Who's taking care of my Galaxy Nexus update?

At the moment, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the only Android smartphone that can be experienced the way Google wants. Of course, there were previous Nexus iterations like the Nexus S and Nexus One, but with the Galaxy Nexus, Google got it right. Well, right enough that I recently bought one.

Your first days with any new device are the honeymoon. There’s the initial joy of opening the package and peeling off the plastic sheets on both sides and looking inside the box for accessories. Then, the battery is in its rightful place, the back cover is on, and at a touch of the power button the SAMOLED displays "Google." Things get interesting, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich animation pops up, I run through the initial set up and bang, I am now using my new shiny Galaxy Nexus.


Suddenly there’s an update. After downloading, I check to see the version number. It’s only 4.0.2...must be an older batch so no worries there. Playing around for a few minutes (again) another one pops up, so naturally I allow it to install and to my surprise it’s running Android 4.0.4.

"Great," I think. "Now I’m up with the Verizon boys."

Then it’s time to check for Jelly Bean, which was one of the main reasons for buying the Nexus in the first place. I press "check for updates" and it hit me: it was already up to date. You can imagine what went through my mind, especially after Jelly Bean was released more than a month ago at Google I/O and Google pushed the update to HSPA+ Galaxy Nexuses via OTA three weeks ago. So what’s up, dear Nexus?

Apparently I’m a very unlucky person, as my phone isn’t updated by Google, but instead by Samsung, according to my research on the build number I have: IMM76K.I9250XWLD2.

That "K" after IMM suggests that Google isn’t the one taking care of the build, but Samsung. The ROMs from Google do not have that "K" in the build number, and Samsung, unfortunately, hasn't clearly stated when its devices will be getting the Jelly Bean update. OTA upgrades have reportedly already been pushed out in parts of Asia. U.S. users continue to wait and speculate*.

So you know what this meant for me? Searching for a way to get Jelly Bean installed on my own. I just had to do it. I find it very ironic that despite writing the article on Google posting the Jelly Bean factory images, I was actually going to do just that: restoring using the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean images.

But since I was forced to do it by my own "must have the latest software" compulsion, I decided to throw in the one with Google Wallet. Now my Nexus will get updates when Google decides, and I feel that’s how it’s supposed to be.

I am writing this article in the hope that it will help my fellow Samsung Galaxy Nexus owners understand why Jelly Bean doesn’t show up via an OTA update, and how they can update if they choose to.

*editor's note: Mr. Bamburic is based in Europe

19 Responses to Who's taking care of my Galaxy Nexus update?

  1. Tom McDonald says:

    Where did you learn that Samsung was handling some of the Galaxy Nexus updates?  I

     wonder why this was done when Google's always claimed that getting updates directly from Google was one of the benefits of a Nexus phone.

  2. Luis says:

    wait you bought it from the google play store and you didn't get the jellybean update?

  3. trparky says:

    Big deal.  Just unlock the bootloader, load TWRP (that's Team Win Recovery Project, it's similar to ClockWork Recovery MOD), go to RootzWiki, find yourself a good Jellybean ROM (I suggest LiquidSmooth JB Beta 1) and go to town.  I've already done that on my Verizon Nexus and I couldn't be happier.

    • trparky says:

      And yes, there are GSM versions of third-party ROMs for the Galaxy Nexus including LiquidSmooth.  Seriously, the Galaxy Nexus is an Android phone that practically begs you to root and ROM it.

  4. Joco says:

    I have successfully followed the instructions here to update ICS 4.02 to JB 4.11
    Easiest Way to Change Galaxy Nexus from Yakjuxw (Non-Yakju) to Android 4.1.1 Yakju/Takju

  5. Why would you not get the Google one? It is just $150 more, it's not like an iphone where there is a $450 subsidy 

  6. I was in contact with Samsung, regarding this... they could not tell me when it arrived (Jelly Bean).

    I lost my patience and rooted it. Have 4.1 now. Cant be bothered waiting for Samsung. I might live that long.

  7. Geeks on Hugs says:

    I have a pure Google Nexus from the play store but I feel for people like you who's expectations for having a nexus device are not being met. It obviously damages the nexus brand, but it also hurts google's image as well as the android platform because Nexus devices are the only way for someone to have a pure android out of the box.

    Google if you call it Nexus then ensure you are the only decision maker between the device and platform updates. If you are unable to have total control do not call it a Nexus.

    But let it be clear to everyone that if you have a nexus device then you are pure Google. In apparently every single instance (100%) of the times you have allowed a Nexus branded device without maintaining control the other party has failed you and the customer.

    If you continue to allow this than you are culpable. If they fooled you once, shame on them. If they fool you twice...shame on...they can't fool you again.

    You are the decider. Now practice your love with Androids and get the Mission Accomplished so we can focus on putting food on our families.

  8. CA says:

    It really is sad to see how the fandroid base makes so many excuses for their beloved 'ol Sammy and googs.

    But I find it HILARIOUS that even with the supposed "pure google" load of *** these guys STILL CANNOT GET IT RIGHT!!!


    Google = FAILED!
    Samsung = FAILED!
    Google + samsung = dum and dumer!!!


  9. Pascal Raven says:

    Your a lucky one.  Try being in Canada.  I was on 4.0.2 as of July.  3 revisions back.  I kept thinking that it'll come soon. Not likely.  Maybe I would have gotten Jelly Bean by 2013...MAYBE...so I did it...updated my galaxy nexus manually...exactly what we as nexus owners shouldn't have to do...

  10. CyDetrakD says:

    I bought the Nexus not for support from carrier or manufactures but from the dev community. I missed the days of the og droid and knew the G Nexus would have the best ROM support hands down. Been enjoying Aokp forever now due to speed, stability, and customizations. Their roms have been the best and even in nightlies it is purely Amazing.

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