Owning a Nexus device automatically guarantees Google’s blessings in the form of being the chosen ones to first receive the update to the next version of the Android OS. So much so, that other mortal devices have to wait for months before they finally get updated either by the OEMs or in the unfortunate case of carrier-locked devices through the carrier. In fact, most current Nexus devices have already been updated to Android 4.2.2 in mid-February, while most of the non-Nexus world is still on Android 4.1.2, that too on the top-of-the-table handsets, while others languish at android 4.1 or even older versions. The dangers of fragmentation, I guess.
However, there is one forgotten child in the Nexus family too, which is identical to the GSM Galaxy Nexus in all aspects, except for the fact that it is locked to Verizon’s CDMA network. Yes, we’re referring to the VZW Galaxy Nexus, which hasn’t quite received the kind of love from Google (at least as far as updates are concerned) as it’s GSM unlocked cousin, and is still four updates behind the rest of the Nexii, stuck at Android 4.1.2, which is what most high-end handsets of 2012 like the Galaxy S3, Note 2, Optimus G etc are running right now. Even the Sprint Galaxy nexus has been updated to Android 4.2.1, which is just a shade under the latest version on the Unlocked Nexii. There has been a lot of disappointment amongst Verizon Galaxy Nexus users due the non-availability of timely updates, despite being a Nexus brand, going so far as to citing that Google should never let Verizon sell another Nexus device.
However, things seem to be looking up for the VZW Galaxy Nexus lately. A XDA member El Madhatter, claims to own a special tester version of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus which receives updates from Verizon before it is actually released for public consumption. El Madhatter, also claims that he received an OTA update from Verizon this morning, which updated his device to build number JDQ39, and the Android version to 4.2.2!!, which is at par with the rest of Nexusland. The update is also said to bring new radios to the device. And he has also published a screenshot of the About Phone screen to back his claim.
In addition to this, our pals at Droid-Life seem to have been tipped off by an unnamed source that the next update for the VZW GNex will bump it up straight to Android 4.2.2. Which also seems to tie in with a tweet from Verizon’s Support account that an update is in the works and will be released soon.
Of course, there is no way of saying when the update might actually reach the masses that have been waiting, not so patiently, all this while. But it does look like Verizon Galaxy Nexus will have something to cheer about and look forward to in the near future. Verizon, as a carrier enjoys a lot of popularity for its excellent coverage and call quality, as well as for putting out some really awesome exclusives like the Droid RAZR MAXX HD and Droid DNA to name a few. However, it is also a known fact that it also takes a lot longer than other U.S carriers to update its devices and bring them up to par with same models from competing carriers.
While this may still be no consolation for folks who bought the VZW GNex thinking they would be able to stay updated with the latest Android version, the likelihood that they will get fast-tracked straight to 4.2.2 should push the happiness quotient up for them. We would be keeping an eye out for any more information on this, and will keep you posted as and when we pick up more signals.