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Featured: Android 4.1 for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus? Not Anytime Soon!

July 21, 2012 - Written By Alexander Maxham

The first Nexus device to be available on Verizon Wireless hit store shelves on December 15, 2011, it was named the Samsung Galaxy Nexus running Android’s latest version 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich. Verizon’s customers thought they would be getting a completely stock Android 4.0 device complete with an unlockable bootloader, and get timely updates from Google for the first time since the original Motorola Droid hit in 2009. But we were wrong.

On the Verizon Galaxy Nexus launch day customers received an OTA that would update the device to Android 4.0.2 which was the last version until the very next day when Google would announce that Android 4.0.3 was the latest. Then the waiting game began, which began to piss people off, because they bought this phone so they could get timely updates and not have to wait. Well as a CDMA carrier, Verizon has much more control over their devices and their respective updates than GSM carriers. Verizon users had to wait and wait and the update never showed up. Instead Verizon skipped to Android 4.0.4 which appeared six months after Android 4.0.3 was announced. But as the version number indicates, this was not much of an update for the most part it was a bug fixing update.

Onto Jelly Bean, Android 4.1, which was announced at Google I/O on June 27th, 2012. Android 4.1 began rolling out to Galaxy Nexus owners on July 11th, but not to Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners. No, this was the GSM version of the Galaxy Nexus, you know the unlocked version that is sold on Google Play for $349? Which of course this made Verizon customers very upset once again, with many asking will my Verizon Galaxy Nexus ever get the update? Why can’t Verizon roll out OTA’s with the GSM version? Is my Verizon Galaxy Nexus really a Nexus?

Yes it’s getting Jelly Bean

Of course your gorgeous Galaxy Nexus powered by Verizon and blazing fast LTE will get Jelly Bean. We just have no idea when. The reason why is CDMA carriers like to take an update and thoroughly test the update to make sure the update is safe enough to send out to your device. You’d think that this process would go a lot faster for a Nexus device, but looks like that’s not the case. By the way, Sprint is doing the same thing with their Galaxy Nexus.

So where’s my Jelly Beans?

Hopefully sooner than later. Let’s take a look back at the updates Verizon’s already pushed for the Galaxy Nexus. The update from 4.0.2 to 4.0.4 took six months and that was nothing more than bug fixed. From Android 4.0.4 to 4.1.1 is much bigger than that, with plenty of new features, and even a new name.

But I want Jelly Bean NOW!

Well you can get Jelly Bean now, if you’re willing to unlock your bootloader, root your device and install a custom ROM. There are plenty of Jelly Bean ROM’s available for your Verizon Galaxy Nexus. With source now out for Android 4.1, the ROM’s will be getting smoother and have more features working. But if you’re waiting on official Jelly Bean for your device, you might be waiting for quite a while. Currently Verizon is testing Ice Cream Sandwich builds for about half a dozen different devices, and I don’t think they’d drop that to test Jelly Bean for the Galaxy Nexus anytime soon.

It sucks, but that’s the truth. If you’re worried about bricking your Nexus by rooting, and flashing a ROM, don’t be. It is almost impossible to be done. Nexus devices were made for hacking. Google has even helped you out by giving you the stock files to restore your Nexus to the last official update, which in the Verizon Galaxy Nexus’ case is Android 4.0.4