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Nexus 4, Nexus 7 Android 4.2 / 4.2.1 Wi-Fi issue still present, ‘Issue 40065’ not exactly publicly addressed by Google

A Wi-Fi issue seems to be affecting a variety of Nexus devices (Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Galaxy Nexus) running Android 4.2 and Android 4.2.1, with Google reluctant to call it a software issue.
February 9, 2013

In case you own an Android 4.2.x Jelly Bean device – which means a Nexus smartphone or tablet because we’re talking about the official Android 4.2 and 4.2.1 builds – then you too may have experienced or are experiencing some Wi-Fi issues.

In fact, our tipster points us to an unresolved, but apparently closed thread on Google Code that’s filled with complaints regarding Wi-Fi connectivity on Nexus devices, a bug that has been observed since Android 4.2 came out.

Issue 40065 as it’s called – or “Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 Wifi drops connection Android 4.2” – has 464 people talking about it. The thread has been started on November 20, 2012 and closed on February 1, 2013, without Google acknowledging any issues with Android 4.2/4.2.1 that affect Wi-Fi experience on Nexus devices.

Please describe the problem in detail. Be sure to include:
– Steps to reproduce the problem.
Wifi will drop connection after a period of time (looks to be while in deep sleep. Shows normal signal strength but google sync has been lost (grey status bar icons) and no connection
– What happened.
Connection drops completely
– What you think the correct behavior should be.
Shouldnt drop connection at all. [sic]
Happens on both Nexus 4 and Nexus 7
Setting static IP does not fix. Keep wifi on during deep sleep set as always. Have to toggle wifi on/off to get it to connect again.

The Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 were obviously launched running Android 4.2 out of the box, so some users started experiencing these Wi-Fi issues right out of the box. But is it a hardware problem?

Considering that other Nexus devices have shown similar Wi-Fi symptoms only after getting Android 4.2/4.2.1, this seems to be more of a software issue, one that will be most likely resolved in a future Android release, most probably the Android 4.2.2 version that we keep seeing in reports lately but also in our traffic logs.

While the thread has plenty of responses detailing personal Wi-Fi issues and some workarounds, it’s not clear how many devices out there are affected by the problem. At the same time we don’t expect all Nexus owners to know about the existence of this thread, and many people may have turned to other resources for fixing the issue.

Most notably, an xda-developers Forum thread (see Source link below,) started on December 30, 2012 and titled “Wifi network connectivity issues and a possible fix,” details Wi-Fi issues on the Nexus 4 and a possible fix. While not official, this could help Nexus 4 owners get rid of the Wi-Fi issue until Google releases a new software update. But that’s definitely not the way things should be handled.

Why isn’t Google acknowledging the problem? Even if it’s affecting only a small number of devices, the problem can be seen on a variety of Nexus products – in addition to he Nexus 4 and Nexus 7, the Nexus 10 and Galaxy Nexus also appear to suffer from similar problems.

We have no answer for that question, but we can only imagine that admitting that your latest Android OS version has a flaw that affects Wi-Fi connectivity will not get you great press. But Google wouldn’t be the first or the last company to admit there are Wi-Fi issues with its devices, and it wouldn’t be the first or the last to try and fix them.

Samsung Nexus 10


So why isn’t it publicly addressing them, and why hasn’t a fix appeared in the almost three months since these issues were initially reported? After all, smartphones and especially tablets that can’t connect to Wi-Fi are definitely a hassle, with the latter being useless without a dependable Internet connection. And customers will complain about such issues, and take additional measures, like returning faulty devices and asking for their money back.

This is where Android’s fragmented state comes in handy at least for Google. Imagine what would have happened in case Android 4.2/4.2.1 were available for multiple non-Nexus devices, and they would have all experienced similar issues after the update.

On the Google Code thread mentioned above, Google only intervened a few times to comment on the situation, without actually saying that it’s a software issue. Instead, Google reps asked users posting reports about their Wi-Fi experiences to provide router model and firmware details.

Only on February 1, 2013 did Google sort-of mentioned its findings for these Wi-Fi issues, but it didn’t say they have anything to do with Android 4.2/4.2.1 code:

Thanks to folks who provided details. Some issues have been identified:
* Scan failures with certain routers
* Channel selection for non US regulatory domain
* ARP filtering
Other interop issues continue to be investigated. For new folks reporting issues, please include router model/firmware version alongside the symptoms to help with repro.
Not clear when fixes will go out at this point – some will go earlier than others

At the same time, the status of Issue 40065 was set to “Future Release,” but users can still file comments on the matter.

Let’s hear it from Nexus device owners out there, are you experiencing any issues with your Wi-Fi connection?

Thanks, Jason!