Google sends wrong update to Galaxy Nexus

Let me see if I understand this. Google, the company that perfected web search and through it changed the lives of billions of people, must disable the local functonality from its flagship smartphone -- all because of Apple? Now do you see why about a month ago I boycotted Apple and last week called the preliminary injunction against Galaxy Nexus shameful?

Watch out. This is one Android update you don't want to accept. I asked my wife this morning: "Do you use local search on your phone?" She has Galaxy Nexus. My lovely looked up with a startled WTF looked and answered: "Yeah". Of course she uses local search on her phone. Who doesn't? You. If you own Galaxy Nexus and accept the update. It's the wrong one for Google to send out. The search giant should dispatch Android 4.1, which if, I understand correctly, changes search so that Apple's bully patent doesn't apply. C`mon, Google, you can do better.


Judge Lucy Koh issued the preliminary injunction on Friday, but Google waited until yesterday to respond -- and wisely so. Last week, Judge Koh also issued an injunction against Galaxy Tab 10.1. Samsung, which makes both devices, asked the judge to stay the ban pending appeal. Yesterday she refused, raising questions to perhaps a similar request for Galaxy Nexus is doomed to the same fate. It is. She refused to stay the Galaxy Nexus injunction, too.

Google's response was swift. Late last night, Android's maker let the world know that a search-on-device disabling update would come to all Galaxy Nexuses, regardless of carrier. Meanwhile, Google removed the smartphone from its online store. Galaxy Nexus is now "coming soon" with Android 4.1 for 50 bucks less than with the now-removed Ice Cream Sandwich model.

Okay, I get it, Google, but why not give Galaxy Nexus owners some Jelly Bean now. Last week, at the I/O developer conference, Google handed out the smartphone to attendees. I got one. It boots up to Android 4.0.4 but later prompts for 4.1 update. Google already announced that Galaxy Nexus would receive Jelly Bean in mid-July. Well, frak, don't wait. Don't send people an update that disables features, send one that enables them. But, sadly, even Jelly Bean is without universal search available on Ice Cream Sandwich.

Of course, manufacturers and carriers stand in the way. Many are slow about dispatching Android updates. Here in the United States, Verizon supposedly ships stock Ice Cream Sandwich on Galaxy Nexus, but then drags its ass delivering updates. Exactly how long does it take to qualify a point zero one update, Verizon?

Three days ago, on Google+, I asked in comments responding to Kevin Gault: "Could defendant lawyers argue that Galaxy Nexuses Google ships with Jelly Bean be removed from the injunction? What irony, if the win bit Apple's butt by reducing fragmentation -- Sprint and Verizon rushing to Android 4.1".

The next day, Google released the newest data on Android. In the 14 days before June 2, 10.7 percent of the phones accessing Google Play had Android 4.x -- small number considering the OS launched in October. The install base doesn't move forward fast. But what if Apple's injunction changed that, with a mad rush to Jelly Bean?

If I were Samsung, which hasn't yet faced final judgment on Galaxy S III, qualifying Android 4.1 for July release would be top priority. And whoa be it to Apple if the unforeseen consequence reduced Android fragmentation, which would increase competition. Let me tell you, having used iOS 5 and Android 4.1, Google's OS makes Apple's look like, well, Windows XP to OS X Lion.

Google, do the right thing. Celebrate America's independence by sending out Jelly Bean now to stock Android Galaxy Nexuses. Don't let Apple tax functionality without user representation.

Image Credit: Brian Haslip

47 Responses to Google sends wrong update to Galaxy Nexus

  1. Redwan Huq says:

    The only true losers in this patent war are consumers. 

    • Kevin Schotts says:

      I absolutely agree, that is why we are paying idiotic prices on devices.

      • Edw. Roth says:

         I  concur! And thanks for your earlier statement. I though I had an attack of cognition deterioration when attempting to read the main article.

  2. rb1234 says:

    Dude your headline is misleading...... Makes it sound as if google screwed up the update..

  3. RobotPirateNinja says:

    > Let me tell you, having used iOS 5 and Android 4.1, Google's OS makes Apple's look like, well, Windows XP to OS X Lion.

    Mixed metaphor left me confused.

  4. cloncs says:

    After all this rant. Which version do I want on my Google Nexus S 4G Smartphone D720 which currently has Android version 4.0.4 ?

    • Sparxx2k7 says:

      Considering it's about the Nexus, it doesn't matter for your model.

      • cloncs says:

         I assume you mean the GALAXY Nexus models. Mine was one of the first ones I think there has been a II and now a III? Thanks. Peace.

      • Sparxx2k7 says:

        yep my bad - quick-typing on my phone and forgot the obvious part :P

  5. AEonCIpher says:

    Horribly titled and written article

    • regbs says:

      The bad misleading title is deliberate. Unscrupulous authors do it it get hits and command better sponsorship. This is the same scumbag behavior that titles articles "iPhone 5 Release Date Announced!" and "Jelly Bean Release Named," then regurgitates old blogs that offer none of the information advertised.

  6. dirk88 says:

    This is not surprising. Since when is Google known for quality? Are we already forgetting when they lost tens of thousands of users' emails? Are we forgetting that they offer "products" that are perpetually in beta? I'm still laughing that Google App Engine uses JDO for data access (I think you can use JPA to abstract that away, though...). Well, most of the enterprise Java community laughed at that. Android users have been beta testing since the get go.

    • Everything they offer is in Beta because their products are constantly being improved, so there is never a final release. If you understand the concept of a Beta release, you would know that however functional, they can always make improvements without having to ship the entire project over and over.. They just patch it. It saves time, money, and it provides a fix much faster for the consumer. 

  7. You need to read your articles over a few times before posting them.

  8. Kevin Schotts says:

    Wow, did this rambling makes sense to anyone? Reminds me of a girl I knew that was on lithium. Without it she rambled everything off in one really long sentence, like this article.

    I do believe I got the just of it. Apple, the evil empire. Google, the rebel alliance. Which I absolutely agree with. But how did Google release the wrong ota?

    When you calm down a bit and take your lithium, re-read your article and maybe get it more coherent and correct. From one android fan boy toanother

  9. smarterthanuare says:

    Help me understand something. It's my understanding that the local search functionality that Google disabled is a feature available on every other Android phone running ICS and possibly even Gingerbread. How is it that a judge can legally only ban Samsung products? The correct ruling would have been to throw this case out of court and have Apple take it up with Google. Besides, Apple didn't invent the local search functionality present in Android. In fact, Apple didn't invent any part of Android.

  10. Holy crap, Joe. Either learn to write, or hang it up. Focus on a topic for the duration of the article, and stick to it. I could write better than this... 

  11. Charlie Ford says:

    Get this  through your dumb skull... Google stole the ideas and Android is a stolen product. It doesn't matter how much it is used and how much you like it. There are patent laws in place to protect people who actually innovate and not just steal.

    • John says:

       Just so you know Android was a company started in 2003. Google acquired it in 2005. The first commercial Android handset was released in late 2008.

      • Bill Taney says:

        Android did not have a product or a patent until 2009, it really does not matter when they were founded. Also, originally were they were pursuing more of a Trio/Blackberry OS replacement for a general smartphone OS replacement, not a full multi-touch screen based system, which Apple was absolutely the first to market with. The argument that they were developing phone software before apple (which is probably not true, I am sure they were working on iOS well before it's release in 2007.) is not valid. Ford Motor Company has been developing cars since 1903, they still had to legally enter a cross-licensing agreement with Toyota to produce hybrid engines that used Toyota's intellectual property.

      • Bill, Apple has been first to market with absolutely nothing, especially touch screen phones.  At least Palm and HTC beat them to the market, and that's not even counting all the phones that came out in Asia that never made it here.  You Apple fanboys really live in your own little world, completely isolated from reality.

    • Get this through YOUR thick skull.... Android was already built by the time iOS was. Google didn't do anything but buy it, they did not invent it nor did they Steal it as you accuse. I bet you think Apple devices are "magical" and "amazing" too, don't you fanboy? 

    • Bruce Miller says:

       Charlie, have you read the patent that Apple is claiming as innovation?  I have, the whole thing, including the claims.  All it says is that Apple patented the idea of accepting user queries and looking in multiple places for an answer.

      Do you really believe that Google stole this "idea" from Apple?  Do you really believe that something like that should really be patentable?  Do you?

      Google has been doing stuff like this since before there was an iPhone.  The software patches are just to get around the injunction until Google wins the lawsuit and collects a fortune in damages from Apple.

      I love Apple products.  I use them all the time.  But I hate what Apple has turned into over the past year or so.

      • For says:

        As far as the technology industry goes, Apple is on top with the most money to burn. Yes, they make excellent products, but even I stopped being an Apple fanatic when I finally started seeing the methods they were resorting to in order to get ahead of its competitors.
        Apple believes that it is untouchable and have a special right to certain ideas and "innovations," but through these lawsuits they constantly try to halt innovation and technology moving forward - all for the sake of wanting to stay on top and win the war through litigation, not through making better, competitive products.

        Apple is on top. When you're on top, the only direction to go is down. Apple won't stay on top forever and when they fall, they will fall hard. Keep spending hundreds of millions in court, Apple. You are causing fans of your products to look at you negatively and, ultimately, leave you. I did and I know others will.

    • trob6969 says:

      Can you please explain how Android was stolen from Apple when Android existed before iOS or before Apple came up with 'i' anything?

  12. I don't know what kind of readers you have here, but it seems like a bunch of Apple fans are reading your articles... It's just a little too technicle for their iOS minds. Maybe you should stick to talking about how iOS ripped off Android's notification bar. Oh they don't mention that do they? Ah well

  13. bmovie says:

    Nokia says Google and Asus's lawyers need to sit down with them for coffee and chat about patent infringement. Nexus 7 may not be less than $200 for long. 

    Google has their head up their Asuses.

  14. Marshall Baer says:

    Here is a question: Do You Know where to download the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) ROM for GSM phones. All I can find are modified versions by forum users. I want the Original Stock 4.1 ROM - with nothing altered... So after the Google updates the Nexus, I can order one and flash the original 4.1 ROM with Google Now

  15. chaztech says:

    To the point... I also own a Gnex and agree that they should push out 4.1 as a runaround apple's petty suing games!

  16. Bill Taney says:

    I get it, it's not convenient to have features removed from your phone. I don't however understand how Apple is a villain for defending their intellectual property. We are also talking about the two 800 pound gorilla's with Apple and Google, so don't play the anticompetitive card like they are picking on some small startup. If they didn't want litigation issues they should have come up with a product that doesn't look like a complete knockoff of an existing product.

    • latb says:

      What products are you talking about? The Nexus and the iPhone look (and for that matter, in daily use, act) nothing alike.

    • Can you please describe the form factor and/or features of the Galaxy Nexus that make it a "complete knockoff" of ANYTHING Apple has brought to market?

    • JSYOUNG571 says:

      Check your iPhone into a senior citizen home please. It has looked the same since it came out. Apple is scared to death of innovation with Stevie gone. 

    • mf2112 says:

       It is obvious that you DON'T get it.

  17. DougZ says:

    What's funny is Jellybean has been available since a few hours after it was announced from the dev community. The installation was super easy and it works perfectly (there were a few hicups with Wifi and GPS signal strength, but those were resolved).

  18. Charles Carroll says:

    I am so glad to see your post. I have been very concerned that Google's quick fix would be to disable "the local functionality" on my Galaxy Nexus. Is it time finally to root my phone and update it with the jellybean available on xdadevelopers?

  19. prestone1 says:

    when the iphone was released it was the most innovative non functioning phone in the world. no video, no multi tasking, no MMS, no OTA, no copy & paste, no 3g...the list continues. it has always been a step behind and will always be a step behind because they have 1 product per year. apple has copied or as you would say 'stolen' more ideas/functionality from other companies than android has taken from iOS.

  20. markbyrn says:

    You know Joe, I think you're right for a change and in fact, by sending a update that removes the offending functionality, Google is waiving the white flag and admitting guilt instead of standing their ground.  BTW hypocrite Joe, where is the self-righteous indignation about the Microsoft tax on every Android device?   

  21. Spoken Word™ says:

    I must have missed something because no updates removing local search from any Galaxy Nexus that I'm aware of. As a matter if fact, an update hit the Nexus 7 days ago and local search is still intact.

  22. ILIO WAHINE says:

    What an Incredibly poorly Written Rant. Seriously, you lost me so many times, I have no idea what you are talking about or what it is you ultimately want.

  23. parsonbrown11 says:

    Silicon Joe, up to your tricks again?

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