State of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean: Three Big Upgrades Still Missing
Yesterday, Google rolled out its Android 4.2.2 update to the Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and GSM Galaxy Nexus. And while those devices are now rocking the latest Android update from Google, some big name devices are still without their promised upgrade to the previous version of Android, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, including the AT&T HTC One X, the Samsung Galaxy Note and the Motorola Droid RAZR and RAZR MAX HD.
While Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and Galaxy Nexus owners are busy complaining about the slow Android 4.2.2 roll out and Nexus 4 owners are peeved about the fact that Android 4.2.2 didn’t arrive for their device, their situation isn’t even close to the situation that other Android owners are in. Specifically, owners of a trio of big name smartphones that are still without their upgrade to Android 4.1 as we push further into 2013.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean was announced all the way back at Google I/O last summer and was shortly thereafter released to a handful of Nexus devices. By fall, we started seeing companies rolling out devices with Android 4.1 as the stock operating system, and in September, the Galaxy S3 became the first big name smartphone to receive its Jelly Bean update.
July and September are now completely in the rear view mirror and so is Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as Google unleashed its Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update in November alongside the Nexus 4. And while plenty of owners, Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners in particular, are frustrated about the whereabouts of Android 4.2, there are worse situations out there to be sure.
Here are those situations.
AT&T HTC One X
All the way back in October, shortly after Samsung delivered its Galaxy S3 Android 4.1 update, HTC rolled out a big Android 4.1 update of its own for its flagship, the HTC One X. Since, the software has hit carriers and devices all over the world, including North American carriers in Canada. However, the software still hasn’t hit one important variant of the device, the AT&T HTC One X.
The HTC One X was one of AT&T’s flagship Android smartphones in 2012 but for whatever reason, the carrier has neglected the device and its customers up until this point.
It remains on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, leaving users peeved and frustrated, something that isn’t surprising considering the type of promotion that AT&T has given to its device. GBM reader Preston Gorman might be speaking for the masses when says:
This is getting really silly. AT&T stores have an enormous display in the middle of the store dedicated to the HTC One X. They sell it as a flagship device and then don’t support it like one. The sad part of this is what an absolutely fantastic device the One X is. If AT&T didn’t insist on loading it down with utter crapware to sell their add-ons, this update could have been streamlined.
AT&T still hasn’t said why the update has taken this long to roll out so users remain on Android 4.0, a piece of software released all the way back in 2011 alongside the Galaxy Nexus.
Motorola Droid RAZR & Droid RAZR MAXX
While it has been under the radar lately, the Motorola Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX Android 4.1 roll out back in December may wind up being one of the bigger Android blunders of all time.
On December 24th, it appeared that Christmas had arrived early for Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX owners as their Android 4.1 Jelly Bean updates seemingly arrived.
However, soon after the roll outs began, it became apparent that something was wrong. At the time, we received several emails from concerned Droid RAZR MAXX owners who claimed that the update failed to download. Droid RAZR owners were having the same issue. Turns out, the updates arrived well ahead of schedule.
Motorola cleared the air, stating that the updates would be heading out in the first quarter of this year. Q1 contains the months of January, February and March so right now, we’re almost right smack in the middle of its roll out window.
We’ve heard from numerous Droid RAZR & Droid RAZR MAXX owners who aren’t worried about the lack of Jelly Bean so much as they are concerned about bugs on their devices. Since June of last year, owners of these devices have been dealing with an assortment of bugs that they had hoped would be taken care of with a bug fix update.
That update still hasn’t arrived and it appears that the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update might just be the update that handles everything, making it an important one to both Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX owners.
Samsung Galaxy Note
And finally, maybe the most frustrating missing Android 4.1 update, the Samsung Galaxy Note Android 4.1 upgrade. All the way back in August, at the Galaxy Note 2 launch event, Samsung promised Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in the near future for three devices. The Samsung Galaxy S3, the Galaxy Note 10.1, and the Galaxy Note.
Since then, we’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update roll out, the Galaxy Note 10.1 Jelly Bean update roll out, and surprisingly, the Galaxy S2 Jelly Bean update roll out. The Galaxy Note Jelly Bean update remains to be seen.
It hasn’t helped that Samsung has seemingly teased the update multiple times. We’ve heard that the update might roll out in March but thus far, Samsung has yet to confirm anything meaning Galaxy Note owners have been waiting almost half a year for an update that promised to them “soon.”
The Road Ahead
While we are seeing improvements from Android manufacturers in regards to communication and timing of Android updates, it’s clear that there is still work to be done.
Promising Galaxy Note owners an update in the near future and failing to deliver any kind of timing or update in six months is beyond ridiculous. AT&T’s treatment of the HTC One X is baffling to say the least. This is a flagship smartphone that deserves flagship treatment. And the fact that Verizon hasn’t rolled out a Droid RAZR bug fix update for more than half a year is, well, not surprising, but unbelievable nonetheless.
And while it might be wishful thinking, our hope is that companies learn from these situations and aim to not make the same mistakes again.