Fun fact: There are more versions of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus floating around, software-wise, than you're probably aware of, even when it comes to the GSM version. The basic rule here is that if you have the yakju version of the Galaxy Nexus, it's GSM, and mysid is CDMA/LTE, in the case of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. But there actually are regional differences as well, so you might see ykjuux in Canada, or there's yakjuxw, or yakjusc. Probably others. Make your head hurt? Mine, too.
And with that has come great debate over whether the various verisons are updated directly from Google, or from Samsung, or from some magical neckbearded update gnome deep in the forest. As I've said on Google+, so long as the updates come in a timely manner and aren't borked (not that they should be), I couldn't care less whose servers they come from.
But if you are worried about that sort of thing, there's a little tool called "GN Official Update Checker" that makes it easy to figure it out. All it does it check the ro.product.name line in your phone's build.prop file and tell you whether it's updated by Google or not updated by Google.
Whether it keeps you up at night is entirely up to you.
Update: Turns out the CDMA/LTE mysid variant (that's the Verizon Galaxy Nexus to you and me) does actually get its updates from Google after all, according to Googler Jean-Baptiste Queru. So that's that. JBQ also says thatyakjuxw and other yakju variants signed by Samsung have only "really small region-specific tweaks".
Note that this is for stock phones, and for people who want to update without really doing any real hackery but don't mind a little command line work. Nothing we do here is permanent, other than the update itself. If you've already flashed CWM, then you probably already know what you're doing anyway. And with that ...
If you're like me and have yet to actually pick a Galaxy Nexus, Amazon is making it awful hard to resist. Despite the device sitting in backorder status on their site -- the $150 price tag they are offering it for is pretty tempting. That's 50% off Verizons $300 price tag and during the holidays, saving on big ticket items such as the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is a good thing.
If you don't like the sound of backorder and want to have your Galaxy Nexus wrapped and sitting under the tree, you can also pick it up from the ShopAndroid Phone Store. Be sure to order by December 20th to have it in time for Christmas. Click here for details.
Googler Jean-Baptiste Queru has just announced the push of Android 4.0.3 to the Android Open Source Project tree. This build is for the Motorola Xoom (U.S. Versions), the Nexus S (all versions), and of course the mysid and yakju builds of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Yes, one set of sources and build number for several different devices -- that's a first for AOSP and if it's pulled off well (I'll bet it is, these fellows know their schtuff) it's a big leap in Android development. As JBQ mentions, this is the first time AOSP works for a tablet, the first time it works on a device that's neither a Nexus or an Android Developer Phone, and the first time it works for devices on Verizon. Mr. Queru also has this to say:
Over the years, I've released 50 different versions of Android in AOSP, not counting the SDK and CTS, and I think that this is the best release ever.
Those are the kinds of words we all love to hear. Wait for the announcement that it's ready for syncing, then prepare yourselves -- this is going to be one helluva ride.
Want Ice Cream Sandwich on your Samsung Nexus S but down't want to wait on the update to push out over the air? The dowload location has been found, and we've got your update instructions. We've already updated our Nexus S, and it takes just a couple minutes.
Again, folks, this is the GSM verison. And, specifically, the T-Mobile version. If that's not your phone, keep out. Now, instructions:
We've had unofficial builds of Ice Cream Sandwich on the Samsung Nexus S for a number of weeks now. But today Google announced that the GSM version of the Nexus S will see its Android 4.0 update push out over the next month, starting today. Not a bad turnaround. Now let's see some carrier-branded phones get some love, shall we?
The GSM (international) version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has just received its update to Android 4.0.2, hot on the heels of the Verizon version, which got the update on its launch day. Several GSM Nexus owners are now reporting that they've received the new version of Android, which carries the build number ICL53F.
The update weighs just 8.7MB, and according to the update message contains "important bug fixes", most likely the same fixes detailed in Verizon's latest update statement (excluding the LTE-specific stuff, of course).
To see if your phone is ready to receive the update, head to Settings > About phone > System updates. If it's still telling you you're already up-to-date, you may have to wait a few days before it's your turn to be updated. Don't want to wait? If you're comfortable with unlocking bootloaders and fiddling around with command-line stuff, once the files URL is located you'll be able to download them from Google and use Jerry's clever manual update method.
Now we get ready for Android 4.0.3. Isn't having a Nexus phone grand?
Know that Android 4.0.2 update the Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners were so proud of yesterday? It's old news today. Google just announced Android 4.0.3 and an increase in API level (it's now 15). So what's new? Google gives us the big strokes:
Social stream API in Contacts provider: Applications that use social stream data such as status updates and check-ins can now sync that data with each of the user’s contacts, providing items in a stream along with photos for each. This new API lets apps show users what the people they know are doing or saying, in addition to their photos and contact information.
Calendar provider enhancements. Apps can now add color to events, for easier tracking, and new attendee types and states are now available.
New camera capabilities. Apps can now check and manage video stabilization and use QVGA resolution profiles where needed.
Accessibility refinements. Improved content access for screen readers and new status and error reporting for text-to-speech engines.
Incremental improvements in graphics, database, spell-checking, Bluetooth, and more.
So the next question is when will we start seeing it on the Galaxy Nexus? Time to start those fingers a'tappin'.
Sprint today told Android Central that it is no longer using Carrier IQ to collect diagnostic data from its devices. The statement comes in response to our asking Sprint about an anonymously sourced report on Geek.com under the headline "Sprint orders all OEM’s to strip Carrier IQ from their hardware." Said Sprint spokeswoman Stephanie Vinge-Walsh:
"That report does not appear to be accurate."
Vinge-Walsh did go on to tell us that Sprint has "weighed customer concerns and we have disabled use of the tool so that diagnostic information and data is no longer being collected. We are further evaluating options regarding this diagnostic software as well as Sprint’s diagnostic needs.
"At Sprint, we work hard to earn the trust of our customers and believe this course of action is in the best interest of our business and customers."
HTC, also cited in Geek.com's report as an anonymous source, had no comment and referred us to Sprint.
Not collecting data is a far cry from "stripping" the Carrier IQ code out of its phones, but it also makes far more sense, at least in the short term. Flipping a switch to cease collecting data undoubtedly is easier (and cheaper) than rewriting ROMs for the 17 or so devices it told U.S. Sen. Al Franken contained Carrier IQ. That's not going to make the die-hard Android hackers happy, but chances are they're already stripped the ROM anyway. Not including Carrier IQ software in future updates and new releases would make sense as Sprint's not collecting the data anymore anyway.
As for the causal (read: normal) Android user, you can rest easy in knowing that Sprint's no longer using Carrier IQ to collect its analytics data. We've got Sprint's full statement after the break.
Sprint: Snap (Windows Mobile), Touch Pro 2 (Windows Mobile), Hero, EVO 4G, EVO Shift 4G, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G
T-Mobile: Amaze 4G
However, HTC also disclosed that "components of the Carrier IQ solution" are on the HTC Merge, Acquire, Desire, Wildfire, Flyer and a variant of the Hero. But, the components on those phones "are not requested by the wireless service providers who sell these devices. HTC is currently working on an update to remove these software components from these devices.
HTC, in its response, reiterates that it neither receives nor stores any data the Carrier IQ software collects because the carrier, not HTC, is Carrier IQ's customer. And that's repeated in the bulk of the responses.
The AT&T Galaxy S II is getting a nice little update this morning that brings its Android version number to 2.3.6. A number of people have reported that the update failed at first, but others have installed it with nary a hitch. Go to Settings>About Phone and give it a shot, then hit the link below to see how it's going for everyone else.
A look at the extended battery on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon
Behold, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus extended battery. On the left, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. On the right, also the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Only, one of these phones has Verizon's 2100 mAh extended battery in it, and the other has the standard 1850 mAh battery that comes with the phone. A few quick thoughts on it:
The extended battery comes with a new battery door, which looks nearly identical to the stock door. Same logos and all.
You gain just a tad of thickness with the extended battery. It's not quite one of those stock-size extended batteries, but neither does it have a huge humpback.
Now that you've got your Galaxy Nexus, it's time to tinker. And tinker we shall. We've already showed you how to unlock the bootloader, which you really should do first thing if you have any thoughts at all about one day rooting the phone or using a custom ROM. So if you haven't done that already, go do it. We'll wait.
Back? OK. Now this being a Nexus phone, it's way more "open" than anything else you might have owned (other than another Nexus phone, of course). And to that end, Google has just released the factory images for the Verizon Nexus. (Google previously released the GSM images.) That means pretty much no matter what you've done to the phone, so long as you can get to the bootloader (which has that bad-ass image you see above) you can return your phone to full stock. Nice. And we would love to see every manufacturer do this. (We know, we can dream.)
Anyhoo, hit the download link below for the factory image for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. And once things get settled in, you'll always be able to find the latest stock factory image for the Galaxy Nexus at Google's Nexus support page here.
From the front, the two phones are indistinguishable. Both have that huge tract of Super AMOLED HD goodness (aka a 4.65-inch display), ear speaker and front-facing camera. The power button, volume rocker and charging contacts are all in the exact same spots. Or at least close enough that we can't tell with the naked eye.
Flip the Verizon Galaxy Nexus over, and it's almost identical to the GSM version. The Google logo has been traded in for a Verizon 4G silkscreen. Note that the GSM battery cover is not interchangable with the Verizon version. The tabs that hold it in place are in slightly different positions. So if you have to have that Google logo, you're going to have to work at it a bit.
Open the battery cover on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus and you find the biggest visible physical difference. It uses a different battery than the GSM version -- different shape, and it's been upped to 1850 mAh capacity. Verizon's using a micro SIM card for LTE, and it's in a different location, too. You'll also find screens and other design differences back here.
That's it for the outside. The internals, of course, are the same, only with a CDMA radio and 4G LTE radio. (Oh, and there's a subtle Qualcomm 4G sticker advertising that fact on the bottom bezel.) Otherwise, same 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 32GB of storage and 1GB of RAM.
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