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Google Nexus update policy changed: waits may be longer depending on your carrier
The arrival of the next generation of Nexus products has been a bit of a mixed bag for some of us. Whether we felt the Nexus 6 was too big, or we wanted a proper update to the Nexus 7 or 10 instead of the Nexus 9 — there’s no denying that not everyone is pleased with what Google has brought to the table. Of course, you can’t please everyone and there are a number of folks that are very happy with the latest members of the Nexus family.
Ultimately the Nexus program isn’t about making everyone satisfied, it’s about creating solid reference devices that pave the way for the current and future direction of Android, and in that endeavor, the new Nexus devices succeed.
With a greater push towards mass carrier availability, we are all more than curious as to what sacrifices folks who buy the phone through a carrier will forced to make
In addition to introducing a new ‘phablet’ size, the Google Nexus 6 also has the distinction of being the most ‘carrier friendly’ Nexus to date. While the Galaxy Nexus supported nearly every major carrier (including Verizon), the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 saw much more limited releases among US carriers. In contrast, the Nexus 6 will be sold through all four major carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile), as well as UScellular.
With a greater push towards mass carrier availability, we are all more than curious as to what sacrifices folks who buy the phone through a carrier will forced to make — if any. So far we’ve seen stuff like carrier branding from AT&T, as well as SIM-locking and a few other dubious moves. But what about carrier updates? A new update to the support page of the Nexus/GPE device software update policies isn’t too encouraging at first look:
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.
It’s unclear what this change in language means, but we have a feeling Google is just being cautious. After all, they’ve been burnt by carriers before and may just be covering their tracks in the event a carrier drags its feet on approving an update (whether to do carrier apps not working right, or otherwise) and it results in a delay. It doesn’t necessarily mean we should expect carrier updates to Nexus devices to always take longer.
The good news is that Google has seemingly learned from past dealings with carriers
The good news is that Google has seemingly learned from past dealings with carriers and so even if Verizon, AT&T or another carrier is slow to update their software, it will still be easy for folks to manually update their Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE through OTA links, factory images and the like. After all a Nexus 6 or Nexus 9 LTE is the same (firmware wise) regardless of what network its built for or what carrier branding it possesses.
Before you get up at arms, it’s also important to remember that getting a Nexus 6 through a carrier is just one option and not the only one. If the possibility of getting an update delayed due to carrier meddling absolutely is a deal breaker for you, simply pick up the unlocked Nexus 6 and you should be good to go. What do you think of this latest change, just Google being cautious? Furthermore, are you happy to see Google pushing its Nexus phone to more carriers? Let us know what you think in the comments.