Earlier this week, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean started rolling out to owners of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 7 tablet. Shortly after the roll out, my Nexus 7 received the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update and update that so far, has lived up to my expectations. Unfortunately though, it also has left me craving an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean for my Verizon Galaxy Nexus.
Back in December 2011, I picked up a Verizon Galaxy Nexus, a device that saw its first bug fix update five months after launch and one that was the last of the Nexus-branded devices to get the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update. Google finally admitted, nearly a year after the phone launched, that the user experience on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus and Sprint Galaxy Nexus weren’t up to par. I’ll say.
Now, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is poised to receive another update in the form of the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update, an incremental but certainly welcomed update that Google first released through OTA updates earlier this week.
After spending nearly a year with the Galaxy Nexus and using Android 4.2 extensively on my Nexus 7 over the past couple of days, here are my thoughts and expectations regarding the Verizon Galaxy Nexus Android 4.2 update.
While the HSPA+ version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus received its Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update earlier this week, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is still without the update and probably will be for quite some time. Last time, with Android 4.1, it took Verizon around two months to push out the Jelly Bean update to Galaxy Nexus owners. That time frame was slower than other carriers, including Sprint, which beat Verizon to the punch.
I expect the same thing to happen with Android 4.2. We’ll probably see the roll out take place either in December or January and Sprint’s update will roll out before Verizon’s and Verizon Galaxy Nexus customers, like myself, will cry foul.
It’s just really hard to expect anything different, even after all the let downs with Verizon’s version of the Galaxy Nexus. Do I hope the carrier does something to wow its users? Absolutely. Will it? Probably not.
Verizon may be slow to get its updates out but bottom line, it has been nearly flawless with its Galaxy Nexus Android updates. The bug fix update squashed the bugs that I was experiencing with Android 4.0 ICS and Jelly Bean didn’t have any catastrophic bugs on board when it arrived.
I expect that trend to continue with Android 4.2.
Must Have: Photo Sphere
One feature that didn’t come along with the Nexus 7 Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update was the Photo Sphere function for the camera. As I said in my review, that was the one time that I wished the Nexus 7 had a rear camera.
Photo Sphere, for those that don’t know, allows users to take 360 degree photos that look a lot like Street View images. A video showing off the feature can be seen below.
It certainly looks like a killer feature and one that I would love to take along with me to sporting events, concerts or family events. This was the feature that I was most excited about after the announcement and it’s what has me extremely excited about the Verizon Galaxy Nexus Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update.
Other Likeable Features
That’s not to say that there aren’t other features in Android 4.2 that are likeable. On the contrary, there are a bunch of features that I am greatly enjoying starting with the Quick Settings menu that allows me to quickly look at my Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth settings, and more on my Nexus 7. I think this is will be even more useful on my phone.
I also really like the lock screen widgets which allow me to look at the headlines of my Gmail Inbox without even unlocking the phone as well as look at appointments on my calendar. It’s a nifty and time saving feature.
I’ve also never been a user of a gesture-enhanced keyboard but now that the stock Android keyboard has it on board, I’ve given it another try.
Many might be wondering about whether Android 4.2 Jelly Bean will be the last update for this phone. I doubt it. I honestly don’t think Galaxy Nexus owners have much to worry about in terms of not getting the Key Lime Pie update, an update that will likely be Android 5.0. If the Nexus S was able to go from Android 2.3 Gingerbread to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, I think the Verizon Galaxy Nexus will be getting the next major Android update.
Of course, we may not see it until late in the year next year but I expect it to arrive at some point. That kind of longevity would certainly go a long way with those that really had a poor experience with the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon.