Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Android 4.3 is the end of the line for the Samsung-made Nexus

Galaxy Nexus owners, you might want to sit down for this. Your device won't be getting an official update to the newly-announced Android 4.4 KitKat. Quoth the Google support site:

Galaxy Nexus will not be receiving the Android 4.4 update. For more information about Galaxy Nexus, visit the Nexus Help Center.

So that's that. The Galaxy Nexus will continue to run on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but that's the end of the line. Effectively the Gnex, which hasn't been sold directly by Google for over a year, is now an end-of-life device. There's no reason given for the Galaxy Nexus's lack of Android 4.4 support, but it's certainly a perplexing decision given KitKat's focus on trimming down Android for less powerful devices. More likely it has to do with its age — coming up on two years — and the quirks of its hardware — the CPU is manufactured by TI, which is no longer a player in the smartphone chip market. There's always the custom ROM route, we suppose.

Surprising (and disappointing) as it may be, the Gnex led a long and full life, going from Android 4.0, through 4.1, 4.2 and eventually 4.3. There aren't many phones from that era that are still receiving updates — remember its contemporaries included the Galaxy S2 and original Motorola RAZR.

Nevertheless, the Galaxy Nexus was a breakthrough device for Android, heralding in the "Ice Cream Sandwich" age with a strong focus on design. It may not have been a big seller — especially in the U.S. where it was tied to Verizon for much of its life — but that won't stop us raising a glass to this milestone handset.

Happier times: Our first hands-on with the Galaxy Nexus

Source: Google Support