Android Central

In slightly puzzling news, Google appears to have pulled the Nexus 4 Android 4.2.x system images from its online repository of factory images. These files allow devices to be restored to their original state, so if something goes wrong when flashing a ROM or otherwise tinkering with your phone, there's an easy way back to stock.

Factory images for other Android 4.2 devices, such as the Nexus 10, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 3G and Galaxy Nexus remain on Google's site, so it'd appear whatever caused them to be withdrawn is specific to the Nexus 4.

Our best guess is that this might relate to the LTE situation on the Nexus 4. By changing a hidden setting, it's possible to use the N4 on LTE networks running on Band 4 (AWS), though this is not officially documented or approved by regulators. And that last part may be key -- if Google is preparing to patch this hidden LTE option out of the Nexus 4 -- as it'd be required to do to avoid falling foul of bodies like the FCC -- then clearing out earlier factory images might simply be a precaution. It's possible Google's looking to keep regulators happy by making it harder to find the earlier radio code that enabled this unlicensed LTE functionality. That's just speculation on our part, however, there may be a much more innocuous explanation.

In any case, we'll keep you posted on any further developments.

Update: Should have checked this the first time, but binaries are gone as well. They were there before, right?

Source: Nexus Factory Images; via: theandroidsoul


Reader comments

Nexus 4 factory images, binaries disappear from Google site


I will be sad if Google patches the LTE hole. I decided when I got my Nexus 4 to try it without LTE, just to see if I could live with HSPA+. I have to say, I'm doing just fine with HSPA+. I really worried about this before I bought the phone, but my experience so far has been fantastic. I can watch YouTube, stream Google Music, and download apps in a flash on HSPA+. So, sad as it would be to lose the ability to activate the LTE, I think it'll still be a fantastic phone.

Well in my opinion the LTE will be back on Nexus 4 trough custom ROMs.
Once something is in the hands of XDA Devs it never disappears. xD

I get faster speeds on T-Mobile HSPA+ than I do on my work provided Verizon LTE phone (16Mbps on Tmo, 8Mbps on Verizon) although I've found the reception to be less reliable for fast data. I really don't feel the need for LTE right now, though.

It's still a shame if Google removes the option though.

700 vs 1700/2100 is the reason that t-mobile slows down indoors. 700Mhz simply has better building penetration. Though for me T-mobile works just fine, I may drop down to 1 or 2 bars max inside but data stays fairly fast 3 - 8mbps. Outdoors I'm normally in the 12 - 13 mbps area.

If you're going to pull these, you need to freaking have new ones ready Google. Now if someone screws up their phone they have to download the images from an untrusted source. Thanks a lot.

Let's wait until we get more information before we rush into judgement. If the FCC or other regulatory body told Google they had to remove the files immediately, then that's what had to do, whether or not they've had a chance to build new binaries.

Already saved both factory images, but i'd probably wait with upgrading, in case they are able to patch it out at a bootloader level.

It would be nice if they released a new one where I could connect to wifi at work, where Google Services wouldn't hang and drain my battery quickly, where the lock screen didn't pause - trying to load Google Now even though I never asked for it, and where simply browsing the internet didn't suck my battery down at a rate of 1% a minute.

I'm not terribly worried about the LTE thing as: 1. It's not even possible in the USA on T-Mobile yet and 2. Someone already has that ready to download should it be removed.

Why are we so convinced that the FCC has a problem with the LTE support on this phone? They've been licensed to use AWS spectrum, and that's the LTE bands that are supported.

I noticed that too. I thought it was just my problem since I use a 3+ year-old bluetooth device. I hope this gets fixed with a firmware update.

This had to happen, I'm actually surprised it took them this long to pull.
Google has to either pull lte support from the software or get the fcc to approve the LTE radio, which isn't going to happen as the LTE support is weak and I don't think you can even get an fcc approval like that after a device is sold.

XDA already has it, you'll continue to see roms that feature LTE support, but the factory rom support to LTE has to go.

I see I'm not the only one with the Google services battery drain issue. It's difficult to be patient for an update when your battery is getting drained everyday.

Everyone is so quick to jump to conclusions. Let's wait and see why they pulled it from the site, then you can rip through your rumors all you want.