For now, there is not much that Verizon subscribers can do except sit and wait. There is a leaked testing build of Android 4.0.4 that some users have flashed onto their devices, but I decided to stick with the official build so that I could get the same experience that most Verizon users are facing.
We have reached out to Verizon multiple times to see if they had any news on the Galaxy Nexus update, but we have yet to receive a response. I know that Android updates are a touchy subject for most carriers, but it would have been nice to get an honest answer, even if that means a couple more months of waiting.
Don’t say “I told you so”
The Verizon haters out there will probably laugh at these kinds of reports and say that Galaxy Nexus owners are getting what they deserve. “The Galaxy Nexus is an over-hyped piece of plastic.” “You should have known that Verizon would never give full control of a device to Google.” “The Nexus was made for hacking you n00b. Shut up and flash it.” “Sprint’s version shipped with Android 4.0.4 lol!”
I still love my Galaxy Nexus and I have no plans to give it up anytime soon. However, I have been disappointed with how Verizon handled the launch and with the lack of support the device has received since it hit stores.
Verizon has tarnished the Nexus brand, and some users will never look at it the same. I know it is still Verizon’s responsibility to update this device, but I wish Google would step in and do something to help their most loyal supporters.
For all we know, Verizon could start pushing out the update later this week. In the mean time, I’ll just keep cursing them under my breath every time my damn phone reboots when I’m trying to use it.
It’s time to end the public smartphone beta test.