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Still waiting on Android 4.3 for your Nexus? Here's why it's taking a while

Posted: , by Chris P.

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Still waiting on Android 4.3 for your Nexus? Here's why it's taking a while
With the veil officially (and finally) off Android 4.3, some of you are probably eagerly awaiting the coveted update prompt to appear as from thin air. There are even some of you that have read reports from numerous users across the globe who already have Google's latest and greatest running under the hood.

But not you. No, you're seemingly the black sheep that the folks over at Mountain View have decided to pick on, and no amount of spamming the 'Check for Updates' button helps.

Well, folks, we absolutely agree that the not-knowing part is making this all a nasty experience, especially when your Nexus-wielding brethren already got the new goodies. That being said, we're glad to report that we have an as official explanation as you're about to get from a Googler working in the Android division.

Turns out, there's no actual ETA in place, nor a specific, preset schedule that Google follows. Instead, according to Jean-Baptiste Quéru, OTA updates go round the globe in phases. This is intentionally done very slowly in the beginning in order for Google to be able to identify (and handle) any “catastrophic failures that wouldn't have been found in testing”. Once the OTA update process has been set in motion, the second phase doesn't start for a minimum of two days, during which Google collects information on the rollout and plans the next phase:

Phase by phase, the OTA gets exponentially deployed to more and more people, up to a point where enough people are running it to be able to extrapolate even rare issues to the entire population, at which point the flow gets much faster.The point of going phase by phase is explicitly to be able to stop the process in case something goes wrong, and that's why there can't even be an ETA.

But here's the good news, according to said Googler, the OTA process is measured in days, not weeks, meaning that yours truly won't have to wait long. What's more, no amount of spamming the 'Check for Update' button will change your eligibility for one – geographical regions are picked at random, and if yours isn't eligible in the current phase, you simply won't get it.

Source: Jean-Baptiste Quéru (G+)

60 Comments
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posted on 31 Jul 2013, 07:43 2

1. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4408; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


This is a non issue. Android 4.3 will arrive WAY sooner than later.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 07:48

2. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Got my update 48 hours ago.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 07:52 2

3. Retro-touch (Posts: 264; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


There's always the stock images to flash if you own a Nexus device and you can keep your data if you want

I used Nexus Toolkit to flash 4.3 and it took less than 5 mins

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 08:09 5

4. LiquidGalaxy (Posts: 252; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)


And yet Apple devices get their firmware worldwide as soon as Apple flick 'the switch'...I dont mean to troll or act as flame bait but this frustrates the hell out of me. I own a Nexus 4 and an iPad and on the release of 4.2 i was waiting 8 days for it to finally appear on my phone (im in the UK). I just dont understand where Google is coming from with this. There are far fewer Nexus devices out there than Apple devices and yet everytime I'm left waiting ages, while my iPad updates at 6pm (10amPT) on the dot for everyone! With 4.3 it's not such a big deal as its only a minor update, but with bigger releases, i get extremely agitated. I guess i'm just impatient...!

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 08:15 13

6. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4408; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Dude you would have a point if you were waiting weeks and months, but to wait a few extra days is JUST too much for you. REALLY....?!? Please calm down. lol

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 08:25 1

9. LiquidGalaxy (Posts: 252; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)


Lol, I know, it sounds pathetic, but I really am just that impatient :S

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 13:33

40. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4408; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Ok cool then. lol

+1

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 08:42 4

11. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


actually there is a difference, apple announced IOS7 and yet your iPad does not have it and you probably are willing to wait a few more moths, android 4.3 gets released and you cant wait a few weeks? tsk tsk tsk

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 08:52 2

15. ayephoner (Posts: 837; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)


his point is that when one ios device gets it, they all get it.

with android, they do a slow roll out and the person sitting right next to you with the exact same device gets it days or weeks prior to you.

im not incredibly frustrated by this, but android is definitely losing me. i think i'll have an iphone by october.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 09:36 4

20. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


we kinda have seen issues wish the update being available for everyone and servers ganging on iOS due to massive requests, and common multiple issues so if staged roll outs can help improve the experience while updating... oh well

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 11:46 4

31. gagdude (Posts: 31; Member since: 18 Mar 2013)


"I'm switching from android because I can't wait a few days for features the iphone will never have. meanwhile, the current os is already light years ahead of ios!!!"

people these days

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 20:27

45. ayephoner (Posts: 837; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)


I can't read, so I'm going to infer something that is nearly the opposite of what was posted.

People these days.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 12:09 2

36. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)


I would hope there's a lot more to the story than just switching operating systems because of the way they get updated.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 20:31

46. ayephoner (Posts: 837; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)


I wouldn't say a lot more. Its mms. It simply doesn't work with android. Literally all of my friends have iphones and send group texts all the time. I can never see them. This is functionality that I had in my flip phone a decade ago. How and why it doesn't work, I don't care. I'm over it. I've had 3 android devices in a row and I'm going back to iOS.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 10:31

49. blazee (Posts: 318; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


android 4.2 and above supports group chatting. i know it was frustrating for me as well but thank god google finally made it available

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 10:59

50. blazee (Posts: 318; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


I ment group texting. One of my friends has a gs3 so he's still on 4.1, so my whole group of friends (along w the ones who got iphones) got the hangouts app just to group chat

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 12:25 1

51. ayephoner (Posts: 837; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)


I'm running 4.3 on my nexus 4 and it still doesn't work. Its absurd. Group texting should be a basic function of any cell phone.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 21:00

57. blazee (Posts: 318; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


If you have the nexus 4 then you can group text. I have the gnex and Ive been group texting w friends w iphones for months now. I think you might just have to enable the mms feature in the texting settings, Google it if you can't figure it out.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 21:20

58. blazee (Posts: 318; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)


MMS is actually a picture text so even though it is sending text it is actually sending it in a picture I believe, maybe your wireless plan doesn't include MMS service

posted on 02 Aug 2013, 21:48

60. ayephoner (Posts: 837; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)


ive looked into it extensively. i think ive identified the problem. when my friends send group texts, its always from an iphone to a bunch of other iphones and my nexus. since my nexus is the only non-iphone, the sending iphone sends an imessage. my nexus obviously has no idea what to do with an imessage, so it just says it never downloads.

admittedly, this isn't really google's fault, but it seems like the only solution is to get an iphone. apple wins. oh well.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 10:03 1

23. LiquidGalaxy (Posts: 252; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)


They 'announced' iOS7, they haven't 'released' it...and for your information I do have it as i'm a developer :P

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 11:13 3

29. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


that's what II'm talking about, its that both companies work different, while apple takes moths from announcement to released yet android may be only weeks from announcements to release, then staged roll outs (to reduce the number of issues and clogged servers), also there are methods that will force the download anyways...

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 11:17 3

30. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Go to Settings > Apps > All > Google Services Framework > Clear Data and then Force Stop the service (it will automatically restart). After doing this you can go to Settings > About Phone > System Updates > Check Now. You may have to repeat this trick a number of times (10 or more). Alternatively, you can reboot the phone after clearing the data (I always seem to have success after rebooting).

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 12:59

38. Zeus.k (unregistered)


+1. or you can root n fly lol

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 13:03

39. protozeloz (Posts: 5381; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


root is not needed for official OTA, you can even download the file go into recovery and flash it without even being rooted, its what ota does anyways

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 13:34

41. Zeus.k (unregistered)


i know that. What i meant was that if you dont wanna wait for the ota then you can either get it from xda or can flash factory image from google. cheers.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 08:46 2

14. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)


That's very apocalyptic, having to wait a few days.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 10:01

22. LiquidGalaxy (Posts: 252; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)


Thats not really the point - i'd just like to understand why Google can't do it the same way Apple does...

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 11:49

33. gagdude (Posts: 31; Member since: 18 Mar 2013)


to make sure there is no big error.....

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 11:55 1

34. av911 (Posts: 153; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


If you read the article, it tells you why...and it's even quoted.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 10:07 4

24. MartyK (Posts: 726; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)


You have a valid point, I think the reason being is, unlike Apple, Android would be criticize very heavily if they have a small hiccup, whereas Apple would get a past.
On top of that, android have to put up with all those different launcher that Apple don't have.
So it's kinda the curse of open source vs close system.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 11:47 1

32. marbovo (Posts: 658; Member since: 16 May 2013)


Eight days man....chill out

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 11:57 1

35. dsmboost (Posts: 46; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)


Meanwhile in Africa...

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 12:45 2

37. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)


REALLY....REALLY....you need get grow up and get a life...you sound like a crying F@$K....people are starving, dying in wars for nothing and your crying like some numbnuts jack*ss....your worse than a troll....look in the mirror and you'll see a waste of skin! Your not pathetic, its a lot worse than that!

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 18:28 2

43. LiquidGalaxy (Posts: 252; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)


Oh, a keyboard warrior, thought these guys had died out...For your information, I have fought for my country and I can bitch and cry about what I damn well please!

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 13:27

52. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)


Crybaby, all you done is play some PS3 game....If you served, then you wouldn't be crying like a baby, unless it was in a depot, getting the ammo we needed and pulling your pud the rest of the time. But its obivious that you haven't been anywhere near action, or you would talk like a grown up and not like a 2 year old baby....I served, front lines, in battle, wounded saving the life of someone I didn't even know, so ya I'm more than just a keyboard warrior, that would be Green Beret, Special Forces, retired, to you jack*ss. So now have I have to listen to a crybaby piss*ss like you moan about how he can't wait. Grow up you waste of skin. Here, I uploaded my pic just for you diaperboy!

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 15:01

56. Dr.Tom (Posts: 46; Member since: 11 May 2013)


Boy, I just came to read whats happening with my update to 4.3, but reading some of these comments sure are fun! Thats a big gun, don't recognize it from the usual M16/M4/AK47 most carry. You don't have to bark at LiqGxy, he seems to be rather immature, problably just a pimple faced teenager with some "growing up-get life in perspective" issues to deal with. Got to go...its been a slice!

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:31

55. Dr.Tom (Posts: 46; Member since: 11 May 2013)


you should try to calm down, before you have a heart attack...LOL. 'LiquidGalaxy' is obiviously a young, immature adult with out the knowledge or experience what is happening in the real world. His words reveal just how childish his thoughts truly are...but I guess that you understand how trivial a mere update is in the scheme of life...

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:07

53. Ronny666 (Posts: 108; Member since: 08 Jun 2013)


You sound like a confused kid... LOL! Anyway, Android 4.3 is not only for Nexus devices but soon for other devices. There are many other devices out there with different hardwares to feed compared to iOS devices.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 14:13

54. Dr.Tom (Posts: 46; Member since: 11 May 2013)


Perhaps you should read the article more carefully, them you would understand how each company handles the specifics of there updates. If you are a developer, as your other comment says, them you should understand. As for your waiting problem, I have patients that sometimes have to wait months just to see me, and there problems are real, I'm sure you can understand, real health issues, and not your imaginary patience problem. You write like an adult, but your words sound like those of an immature child. You should look at all the real problems that are occuring in our world today, then reading what your writing and realize just how childish you sound.

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 23:43

59. Igneel (Posts: 19; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Dude, 4.3 is not a minor update. The number and the changelog might say so but the codes doesn't. Ask many custom rom developers on how complicated it is to merge 4.3 into their rom.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 08:12

5. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 1255; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


got mine yesterday @11:45 am. photosphere is awesome.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 08:16

7. scriptwriter (Posts: 396; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)


Got it on my Nexus 10 on Friday and my Galaxy Nexus last night (UK). The Black line issue in the multi-tasker appears on my phone but not on my tablet. Also, as as with every android update i've received, Google play refuses to update or download any apps immediately after the update. This is easily fixed by signing out of Google then signing back again.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 08:16

8. boosook (Posts: 1089; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


"But not you. No, you're seemingly the black sheep that the folks over at Mountain View have decided to pick on, and no amount of spamming the 'Check for Updates' button helps."
LOL... genius! :) That's exactly how I felt when my girlfriend got the update on HER Nexus 7 that I bought in the same shop one month after mine! But after a couple of days I got the update too.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 08:27

10. cR203 (Posts: 189; Member since: 27 Jan 2013)


I got 4.3 on my nexus 10 on friday. To be honest I don't see a real difference between 4.2.2 and 4.3. I still have lag issues and my battery randomly dies sometimes. On the positive side though for some reason after the update the display looks better color reproduction wise. Colors are more rich and saturated. I don't know if that has anything to do with the update or it's just my eyes.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 08:43

12. kevin_wsy (Posts: 34; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)


You might wanna try factory reset your n10. I usually do factory reset for 2 times after an OTA. It is buttery smooth now.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 09:01

16. cR203 (Posts: 189; Member since: 27 Jan 2013)


That's a great idea. I'll try that.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 08:44

13. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)


My N4 received it yesterday. So far no problems.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 09:10

17. duttyow709 (Posts: 1; Member since: 31 Jul 2013)


Not all nexus devices are update directly be Google, my galaxy nexus has been on 4.2.1 for over six months now. My nexus is running the Samsung version of the stock ROM just like the galaxy S4 Google edition, so it is really up to Samsung to push the update to the device which will probably be another 4-6 months if ever.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 09:26

18. pellegrini (Posts: 83; Member since: 14 Jun 2012)


Got mine yesterday!

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 09:31

19. Santi_Santi (unregistered)


Im in Colombia and already received the update, looking good so far.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 09:42

21. suneeboy (Posts: 169; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


Got mine yesterday morning. It's noticeably faster, and the battery life is improved.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 10:17

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


Eagerly awaiting what? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Three's no user visible enhancements or performance improvements in 4.3, could really care less. Let's get 5.0 going and skip this one.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 10:24

27. androidfanboy (Posts: 162; Member since: 24 Jun 2013)


Your blind

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 14:02

42. HempHead (Posts: 6; Member since: 12 Dec 2012)


You can force the update by going into settings,apps,all apps then into google services framework tap disable and clear data and then check for the update again this process worked for me but it took me about 5 or 6 tries.

posted on 31 Jul 2013, 21:15

47. rj.gabrillo (Posts: 5; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)


My nexus 9250 always get an update 2-3 months after google released a new version. As of now my android is 4.2.1. I always checked the system update but it seems i really have to wait a couple of months... i just afraid to root my phone. Hehehe by the way im from Philippines

posted on 01 Aug 2013, 03:47

48. rabih_z (Posts: 45; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)


just got the update by midnight.
Nexus 7 is about 10% to 15% faster... and that is it
i like the new camera menu its easier for nexus 4

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