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How is it that Verizon’s and Sprint’s Galaxy Nexus are still stuck on Android 4.1?
Despite being cut from the same Galaxy Nexus cloth, not all variants of the once-flagship phone are apparently made equal. As pointed out by Droid Life, the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon and Sprint is three software updates behind its GSM counterpart, which, as we know, is now sporting Android 4.2.1.
After we saw a glimpse of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the Nexus 7 in June, it only took a few weeks for the jelly treat to arrive on the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus, specifically in early July. The same update didn’t come to Sprint’s variant until September 6 and Verizon’s much later in the month. We’re sure we’re not the only one wondering when the newer Jelly Bean will make it to the two CDMA variants.
To be fair, Verizon and Sprint aren’t the only two carriers guilty of such crime. Software updates prepared by manufacturers or Google typically must go through rigorous testing procedures before getting the carrier’s seal of approval – and it’d take even more time for the new software to be rolled out to end-customers.
Nevertheless, it remains a sore point for those who bought the Galaxy Nexus expecting their “Nexus” to get swift software updates, as it’s meant to be. This hasn’t been the case at all. Sadly, Google is holding back from exerting its power to speed up the process.
It’s clear that Google isn’t too happy with how carriers are slowing things down. which explains why it decides to let the Nexus 4 roam free. T-Mobile’s version doesn’t really count, as it comes with no bloatware and it’s been iterated that the software update will come directly from Google. It looks like we may not see another carrier-branded Nexus phone in the foreseeable future.
Going back to the title — it’s not all surprising to see that Verizon and Sprint, software-wise, aren’t really keeping their Galaxy Nexus up to speed. It would be a surprise for the newer Android versions to never come at all, but we think worst comes to worst you’ll simply be several months behind.
But it’s not so bad — you guys only missed out on Photo Sphere, Daydream, the new Swype-like keyboard and lock screen, improved notifications, and a dozen or so features that won’t really affect your love for the Galaxy Nexus. Or do they? Sorry, we don’t mean to rub salt into your wound.
Now what we’d like to know: Are you still hopeful that you’ll get the new Jelly Bean(s) soon-ish? Will you consider buying a Nexus device that’s tied to a carrier in the future? Do you think Google should do more? Feel free to give carriers and their long-winded software updating procedures some piece of your mind in the comments below.