The Google Nexus That Wasn't. My rant on being a Galaxy Nexus owner on Verizon's network.
First off, I'm a big Google fan, which is why I decided to buy a Nexus phone and a Nexus 7 tablet. It was always my understanding that Nexus branded devices give you the pure Google experience and receive updates when they are released by Google. So, it was both shocking and frustrating to see that after I bought my Galaxy Nexus for Verizon, that it was the Nexus that wasn't a Nexus.
Updates!? You don't need no stinkin' updates! It took months to get updates after other Galaxy Nexus phones were updated. In fact, my Asus Transformer TF101 tablet was running a more recent version of ICS before my Galaxy Nexus was; and that's a big heaping pile of BS; I mean, there are really no other words for it!
As of today, I have two Nexus devices, one with jelly bean 4.2 on it, and one without, even though other Galaxy Nexus phones have it now. Heck, Verizon didn't even get JB on the Galaxy Nexus until late September.
I read on a blog recently that there was an app to see where your phone received updated from. Mine said "mysid" and is not updated by Google. However, a guy by the name of Jean-Baptiste Queru, who supposedly is a Google employee and works on Android said that the mysid devices are updated by Google. If that's the case, then why does it take so long to get the updates on a Verizon phone, and why isn't an official Jelly Bean update public on the Google server for the LTE phones so I can update it manually? If Verizon wants to be like the Third Reich, that shouldn't stop Google from making it, at least, available.
All in all, I don't know if it's Verizon's, Google's, Samsung's, or the Crimson King's, fault as to why I can't get current updates on my (supposedly) Nexus branded phone. What's worse is the lack of communication from Google and Verizon to us, the customer. If I buy a Nexus product, my non Nexus product shouldn't be updated first (IE, like when I got ICS on my old Transformer tablet MONTHS before I got it on my Galaxy Nexus).
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.