Even Nexus updates need improving [opinion]

Even Nexus updates need improving [opinion]

Lies, damned lies, and updates

So you may have heard that Google have begun rolling out Android 4.1.2 for the Nexus 7 (last week) and the Galaxy Nexus (today). Great stuff, that’s why you buy a Nexus: to get the pure Android experience, with the instant updates directly from Google.

Only it isn’t quite that picture perfect. I’ve been continuously pressing the “Check now” button on m Nexus 7 in vain for the last few days. I’m not sure why the button even exists as it’s never worked for me on any Android phone I’ve ever had. It’s just there to taunt you that you can’t actually get an update.

Anyway, the point is that even with Nexus devices, you don’t just instantly get updates as they are released. For reasons beyond my understanding, the update appears at some random time after its release. It could be a day, a week, a month… I’ll update this post when it actually comes through.

I just want to understand why Google have chosen to do things this way. Are they worried that they don’t have the server capacity to push updates out to those hundreds of millions of Nexus 7s in the wild all at once? Are the carriers interfering with the updates and not allowing them? Obviously not, as sales don’t appear to have been that huge and they’re all sold with WiFi only. Theoretically, the Nexus 7 should be the easiest device for Google to update promptly.

Once again, I’m left thinking how Apple get it so right, and how even the best Android update experience is markedly inferior.


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  • Liam

    Same for me on my Galaxy Nexus. Any instructions for a manual update?

  • ajmal RAMJAUN

    not sure if this will work but worth a try…
    You can force your device into grabbing the update by going into Settings > Apps > All. From there, scroll down and select Google Service Framework. Tap on Clear Data, accept the warning, then tap on Force Stop and accept the warning again.Once you have cleared and stopped the Google Service Framework, go back and check for a System Update as you normally would. You’re Galaxy Nexus will then look for the update, and odds are, it’s going to find it this time.
    Source: http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57446640-285/how-to-force-your-verizon-galaxy-nexus-to-update-to-android-4.0.4/

    • Liam

      Didn’t work for me :(

  • Paul Sleight

    I’ve been checking twice a day since I read the article.
    Had my Nexus 7 out with me at work today, no wifi connection, and as soon as I got home and in range of my wifi the update notification came through. I started the update process which took about 4 minutes. I now have a rotating home screen.!
    Unfortunately as I am typing this into the Disqus box, I can’t see what I’m typing, the text doesn’t scroll properly.
    So far the Nexus 7 has rebooted itself only once, it has been doing this quite a few times recently, so I’m hoping it will be more stable now.
    Guess we’ll see….

  • Paul Sleight

    Humph!…. Rebooted twice in an hour or so now, not getting a good feeling about this…

  • Billinge

    I suddenly got a notice on my Samsung Galaxy Nexus S last night saying an update was available, and it was done within a few minutes. I don’t believe there are any front end changes on the Nexus S, just bug fixes.

  • Maybe its just me… After 24 hours running the 4.1.2 update I noticed my Nexus sitting quietly in a corner making a strange clicking noise. When I looked, there was a lock-screen up which I have never seen before asking me to put in my password to access data. Trouble is, I’ve never knowingly given it a password for any lock. My Google account password doesn’t work, and despite repeated attempts it doesn’t offer any other way to unlock it.
    At the moment, its looking like a hard reset and then maybe a root and new ROM.
    Pah! It was all going so well…

  • Mine updated Saturday, asked me to reboot and has been ticking over nicely ever since …