Android

Google's Jean-Baptiste Queru has just given word that Android 4.0.4 is headed to the Android Open-Source Project Bat Cave. (OK, it's more like a virtual repository, but we kind of picture a Bat Cave.) It's said to be an incremental update with "a few hundred changes over Android 4.0.3." That's all great news for you fans of the open-source side of Android (which certainly includes us, too).

And now's as good a time as any to remind folks that pushing the code to AOSP really doesn't tell us when carriers might start to push it out. A lot more goes into that that's outside the scope of AOSP, a fact that JBQ eloquently explains thusly:

I do not know the schedule for deployment to consumer devices, especially in situations that involve additional per-operator customizations done by the device manufacturers and/or in situations that require operator approval prior to deployment.

Sounds good. Look for Android 4.0.4 to more officially hit your favorite AOSP-based ROMs soonish.

Source: Android Build Group; more: AOSP

 

Reader comments

Android 4.0.4 headed to AOSP

43 Comments

The only one that I've heard of is that it fixes the Android OS bug that's present in 4.0.3, which should increase battery life for anyone running an AOSP ICS rom.

I'm not exactly sure, but in the leaked version I noticed better signal strength, longer battery life, and everything is a little bit zippier.
(LTE Galaxy Nexus)

This means my GSM Galaxy Nexus which obviously isn't branded will get this update officially in the immediate future right? Sure could use many those hundreds of changes, presumably improvements.

Not really. 4.0.3 has been AOSP for a while yet there wasn't an "official" update for either the LTE Galaxy Nexus or the GSM Galaxy Nexus. But why are you waiting on official updates when you have a Galaxy Nexus?

Because I previously had a Evo 4G and used CM7 and there were many bugs in it. So this time I decided to go with a unlocked phone with pure android/Google supported. So I expect and should receive that support. I don't know why so many people think its okay the way Google handles their few Nexus's. There isn't a good excuse for them to do such a poor job.

So let me get this straight, you think Google is doing a poor job because they just released the source code for 4.04 and you don't already have an update on a developer phone? Vanilla Android doesn't mean you'll be the first to get updates. That's what Nexus used to mean, but not anymore. Really though there's no reason you shouldn't install a custom recovery, backup your stock system and try a couple roms. Especially if you're that eager to receive updates.

I wish they went the complete opposite direction and didn't even release updates for Nexus phones. Everyone who knows what they're doing is already on the latest 4.0.3 release, even if it is pure 4.0.3 AOSP.

"Vanilla Android doesn't mean you'll be the first to get updates. That's what Nexus used to mean, but not anymore."

Really, I wonder why it is that Google still advertises the Nexus S and Nexus 4G as "with this device, users will be the first to receive software upgrades"?

NS4G - http://www.android.com/devices/detail/nexus-s-4g-from-google
NS - http://www.android.com/devices/detail/nexus-s

I guess I didn't get that memo from Google stating that they no longer feel like providing support for the devices they specifically stated would be updated first.

No one got a memo. It just happened when 4.03 was officially pushed to the HTC Sensation before any Nexus.

How nice of them to change the meaning of the Nexus line right in the middle of my ownership and carrier contracts, all the while still advertising the Nexus S and Nexus 4G as the first to receive software updates. Just a tad bit of false advertising.

I was asking for a memo that Google stated that they will not support the CDMA devices anymore. This article you provided is about how Google says they will still support CDMA devices even though they are not listed on the AOSP source page anymore. So I ask, were is this so called support Google was ensuring us of? Neither the Nexus S 4G nor the Verizon Galaxy Nexus have been updated in over four months? Not only that but the very GSM AT&T version of the Nexus S has still not been updated either.

So if we look at Google's actions rather than their words it seems that they really are not supporting their CDMA Nexus devices so far. Not only that they still are not even properly supporting their GSM line either.

The source for ICS dropped in November 2011, it is now three days shy of April 2012. At what point are you people willing to admit that this has gotten way out of hand. We are not talking about OEM's here, this is Google and their own (very few) line of phones that are not being supported properly. If Google can not even update their own line of phones in a timely manner, someone needs to be asking what is going wrong.

That explains why CDMA phones can't truly be open source, but not why 4.0.3 was pushed to non Nexus devices before Nexus devices.

Yes you wish they went the opposite direction so users of other mobile systems wouldn't compare their upgrades with Google. Fact of the matter is android users have made excuses about the upgrade system because Android is open source, carriers, manufacturer customizations, etc. Well with the Nexus devices none of these excuses actually apply. So yes I believe a multi-billion dollar company should be able to properly support the few phones they have. Especially the unbranded, unlocked ones.

btw 4.0.3 wasn't released OTA on the GSM Nexus. So if they don't do it for 4.0.4, that would be two releases that apparently fix bugs and increases performance skipped.

Too true. I have an NS4G and a AT&T Nexus S and neither of them ever received 4.0, 4.0.1, 4.0.2, 4.0.3, and now 4.0.4. Google is doing a really great job of supporting it's Nexus line.

I really can't tell if you're trolling on purpose or you really think that Google and the Android upgrade system is flawed. I wish they didn't release any updates because then idiots wouldn't buy the phone and bitch about when they get updates. They would have to learn how to build AOSP on their own, like they should on a developer phone. And, Carriers/ carrier customizations do still apply because the LTE Galaxy Nexus does have Verizon apps on it, and they need proprietary code for all CDMA radios. I'm not saying that should take forever, but a little time to test out their apps on the new version of code is perfectly reasonable. And from what I'm hearing, there is already an official 4.0.4 update for the GSM. A release in the same day? Even the same half a day is pretty amazing and is most likely due the fact that no proprietary code resides in the GSM version.

See that xoom has 4.0.4 and folks where perplexed why. I love my Google xoom and Google nexus

"a few hundred changes over Android 4.0.3"

So it only took the whole Google Android developer team four months to make a few hundred changes? Good work guys, way to stay on top of things.

You just love to make more and more excuses for Google don't ya Phil. Five months since the source dropped and Google is finally getting around to maybe fixing all of the bugs in ICS. I might ask what it is you do for a living Phil, as it seems Android news reporting is definitely not one of them.

As head editor of this site I would expect better conduct. To attack me when I comment on Google's behavior just shows your poor character and values. So not only are you purposely ignoring some very big issues with Google and it's Android OS, but you feel the need to attack your readers as well when drawing attention to this. Hopefully this will clue the rest of your readers as to you and your sites credibility to report real Android news.

I believe that Phil was asking what you did along the lines of "I'm guessing it isn't software development". 5 months for hundreds of fixes is a pretty decent timetable by most software company's standards.

But by all means, make this a personal pissing match. Go buy an iPhone, and stop whining.

So you hate your life and feel that this article was the place to make it publicly known? Move along troll. O_o

It's not that we would want them not to update ICS. What we are complaining about is that none of theses updates have been pushed to the phones that were supposed to get it. If Google had just kept us all at say .2 but had made adjustments to newer phones without a number change we would not be as vocal. Here we are seeing phones come out with updated and supposed better firmware then what we are supposed to have. At this point to get a new update may as well fork over more $$$ on another phone. Ahhh NO! Get you CR@P TOGETHER GOOGLE and push out a proper update to the phones you were supposed to support FIRST!

Frankly, I don't understand why Phil Nickinson & the rest are dumping on people asking serious questions about Android's coding & bug fixing process. I think people were sold on the expectation through Google's, Samsung's, & the carriers own advertising that the Nexus line would receive updates quickly. So far, Google & its partners have not delivered on them. Frankly, ICS dropped for users starting in December & it's taken Google almost 4 months to fix code in now .0.4 different versions of the code? If this is your flagship product? You do not let issues like this stretch on for months. You get a team together & you work NIGHT & DAY to fix it.

The fact that we're on the cusp of April, over 100 days since the December 16th OTA release of the original ICS code, I think that raises a lot of questions about Android. I bet a lot of Android users are asking can Google get an update pushed out in a timely manner? How fast can Google react if by chance a Zero Day exploit or a OS flaw is found? There is no way that Microsoft or Apple is going to allow this to go unnoticed.

If I'm Apple CEO Tim Cook or Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, I'd be jumping on this as a perfect advertisement attack against Google. I could see what they could say at their next press event or even in a TV commercial. "How long does it take to get a new version of Android? 30 days? 60 days? 90 days? 120 days? If you don't want to have those questions? Try our product. We can get you timely updates so that you get the features & security when you need them."

It's a damn good question & a major issue for Google to resolve. Anyone making a 2 year commitment should be asking these questions! If not, I could see this easily becoming a way to steal Android users to other platforms. That's not trolling! It's asking the big questions about a platform that has a OS update/upgrade delivery problem.

One has to wonder why a site like AC has not yet asked these questions of Google.

Maybe Phil would like to enlighten us on why this is not news on an Android news blog.

No one has used foul language or acted abusive to anyone else. All that has happened is people are asking questions. Is that something we should all be banned for now?

Whatever happened to just simply enjoy your device the it is? Go on XDA and find a custom ROM for your Nexus. There are tons to explore! And quite honestly, I think that's what android is for. Hacks, customization, to see what your device is capable of doing. If you're going to rely on Google for updates, you'll end up unhappy and waste more money on a "better" device, which probably will have the same update time frame as your old one.

Your statement indicates you haven't tried messing with your phone :P considering that the Nexus S development thread is huge on XDA. You'll find a ROM that will have a balance of stability and customization.

Besides, 4.0.4 or any Google release will not be completely perfect. I would have gotten an iPhone, but android made me addicted to hacking.

You're assuming there are always issues with ROMs. Yeah, sometimes there are things that don't work in certain ROMs but I've used ROMs where everything worked 100%. Have you ever flashed a custom ROM before? It doesn't sound like you have.

I love it. The Dev who makes the AOSP 4.0.3 ICS rom for The Inspire is already working on the 4.0.4.

I get why some people are complaining because they haven't received an OTA update in a long time but at teh same time, you have a developers phone. Customize it somehow! There are tons of ROMs and tweaks available for the Nexus line over at XDA for you to mess around with. I too see Android as the type of OS that allows for customization. Both me and my friend got the E4GT around the same time but I chose to root mine to make it look/work differently.

It's all about choice people. Either you chose to wait for Google to push the updates to your phones or you take the initiative and do it yourself with custom ROMs.