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.