Frustration over Verizon Galaxy Nexus Jelly Bean update

By Alan Ng - Jul 20, 2012

Earlier on this week we informed you about a potential rollout for an official update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for the Samsung Nexus S. While that is obviously great news for those who still have a Nexus S, the same can hardly be said for Galaxy Nexus users on Verizon who are wondering if they have been hung out to dry again.

After the 6 month wait for Ice Cream Sandwich and the bare mininum of official updates since the handset launched in December 2011, it has hardly been a perfect scenario for those who initially thought they were getting a true flagship handset from Google.

With Jelly Bean updates already finalized for the GSM Galaxy Nexus and now the Nexus S it seems, questions may start to be raised on when Verizon plan to offer the update to users. It is really down to Verizon as well, since you should know now that Verizon is the one who has to approve the update first before it goes live, hence the reason why Google had no trouble at all issuing the update to the GSM Galaxy Nexus without any barriers.

Will consumers have to wait another 6 months until Jelly Bean arrives on the LTE model? That could potentially mean having to wait until December until you get your hands on the latest version of Android and a lot of you will probably argue that it simply isn’t good enough.

There is of course alternatives around this merry go round problem and that falls to you in the way of custom ROMs, as long as you have a rooted handset. If you insist on holding out for an official update, we’re afraid to say though that you may be waiting for another few months yet.

As a Verizon Galaxy Nexus owner, how does it make you feel seeing older handsets such as the Nexus S getting Jelly Bean before you? Do you essentially feel a bit cheated by your carrier, or have you known the update situation with Big Red for a while now and decided that unofficial software is the way to go? You do have that unlocked bootloader remember, so Verizon are not exactly stopping you from heading down this route.

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Also See: Nexus 7, 9 and 10 root instructions for added functions

  • Dklogwedric

    please help me . after I update the nexus to jelly bean I can’t put my phone on speaker or hang on. How to end a phone call??? in the new menu???

  • KB

    I have been a huge fan of android because of related google product.  However, due to verizon’s unacceptable manner, I am thinking of switching to the iPhone even though I will have to breach the contract. 

  • Jdfaulkner30

    Verizon has ruined the Nexus experience for a LOT of people.

  • I have word for all you guys complaining about software updates……IPHONE.  I get all my updates directly from apple as they are released, a matter of fact i am running a pre-release version of ios 6 beta 3 on my sprint iphone 4s. Apple seems to be the only one with the balls to circumvent the carriers and manage updates on thier own.  Of course, apple never releases broken updates.  They may have bugs, but they don’t brick the phones.  Leave that to all the hackers and unlockers.

    • Gil Dimitri

      I love how Apple fanatics look for articles to post iPhone advertisements – or IPHONE, as stated by Mr. Eklove. As usual – How does this help the discussion? (BTW, iOS 6 beta 3 was a release to developers, correct? – not the general public.)

      “I got 5 more miles to the gallon with my iPhone!” “I couldn’t tie my shoes before the iPhone.” “I couldn’t live in a locked down world, drooling over features that Android had for two years prior before the iPhone.”

      And, with regard to Apple never releases broken updates, there have been over 100 updates to iTunes in the last few years, the vast majority of which have been to fix “security,” “stability,” or “bugs”. (Apple’s words, not mine.) Further, by “balls” you should state the corporate muscle and control to dictate terms to carriers, developers, etc. That, I would agree with…

  • Guest

    I am really upset at the whole thing with Verizon and them holding back on the update. Like most I expected this phone to be a pure Google phone and get the latest and greatest updates right away and not wait for Verizon to decide if it works or not or make sure it works on there phones. Does not seem that way with the Iphones. Once an update is out you get it if your a owner of a Verizon Iphone, ATT, or who ever.
    Just sad!!! Can’t Google have there own iTunes type of software and just update it that way.

  • Mike

    My Galaxy Nexus (Verizon) works just the same as it did when I got it.  Whenever they send me JB I will upgrade. Until then, ICS is fine… I Have JB on my Nexus 7 and it is nice.  No hurry on the phone for me. 

  • brendodendo

    Verizon is great wireless with bad customer service and horrific management decisions.  Root it, Rom it and forget the Verizon corporate BS.

  • Jeremy Dougherty

    Hey, it is Google holding up the update, not Verizon.  I am not even on Verizon and I know this.  It is the same story over on Sprint where I am.  It took them months to get the Nexus S owners ICS here.  Google has to send the file to the carrier to send it out to the customer.  The problem is Google isn’t doing that.  It only takes Sprint one week to test and send out an OTA.

    Google needs to get their act together.  

  • wommy

    This may be dumb, but has Jelly Bean been actually confirmed by Verizon?

  • netguru2000

    I thought Verizon was on the ball and I would get timely updates as Google envisioned. Very disappointed with Verizon.

  • Flstfi151

    Personally I am appalled, this is absolutely ridiculous!!

  • Michael Friga

    The first thing I did when I got my Galaxy Nexus was unlock the bootloader and flash a custom ROM, Liquid ICS, and was running 4.04 about a month before non-rooted devices from VZW.  And I have never looked back.  Pretty much to avoid the issues of VZW dragging their feet for an update or any other thing they may try to pull, it’s almost required that you unlock and root.

  • Michael Robertb

    It pisses me off. That was one of the big reasons I bought the galaxy nexus was because it is Google’s flagship phone and is supposed to get all of the updates first. I think Google should tell Verizon off and force them to give us the update not just for are phones but all android devices. They rely heavily on the android OS to sell there phones. While they have good service it isn’t that great and now they are forcing people to have the share data plan I believe once my contract is up they can screw themselves and I will find a different carrier.

    P.S. Google should upgrade Google voice and become there own mobile carrier so we won’t have to deal with these interference on a great product.

    • obvek

      How in the world do you typo “there” twice in the same post? And “are” phones? good lord.

  • Dmcdougal91

    I had no idea about this problem when I made the switch to Verizon last month. Makes me wonder if it was a wise decision

  • SushiChef

    I rooted the balls out of this phone the millisecond I got it. Anyo e who doesn’t do the same is subject to the bullcrap and politics. I’m deaf to it. Weeeeeee.

  • Mayan

    Just heard – VZW JB OTA will be available on 12-21-2012.

    • Rickychavez999

       lol end of the world date…

    • Lakers3408

      By then Google will announce the new version of Android – Key Lime Pie …. Having a branded carrier phone will always have you one step behind…. Glad I got the GSM version!!

  • When I got the Galaxy Nexus, I was getting the Google phone. I think it’s complete and utter bull that that’s not the case. Verizon is selfish and thinks that nobody cares about the updates and to be honest, I know tons of people that don’t care. But that doesn’t mean those of us that do should be forced to sit back and watch the rest of the world take the next step in Android while we freeze our butts off on Ice Cream Sandwich.

  • I agree and would like to get Jelly Bean soon.  But, damn!  It’s not the end of the f#(%ing world!

  • Until other carries can come close to matching Verizon, Verizon will always drag their feet on stuff like. I’ve had experience with other carries and know MANY people who have switched from Verizon to AT&T or Sprint. And almost to a man they want to come back to Verizon. Verizon BY FAR has the best service, coverage and LTE. Nobody else is really close. Until another carrier really steps up and can provide the quality Verizon does, nothing will change.

    • Miroku000

      You are right that Verizon has great coverage.  But great service?  Their service has been horrible.  It took like 3 hours in the Verizon store for them to be able to activate my phone.  And it took them over 15 days to transfer my phone number from T-mobile to my new phone.  (When I switched from Sprint to T-mobile, it took them like 2 hours to transfer the number.)  

      • “And it took them over 15 days to transfer my phone number from T-mobile to my new phone.  (When I switched from Sprint to T-mobile, it took them like 2 hours to transfer the number.)”
        I agree that the wait time in stores suck.The  manufactures are at fault on the phonebook transfers. I work in cell phone biz. Some of the crap you have to do on the phones to get them to connect to a cellibrite is just horrible.  

  • The problem is Verizon has the best coverage, by far the best LTE coverage and they know it.  So they are using it to rape their customers.

  • wilks79

    I too am sick and tired of VZW bullsh*t.  They completely destroyed and misrepresented the Nexus brand.  I am leaving within the next few months. My only holdup is that I want to wait couple months until I hear what Google has planned for the next Nexus line of phones, which will probably drop around November.  No sense in buying the GNex if a new phone is around the corner in a few months. A little pricey for newer one, but might as well at least see what’s coming up.

  • Lakers3408

    People that blame Google don’t know how this works, let me enlighten you… When a official release is ready to go, like 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google releases it to the their phones like they did with the Galaxy Nexus, they also send it to Verizon & Sprint, and any other carriers that carry the Galaxy Nexus. From that point forward it’s up to the carrier to release it!!. The reason they don’t is bcuz they want to fatten it up with there bloatware, useless apps specific to them, some carriers just hold u hostage, they know your under contract & there’s nothing you can do about it. They might even release a NEW phone with it pre installed, trying you to buy it and renewing your contact. Bottom line is, it’s all about MONEY!! Carriers make more money with you buying a new phone than upgrading you’re current one!!.

    • Wrong.  It is entirely Google and Samsung’s fault.  They and Samsung can tell the carriers they won’t allow bloatware and must allow updates just like Apple does.  They just don’t care about the user experience like Apple does.  That is the consequence of you being the product they sell ads against instead of the phone being the product and you the customer.  In other words the ad agencies are googles customers not you.

      • you assume way too much power when it comes to google and sammy. Verizon calls the shots. I know this for a complete fact. 

        • Lakers3408

          Thank you!!

    • Simon Hunter

      wrong – for nexus devices, google release the updated software and send it directly to the handsets. not the carriers. as the verizon handsets have slightly diff software on them due to verizon’s objections and also radio types – this software isn’t ready yet

      • you are wrong when it comes to Verizon Nexus. Verizon decides when the update is released NOT google. the updates you get on Verizon on the Nexus come directly from Verizon NOT google

        • cphilano

          Just to add to this…Google sends the code to Verizon to insert signed encrypted keys that Google does not have access to because of lack of rights/licenses to distribute Qualcomm’s CDMA technology. The code is still distributed from Google servers, but Verizon has to insert signed binary keys into this code because of the radios. Verizon makes a big whoop of quality testing (ridiculously too long in most cases) before it sends the code back with the signed binary keys to Google. The code does not come directly from Verizon. So Verizon’s quality testing process is what delays the release (albeit maybe in as a political move).

          In this case though, there theoretically shouldn’t be any hold up because the radios are the same as those in the 4.0.4 update. So Verizon shouldn’t have a reason to hold this up, but the games carriers are able to play in the US are endless. 

          So the lesson here is that this all our faults. We idly sit by watching the carriers do what they want, and excuse Verizon because they have the best network coverage. Instead of pressuring our Congressmen to come down on carriers for unethical businesses practices, we ignore that the carriers wine, dine, woo, and lobby our Congressmen into passing laws/bills that hurt consumers. And the kick in the face is that Verizon uses spectrum that it leases from the American people to strong arm them! Go figure!

        • scampcat

          Welcome to the United States of Corporations, my friend.  This is not new information.  

      • Lakers3408

        @Simon dude clearly you don’t know anything… When it comes to “branded” phones (that means a any phone with a carriers logo on it) it’s up to that carrier to release the update. PERIOD

    • verizon doesnt add bloatware to the nexus updates. dont know where you are getting your so called facts from. and for the record there is no real money made on an upgrade, especially if you are going from a 4g phone to a 4g phone. The phone is subsidized and they have to wait till they have made that money back from you over the course of the upgrade. there is no money made just simply off you buying a phone on upgrade , in fact the longer you go without upgrading the more money they make since they dont have to subsidize another handset. The only upgrades verizon is concerned with is upgrading basic and 3g smartphones to 4G phones. Once you are on 4g they are in no rush to see you upgrade again 

      • Lakers3408

        Really they don’t add bloat, then what are all these apps found in the Droid Razor: (V Cast, Backup Assistant, Verizon Video, VZ Navigator) <—- these must be "Google" apps…

        Backup Assistant+ 1.0
        Backup Assistant+ Contacts 2.3.5
        Backup Assistant+ media 1.0
        Device Setup 1.0
        Guided Tours 2.3.5
        Help Center 2.3.5
        IM Presence 2.3.5
        News 2.3.5
        Slacker 3.0.546
        Universal Inbox 2.3.5
        V CAST Tones 4.5.13
        Verizon Video 6.0.12
        Video Editor Lite
        VideoSurf 1.1.9
        Voicemail 1.1
        VZ Navigator

        You're soooooo right what was I thinking!!!

        • scampcat

          To be totally fair, News and Slacker are not Verizon Apps.  News is Google, and Slacker is…Slacker.  But my VZW Nexus did not come with Slacker, so not sure why yours would.

        • Archer

          If we are talking about Nexus updates, why are you listing apps from the Droid Razr? All other Verizon phones pack a crazy amount of bloat ware but the only thing that came on my GNex was the Verizon Backup Assistant which can easily be disabled.

        • There was no bloatware on the GNEX. 

  • pdinc

    This has basically reduced my faith in both Verizon and Google. The Nexus branding stood for something, and was the reason I bought this device coming from an original MotoDroid because I was looking for the pure Google experience. This has basically destroyed my faith in the Nexus branding for phones.

  • Travis Meyer

    This really frustrates me. When I bought my Nexus, I thought I was getting the true Google experience. In hindsight, I probably should have done more research, but in truth, it never even crossed my mind that the Nexus phone would not really be a Nexus phone!
    It’s great that there are custom roms out there, but you know what, that’s BS; I shouldn’t HAVE to use a custom rom, I bought a damn Nexus phone! Verizon knew what the Nexus was, what it meant as a brand and what its expectations to customers who purchase it were and are. If they wanted to sell it, they should have committed to doing their best to get those updates out fast.
    I blame Google too however, they should be more aggressive with the carriers in assuring that their flagship phone’s whole Nexus experience is passed on to their customers before they agree to sell through those carriers. And if they can’t come to an agreement, then don’t brand the phone as a Nexus.
    My first Android phone was an HTC Droid Incredible, which in essence was just a re-branded Nexus One. The Nexus one never made it to Verizon (probably because they didn’t want a phone out of their control), so it came instead as the Droid Incredible. I loved that phone, and I didn’t have any expectations because it wasn’t a Nexus phone in name.
    I upgraded from my Incredible to the Galaxy Nexus, thinking I was getting a Nexus phone, but alas, this so-called Nexus phone is really just another Droid Incredible; a phone that is just a re-branded Nexus, without the experience. Except, that this phone wasn’t re-branded, though it should have been, because as far as I’m concerned, if I’m not getting the Nexus experience, then it’s not a damn Nexus!
    At the very least, Google should release the official Galaxy Nexus LTE Jelly Bean update to their servers. If Verizon doesn’t want to push it OTA, fine. But Google should take the initiative to make sure Nexus owners have access to the latest official update, instead of having to download cooked up roms.

  • Jagarchitect87

    I’m rooting, and installing a custom ROM asap. The only reason I stay with Verizon is their service. Unfortunately they are more controlling than if your mom was the preacher’s wife.

    • masimons

      Ditto, have all the instructions to do it. Will wait til next weekend when have time.
      Then I guess I can cancel the tether charge from them too.

    • I3allsOfSteel

      If you can, wait another week or so. I rooted last weekend, and I will say that these roms are getting pretty close to perfect, but they’re definitely not perfect yet. I have Jellybelly on my phone atm, and the dev is updating it daily… CM10 hit nightly for the vzw gnex, but its very buggy obviously. And vicious has a really good rom out as well, probably just as good as Jellybelly if not better

      • If you’re looking for a bug free JB ROM for the Verizon GNEX, download Razor’s Jelly V2.6  It is all over the internet and it is solid as a rock. Pure jellybean, no tweaks, LTE is flawless as with the rest of the ROM

  • I think Verizon is completely to blame for the delay in pushing out the update. The fact is that, as big a company as Verizon is, Verizon has the technical know-how and the resources to get the update out in an expeditious fashion. I empathize with them that they have a great many things to focus on, and that the Galaxy Nexus phone is not a priority for them. But it is for many of their customers. Their choice of delaying OTA updates for the Galaxy Nexus shows that they don’t care what phones their customers want or have. 

    This refusal to focus on customer priorities will eventually hurt their opportunity to have a competitive advantage in the market. Just think, Verizon could be making money off of the fact that they could be the only CDMA carrier to support JB right now. Their apparent commitment to see problems, instead of opportunities, will lead many to switch away from them. Why do they think that Android customers don’t care about having the latest version of Android? It baffles me. It’s kind of like a company thinking that Apple customers wouldn’t care about having a new iPhone, and thus not supporting it. Hello lost sales.

    As for myself, I have decided to give Verizon until next week (but that’s getting very hard to do). By the start of next week Summer semester will be done for me and I can devote adequate time to selecting which ROM I want to install on my handset. In all honesty, I would prefer not to have to root a phone. I didn’t mind rooting my tablet but I don’t depend on it like I do my phone. The phone has to work, all the time. But, I think I will be much better off in the future by striking out on the update road without waiting on Verizon’s slowness. Which is not to say the decision won’t have consequences. If I end up having to root and ROM my phone, Verizon will not get me to re-up my contract with them. Instead, I will start making plans to switch carriers in the future. 

    • cphilano

      I agree that Verizon is to blame for the delay, but I think you have a more simplistic view of what’s going on than you realize. 

      Verizon is a big company and all but their focus is on their network. They have a wide variety of phones that run on their network, and they don’t have dedicated teams for software updates for each individual device that is released. It just wouldn’t make cost effective sense (bad man hours and  budgeting). ICS only accounts for like %10 of android phones out there now, and the software update team/ teams already have to focus on testing a bevy of phones updating to ICS not to mention testing the rapidly releasing number of phones with ICS installed before releasing for sale. And these two projects probably take priority over a phone that is already in the wild that’s already on ICS. 

      The problem is that with the Nexus being the type of phone that it is, the testing s messing up the whole experience.

      • That might be, but I find that defense inadequate. Verizon is slipping, big time. If they are spending so much time focusing on their network then my city, which has over 100,000 people in it, would already have 4G LTE service. AT&T certainly has it here. Verizon offers 4G service 30 miles north of here in a town that can boast all of 60,000, where AT&T also has 4G service.
        AT&T is also miraculously also able to provide Android updates in a timely fashion, like before they are 4 months out of date.

        My opinion, or perception, or Verizon’s service may be simplistic but as a consumer it is one they should pay attention to. As soon as I can afford it I’ll be with AT&T, early termination fee or not. I have been with Verizon for not quite a year, came from Sprint (who is also much better at getting updates to its customers), and I can tell you that I’ll never sign another two year contract with big Red. They have had their chance. Epic fail.

  • I just rooted and went unofficial a long time ago.  Verizon has the best service here, so not a lot of choice.

  • Verizon is a poor excuse for a wireless provider. Too bad it’s the only game in my town right now. I will be making changes as soon as soon as more options open up. Until then, I will be going the unofficial route.

  • parsonbrown11

    Here we go again, blame game. I kept my old blackberry with tmobile and have been paying 2 bills. The Verizon gnex has been a lousy customer experience, but am also angry at Samsung and google, I think all three of them suck. Not sure what to do.@ Inyrules is following the precisely another article yesterday entitled ” why I’m dumping my galaxy nexus…..” don’t know if that’s a solution. The update to the gsm was only slightly better on 4.0.4 and disabled all those phones early on with bad radios.
    Without mentioning names, some other products will be released soon and maybe that’s the solution.
    The thought of losing the contract 8 mos in with verizon to spend another 600 on these battery-eaters that have no media integration with my chosen computer is not acceptable. The nexus s 111 is just the same bs different carrier. The cult of droid will never be talked out of it. Maybe project butter will help users to put the phone where it belongs (certain portion of anatomy) I’m not happy with Verizon/google/Samsung and I’m not paying 600 bucks to for a piece of electronics that doesn’t have a store or live body anywhere to help. Google use some of your billions and hire some humans to stand behind your products and stop blaming everyone else. CDMA is just a couple of radio files, help Verizon write them. This is so stupid. Right now 4.0.4 at least works as a telephone now so I’ll stand by and see what new comes along. Use that butter and stick it where it belongs.

    • Kevin Hill

      I don;t think that Google can help with the radio files. From what I’ve read, the problem is that the radio “stuff” is proprietary, and Verizon isn’t willing to share it with Google. I’m no mobile expert, just passing on what I’ve heard. 

      • That is incorrect.  If that was true Apple would not be able to do it.

      • parsonbrown11

        code division multiple access must be 25 years old? verizon has used it since it was pacbell cellular, then airtouch, now verizon, it’s not secret sauce, it’s a trade war, google bought motorola to make their own branded devices so what so they do? stick it to the largest single gnex owners group, verizon subscribers. this is a trade war, aren’t you sick of it yet?

      • cphilano

        It’s actually Qualcomm’s radio “stuff”, and they are the owners of the technology that won’t grant Google a license. And it is actually secret sauce because the CDMA radio binary codes have to be signed in order for them to work right. So Verizon holds leverage because they have to insert these signed binaries into the apk code that Google releases in order for the Nexus to work on their network.

        But the funny thing about this JB release is that they are using the same radios from the last update.

    • What is your chosen computer?  And what kind of integration are you looking for?  You mean synching your music between your computer and phone?

      • parsonbrown11

        yes, without drawing flames, i spent the dough on isyncr wifi and made a special playlist, left the phone and went to sleep, when  i woke up the isyncr had made duplicates of the first 5gb of the 20gb playlist and made swisscheese of the playlist on the computer. I don’t want google#, i don’t want my pictures online first to get them to the picasa, in fact i dont want picasa, i don’t want my videos uploaded to youtube before i transfer them, i dont want the google cloud world of google apps……i use a mac and i use facebook, i doubt google+ will ever catch on, i use itunes and i use iphoto and fcp for video, that’s what i mean, this google phone is a trap to force me to use all their sub-par media apps which are really invasive. that part i can’t abide. if i shoot some video i want an easy way to move it to the computer to edit it….
        i like the big screen, but i would really like more privacy, like swiftkey, this awesome keyboard i bought for the gnex, your passwords go to that company,all your sms, mail, everything you type goes to swiftkey, too much info for a company to possess, not acceptable….. they warn you when you turn it on that they keep your keystrokes.
        and most of these apps grant permissions for things the 3rd parties have no business possessing.
        i’ve never owned an iphone basically because it’s just too small to see, i spent the big dough on the gnex and the user experience has been pretty bad, the phone  didn’t really work reliably until 4.0.4, no use repeating that here.

        i want this nexus hardware and the google OS, but no traps to make me use their tools, interface with what most everyone uses please.

  • aplusjimages

    This along with the whole elimination of unlimited data plans is driving me away from Verizon when my contract ends.

    • InyRules

       I can’t wait to leave. We’re paying way too much on our 2 line family line. Paying our current ETF is cheaper than staying on for the next 1.5 years. And I just can’t pass up $30/month. I never use more than 1GB a month, so the throttling after 5GB won’t impact me much.

  • InyRules

    Completely feeling cheated by Verizon. I’m actually going to leave them within the next 2 months, sell my LTE Nexus, and go prepaid with a GSM Nexus. On T-Mobile’s $30/month preparid plan, I get 100 minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited HSPA+ up to 5GB. Never use my minutes, and I never use more than 1GB of data. Plus, I’ll be getting updates straight from Google. Never again will I sign a contract and buy a carrier branded phone. It’s all pure Google from now on.

    • Jimmygt

      Going the same route!

  • Ursharkfuel

    It seems Verizon is breaking all their promises these days. Not just to those of us who thought were were breaking out to the Verizon software dungeon when we purchased a GNex from “Too Big Red.” It just so happens I am rooting and my phone as we speak and I was shopping around for my JB ROM when I came across this article. Anyone who waits for Verizon to get off their lazy azzes and get this done are stupid, stupid, stupid. Why have a GNex is not for the in-band updates. In the Verizon version it is just another phone – Nexus is a word on a box to them.

    And their new ripoff rate scheme at $40 per phone/month that you get nothing for really and all devices using the same tiny data pool, is going to push me away when they try to end my grandfathered unlimited data plan. Did I mention I have never used 3 gigs on it in a single month yet!! I just like the comfort of knowing I could if I needed too.And to think  I have been a Verizon customer since they changed their name to Verizon, but that will soon end I have no doubt. Such is the way of greed.

    • Riccellicosta

      Just root the thing… That’s what I did and it’s awesome!

    • Cphilano

      Yup…Rooting is the way to go. But unlike other responses, I will say to stay upset about it and keep making some noise.

      The best way for carriers and manufacturers to ignore its customers is for them to stay silent!