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If you're wondering where the delay is for Android updates, Verizon has the answer

0. phoneArena 15 May 2012, 19:32 posted on

Everyone loves to complain about how slow Android updates can be, and more than that, everyone loves to play the blame game, which mostly means saying that Google should be acting more like Apple and locking down control...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:00 5

1. Zayuh24 (Posts: 148; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


I've been telling people for a LONG time that it's both the carriers and the manufacturers... Google gives developers from the manufacturers and suppliers (carriers) the source code before they even release it! Yet we never see it implemented. I had the original droid that got Gingerbread lord knows how late; then I got the G2X which we don't even know if it will get ICS (LG says the Optimus 2x will, but of course, T-Mobile runs the show with the G2X).

I can understand the frustration, but I am not ready to void my warranty with a root. I would rather wait for a fully functional build to come OTA than use an 80% build. But with the long wait still ahead, and no legit release date for updates until around the corner when they arrive, I might rethink my position.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:12 4

9. corrifa (Posts: 34; Member since: 28 Sep 2011)


Most roms are around 100-110% on usability... i.e. cm9 adds plenty of extra functionality, and speed is probably 150% compared to a phones stock rom. Only at the beginning of a release are they not fully working, then devs do their magic and "kink" them out quickly

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:19 3

12. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


I completely agree with your first paragraph... and I think you need to rethink your position on the second.

A custom rom on version 1 might be 80% complete. But if you give it a month a good developer will have it running better than the manufacturer ever did. If your a fan of the stock experience, you can do small things like just installing a custom kernel to drive the phone a bit faster and a heck of a lot more smoothly.

ROMs give you more choice, better battery life on some, a way better experience on most compared to stock, and newer versions of the OS months/years before an official update if it ever gets one.

If there is an issue that you need to send it into warranty, you can almost always revert everything back to stock before you send it in. And honestly, most people dont even care/check for custom roms anymore.. its just so common. As long as they cant attribute the damage done to the phone from you fiddling with it, they generally dont bat an eye at it.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:50 1

18. Zayuh24 (Posts: 148; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


I've been looking everywhere researching stable ROM's. To be honest, I'm not savvy enough with the languages used to write the source codes, so I deem myself unqualified to do my own rooting lol. I have a friend that "claims" to know how to root, but he seems much more clueless than me on the basics.

Hell, if I can get away with rooting my G2X (or throwing a custom kernel on it), I will. The only thing I've rooted was my PSP years ago in high school when Sony gave out the firmware. I should do more homework on this before I lose my hair waiting on OTA's.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:53 2

20. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


if you go to forums.xda-developers.com and look up your phone, there is a "bible" or "root wiki" for each phone that gives you detailed step by step instructions on how to root.
its a lot of reading, but in practice, its not really that hard. it seems worse than it is.

I got my lil brother a G2X real cheap off craigslist, rooted it, and threw on a custom rom within 2 hrs of having it. Not a biggie.

posted on 15 May 2012, 23:16 3

35. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


I agree with remixfa. Step by step procedures on xda-developers are really a treat. So easy and straight forward. If you can install a windows program on a folder you created on your desktop you can easily root and flash your droid.

I didn't know anything about flashing and rooting before, then I tried it on my international Galaxy S. I got it bricked. And even when I got it bricked there were tutorials on how to unbrick it. After fixing it I was able to install a custom rom (CM7) and everything improved. Fluidity was nowhere near stock levels and even benchmarks skyrocketed. With a 1Ghz hummingbird powerVR540 the phone got 2300+ on quadrant and I didn't even overclock it. And it's not just benchmarks, I felt it in real life performance too like in gaming, web browsing, longer battery life, faster camera, etc.

Just like in the Matrix movies, you can take the red pill or the blue pill. It's a choice between the blissful ignorance of illusion (blue/stock) and embracing the sometimes painful truth of reality (red/custom).

The hardware of phones today, even the old ones , are much more powerful than what the manufacturers show them to be. And the dev community is there to help us unleash this potential hidden in the tweaks and software of OEMs.

posted on 15 May 2012, 21:50 1

29. Synack (Posts: 641; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)


It takes almost no time at all to learn how to do the coolest things with Android. If you have a Galaxy Nexus you don't even have to learn anything. We have a Toolkit where you press a couple keystrokes and your phone is unlocked and rooted and then you can go back to locked and unrooted with the same amount of ease. I just got mine replaced today because the 4G radio died. I was modded out the wazoo. Plugged in my Nexus to my laptop and had it wiped, locked, and unrooted and back to stock within 5 minutes and the Verizon store never knew I did anything to it.

posted on 16 May 2012, 00:06

38. ojdidit84 (Posts: 190; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


I'm with you completely on this. Been rooting my phones since my Sprint Hero and haven't turned back since. Have had the leaked ICS running on my Rezound for a month now and this phone run so much smoother than it ever could have on Gingerbread, not to mention that the ridiculous almost 2 days of battery life I'm getting with the stock kernel. I don't see that happening with the official, unrooted release.

I could just imagine how much smoother and how much better the battery life would be on my Razr Maxx but I haven't bothered to root that yet.

posted on 16 May 2012, 06:46 2

41. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the battery life on ICS is waaay improved. I keep making fun of a coworker that is afraid to take the leap to ICS roms with his SGS2 hercules. At the end of the day we both used our phones heavily.. he had to switch batteries and back, I was at 60% off the original charge.

There are a lot of tweaks built into ICS that you can fiddle with that do so much to improve things. GPU rendering makes the phone smooth, and the tweaks make the battery last longer. Pair it with Juice Defender for even longer battery life. I've hit 3 days on a charge before.. and I just have my old SGS1.

posted on 16 May 2012, 19:47

45. Zayuh24 (Posts: 148; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


Now all of the rooting/flashing methods I see are for 2.3.3. Will the same methods work for 2.3.4 (I updated as soon as the OTA hit my hands).

posted on 16 May 2012, 19:27

44. Numz (Posts: 31; Member since: 31 Oct 2009)


It's very ironic to me that this article posted today because I called Verizon and complained about this very issue just yesterday. I complained about 2 points, the first point being that the GSM version of the galaxy nexus has received a couple updates as well as the sprint version so why hasn't Verizon's? I also complained that I bought the Galaxy Nexus with the assumption that I'd receive timely updates because it was a developer phone but several weeks after I purchased it, Google announced that the Verizon version wasn't considered one. They then proceeded to tell me that they have nothing to do with the updates, that the manufacture is the one that tells Verizon they are ready to push out the update at which point Verizon starts rolling it out. I told them I find that hard to believe since, all other versions of the phone have received updates. They then attempted to put me through to Samsung at which point I got disconnected (convenient right?). Anyway, thanks for posting this article cause I think we all need to flood Verizon's call center with these complaints and maybe they will finally realize that it's worth it. The point I was trying to make with them was, if they find 1 bug in the update but it fixes 5 others, push out the damn update, I'd rather have the 5 bugs fixed and you can fix the 1 later.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:00

2. Twitch016 (Posts: 23; Member since: 26 Jan 2012)


This has been killing me recently. Anyone seen a change.org petition or similar to get Verizon to communicate and push updates? It's bad business and falsely selling a product - my GNex has been iffy on connection for a few days and all VZW and Samsung say is to wait for the update - which they don't know when it's coming.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:00

3. rockstarlive (Posts: 307; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


I heard from a very good source ICS could come as soon as the end of the month for the Nexus Raze and Rezound. Good source as in some Verizon reps.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:10

8. DigitalBoy05 (Posts: 200; Member since: 04 Jun 2011)


As a Verizon Rep I can say that there has been no internal document floating around our trainings or hot news for when these devices are to be updated. A lot of reps use sites like PA and Engadget etc to find out this info cause its usually leaked on here before our internal sites. Not always but a lot of the time.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:12

10. dmckay12 (Posts: 242; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)


That sounds familiar. Oh yea, that was last month. But I do hope that it is true.

posted on 16 May 2012, 02:02

39. Tatperson (Posts: 58; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


Nexus Razr? Never heard of that before :P

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:04 1

4. Cha7520 (Posts: 201; Member since: 31 Oct 2010)


I called Verizon about this phone for the third time. To Date, I have still not gotten the supposed "OTA Update", which I heard never passed the beta testing stage and that is why it hasn't been "officially" rolled out. This phone is a peice of crap! It reboots on my daily....3G goes out all the time...I'll be talking to a person on the phone...the phone will say I have 2 bars of signal, but for whatever reason the person says they don't hear me anymore, even though I hear them perfectly. The phone takes up to 5 seconds to rotate to land scape which is really annoying. I'm sick of this phone and was told by Verizon Agent to call Tech Support and they may be about to switch me to another phone....LOL...yeah right!

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:08

7. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2875; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


All they will do is just a send you another Galaxy Nexus. I feel the same way as you though. I really thought the Galaxy Nexus and ICS would start a new age for Android and it's updating process. But I am sick of waiting on Verizon to finally OK the next update and be done with it.

The original EVO got 2.2, and even 2.3 way faster than the Droid X did and it was a much better device all in all.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:23 3

14. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


This was a lot of our fears when we heard that VZW was getting a "nexus" device. Honestly, I think its bullshyt. Apple still retains direct control of iphones even on VZW. A nexus is a direct controlled device. I dont know if I should be more mad at VZW for monkeying around with it and ruining the Nexus experience for their customers, or at Google for not using their massive weight to push VZW out of the way like Apple did.

As an X-VZW employee I can tell you that the long update process has always been there.. its just much more visible now with the fast paced world of Android.

As a tech enthusiast, I can safely tell you that the only way to have updates immediately is to buy unlocked GSM Nexuses or dig in and learn how to root and update your device manually.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:28 1

16. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2875; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Yea I know. It's a damn shame because this is one of the things that the sheep boys keep rubbing in our faces. That Apple pushes out updates on time for all their devices, yada yada yada.

I agree with that, that IS one of the things I missed about having an iPhone.
If the rumors are true(which I doubt) I might have to switch back if it is a 4 inch display. I am really getting tired of spending 300 dollars on a phone, over 100 a month for it and be stuck at the same version it was running since the day I bought it nearly 6 months ago.

Yes I understand a lot of devices are still on Gingerbread. But a NEXUS device should be a different story. Even the Samsung Nexus S is running a more updated version of ICS than VW Galaxy Nexus.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:06

5. networkdood (Posts: 5569; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Well, the RAZR has received a few updates since November, and I have been running the latest AXIOM ROM ICS 4.0.4. Very little wrong with it. Screw Verizon and/or Motorola as the dev community does the best job of all with open source.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:07

6. Saamic (Posts: 99; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)


Can Verizon just has the least compatible everything

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:13

11. Whateverman (Posts: 3162; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Hey Michael, I thought I read somewhere that ICS is supposed to somehow prevent slow updates due to manufacturer UIs? And is there any reason why manufactures won't just make their overlays into a downloadable app instead of baking it into the OS? Seems to me if GO Launcher, ADW, and LauncherPro could do it, these guys should be able to as well.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:26 1

15. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


its supposed to lessen the update length from google dropping code to it getting to your device on ICS devices. Manufacturers can speed up the process quite a bit compared to what it used to be. Both HTC and Samsung have found ways to "lighten" their UI's so updates could/should be faster for the long haul. But none of that matters if the carrier sits on the update for long periods of time.
The final update launch is completely in the controls of the carrier and no one else. They give the "OK" on testing and the give the OK on roll outs.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:49 2

17. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2614; Member since: 26 May 2011)


I think the difference will be seen with the transition from ICS to Jelly Bean and going forward. The jump from Gingerbread to ICS is a huge one, which is why there have been such big delays.

Manufacturers won't make overlays separate, because that would mean users could turn it off. I'd love to see Google force that on manufacturers though. I've always felt that UI customizations should be handled like alternate launchers.

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:55

21. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


thats a long standing sentiment about the launchers. We'll get that right after Obama flies on a pegasus with a tatoo of Taco on its butt.

aka, not gonna happen. :)

funny visual though.. lol

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:20

13. tedkord (Posts: 3939; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Wrong, wrong, wrong. It's because of Google. Randall Stevenson said so. Are you going to try to tell me he's a lying, weasely, retarded, underhanded, four flushing, scumbag d**k?

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:50 1

19. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2614; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Who the F*** is Randall Stevenson?

posted on 15 May 2012, 20:56

22. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


isnt that the dillhole ATT CEO or whatever that was saying that it was all google's fault that they wouldnt update their devices?

posted on 15 May 2012, 21:31

27. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2875; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


and the same moron who said the wifi tablets are going away because they arent needed?

posted on 15 May 2012, 21:01

24. ckingt4 (Posts: 26; Member since: 15 May 2012)


Sounds about right.

posted on 15 May 2012, 21:01

23. Cha7520 (Posts: 201; Member since: 31 Oct 2010)


OK...so get this! I JUST got off the phone with Verizon Tech Support, that guy told me "THERE WAS NEVER AN OTA UPDATE TO 4.0.4!!!!". I'm like....um....are you serious?
The OTA update was NEVER Officially announced by Verizon because it never got past the initial testing stage, thats why they are denying the existence of an update. He stated since I'm still in my one year with the phone Samsung would replace it with the same phone. I told him no thanks, because I would just be getting another device nexus device. I knew I should have never left Virgin Mobile and done the whole contract thing...what a waste. I guess I'm stuck with this crappy phone...sigh.. :-(

posted on 15 May 2012, 21:10

26. ckingt4 (Posts: 26; Member since: 15 May 2012)


Honestly, if it never got past the soak test there was obviously an issue. As controlling as VZW is, I don't think there just sitting on the update to tick us off. I know that's the thought of some of the irrationalist on here and every other phone enthusiast site but it's just that, irrational. I have 4.0.4 leak installed, the only I'll effect I've noticed is battery life is somehow worse, but that doesn't mean there's not more. But the thought that it's being held back because they can, well that just doesn't seem to make sense.

posted on 15 May 2012, 21:34

28. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2875; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


lol NOT to mention that Virgin Mobile is getting the EVO V 4G at the end of this month.

4.3 inch super lcd qhd display, 1.2 dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of ROM, expendable memory slot, and the best feature of all ICS preinstalled.

I am done with Verizon and contract devices for a while. The EVO V 4G just sounds too good to pass up. Selling my Galaxy Nexus and will save over 70 dollars a month with no contract.

299 for a prepaid phone, same that I paid for my Galaxy Nexus.

posted on 15 May 2012, 21:04

25. cncrim (Posts: 419; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


carrier and manufacture it's the 90% of guide blame, 10% is google. why can manufacture just make driver that work then release update NO they want all the crazy UI then after that carrier want to add all stupid bloatware on it regardless we like it our not.......... now we get the idea slow update come from., on top of that how many device each manufacture make each year? blah blah blah
ROOT is fastest way to get the taste the latest OS.

posted on 15 May 2012, 22:05

30. DOGIEFRESH (Posts: 302; Member since: 15 Jul 2009)


All this updates fiasco is Google's fault, they developed the OS not the Cellphones Makers nor Carriers, it cannot be left on somebody who making money selling devices or carriers that charge for service......!!!!!!

posted on 15 May 2012, 22:09

31. RORYREVOLUTION (Posts: 2875; Member since: 12 Jan 2010)


Dude The makers slap on their own custom UI skin over Android, GOOGLE does NOT make HTC Sense, Touchwiz, etc.

posted on 15 May 2012, 22:31

32. DOGIEFRESH (Posts: 302; Member since: 15 Jul 2009)


Those customs UI don't run apps or represent an operating system and doesn't exempt Google responsibility to keep the software they created up to date they simple blaming others for their own slack........!!!!!!

posted on 15 May 2012, 22:40

33. alpinejason (Posts: 251; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)


cdma sucks.unlocked gsm is the only way period

posted on 15 May 2012, 23:16

36. ckingt4 (Posts: 26; Member since: 15 May 2012)


That's all well and good if you don't need the network. I'm a consultant, travel a lot and need reliable communications. I pick reliability over updates any day. Not afraid to root

posted on 15 May 2012, 23:10

34. DigitalMD (Posts: 226; Member since: 17 Feb 2010)


Remember that Google is a advertising company, not a software company. They don;t make much money on Android. Nexus is just a brand, a marketing device. It doesn't come with any better support and is still tied up by the hardware vendor and cell carriers. Google cannot control them.

posted on 15 May 2012, 23:18

37. tyson3 (Posts: 11; Member since: 15 May 2012)


I bought the galaxy note and was told that ics would be on the phone in a week after I purchased the phone! it has been two months now and no ics or even a release date! I called samsung and they said talk to at&t and they said talk to samsung! We pay all this money for phones and get stuck with 2 year contracts and we cant even get the best out or our phones! then when the update comes out a new one shows up and it is built for quad-core phones and we will be stuck again! People complain about apple and i understand some gripes but at least they keep their products updated and running smooth. I had the infuse for a while and it just got gingerbread several months ago!

posted on 16 May 2012, 06:33

40. StillStuckWithDroid (Posts: 65; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)


I bought the Droid Bionic on the day it was released....sat on my upgrade for over 4 months waiting for the phone to be finally released. I recently checked Motorolas update chart for the Bioniic and it is STILL in stage 1 (Under Evaluation) for ICS?????

I am fully convinced at this point the Bionic may never see ICS......the phone is nearly a year old now.

I have tried the different ROMS out there and some of them are very nice but the main issue I have and the reason I dont use them is they can not seem to get the Bluetooth working properly and there is a TON of static. I work on the road and Bluetooth is an absolute must.....so I cant use the ROMs for a daily OS

Axhiom made a very nice one but I guess he cant do anymore with it because he hasnt updated it since march

I think it is reprehensible that these phones that were supposed to be the "Flagships" and top of the line phones have been completely undersupported by Verizon and they have basically flat out lied about the support they woould recieve.

I HATE to say this but I am seriously thinking about just going with my work phone and giving up my personal phone all together

posted on 16 May 2012, 11:56

42. tjobrien21 (Posts: 1; Member since: 16 May 2012)


I think if Android devices had a BIOS or HAL sort of thing, then Google could have ONE build of Android that works on ANY standard device. Then, when updates are made available, WE could install them instead of waiting forever.

That's where the iPhone is win - there are just a few hardware platforms, and they're all well known (after all, Apple designed them). No oddball hardware, no strange skins, just straight OS as they designed it. While I like Android better, easy updating is one place Apple has it hands down.

posted on 16 May 2012, 19:24

43. Numz (Posts: 31; Member since: 31 Oct 2009)


It's very ironic to me that this article posted today because I called Verizon and complained about this very issue just yesterday. I complained about 2 points, the first point being that the GSM version of the galaxy nexus has received a couple updates as well as the sprint version so why hasn't Verizon's? I also complained that I bought the Galaxy Nexus with the assumption that I'd receive timely updates because it was a developer phone but several weeks after I purchased it, Google announced that the Verizon version wasn't considered one. They then proceeded to tell me that they have nothing to do with the updates, that the manufacture is the one that tells Verizon they are ready to push out the update at which point Verizon starts rolling it out. I told them I find that hard to believe since, all other versions of the phone have received updates. They then attempted to put me through to Samsung at which point I got disconnected (convenient right?). Anyway, thanks for posting this article cause I think we all need to flood Verizon's call center with these complaints and maybe they will finally realize that it's worth it. The point I was trying to make with them was, if they find 1 bug in the update but it fixes 5 others, push out the damn update, I'd rather have the 5 bugs fixed and you can fix the 1 later.

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