Verizon Galaxy Nexus Android 4.2 Update: Thoughts and Expectations

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.

Read: Android 4.2 on Nexus 7 Review: First Impressions and Performance.

VZW Nexus
The wait for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update has begun.

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.


Release Date

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.

Read: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean: Everything You Need to Know.

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 am really looking forward to Quick Settings.

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.

Android 5.0?

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.


  1. Photo Sphere looks just like Microsoft’s iOS app Photosynth. Even the interface is pretty similar. Photosynth has been around for years.

  2. Verizon sucks! In my opinion worst carrier out there. It’s ridiculous that they get the crappiest version of all the devices like in the HTC ONE Series lineup they didn’t get the Galaxy S II when it came out because the Nexus was supposed to be exclusive which wasn’t so not only did Verizon pass up a super device but lied and said it was bc of the exclusive NEXUS. And there update system is ridiculous. I know everyone claims its because they have the most strenuous testing but I think it’s because of there bloatware. If an update isn’t compatible with their unused unwanted terrible apps then they send it back to the carrier for them to make it bug free. Then I read somewhere that another reason why Verizon takes so long to update their devices is because they also strenuously test the OTA delivery before it’s sent out. If that is indeed the case then put it up online for people who don’t want to wait for the OTA update that way when it’s ready for people who can update through the computer they can go ahead and get their updates and for the people uncomfortable with that process they can wait 8 months after everyone else has got there updates.

    I think it really comes down to Verizon’s GREED they prefer to wait on updates as long as possible or not even release them at all because why update a phone when you can make people so angry and frustrated with trying to get their devices updated with bug fixes when they can just either pay an early termination fee or pay the retail upgrade fee?

    • I think most of what you said is right, but believe me, Verizon would much rather you keep paying monthly than pay an early termination fee. Even at $350 that is only a few months worth of bills and it’s mostly going toward paying off the amount they subsidized you for the device.

    • You obviously don’t have Verizon. Verizon has the best service and the best coverage hands down. I will wait a little longer for an update since they don’t push crap that doesn’t work. Go to AT&T if you want the most recent updates that have bugs and service that drops your calls with full bars.

  3. As soon as my family’s Verizon contract is done, we’re through with them. I’ll never sign a contract again for cell service, and I won’t do business with either of the major carriers.

    They’re both awful.

  4. Verizon’s updates have been flawless? Heh, I had a GN, I couldn’t even use it as a phone because of the mic dropout. Even the updates they claim were supposed to fix it didn’t. I had to buy a different phone (RAZR MAXX) with my on money, in order to be able to use my phone as a phone.

    That is NOT flawless

  5. You know what I thought Verizon’s updates where to show too, but after they explained to me about the test they perform to kill all bugs before they send the updates out I really started liking Big Red. I appreciate the fact that they wanted to make sure there were no problems with my Gender when I received those updates.And you know what? The updates where flawless. And as for as my Galaxy Nexus compared to all the new phones and other phones…..It’s a classic! This phone should be reintroduced just because it does receive every update. So in conclusion Version may be show but the quality of their updates are worth the wait especially on this little Cadillac I have called the Gnex.Take care and wait for your updates. I’m sure Big Red will get better.

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