December 19, 2014

Will the Nexus S ever get Android 4.0?

nexus_s_4g_sprint_feature

       I have a Nexus S 4G on Sprint. And I’m mad as heck. Well… not mad, but frustrated. It has been nearly 5 months since Android 4.0 was announced at a special event in Hong Kong. My girlfriend and I waited, stayed up, watched it and fell in love with the update. This was literally everything I’ve wanted.  Once the Ice Cream Sandwich update arrives, my Nexus S 4G would absolutely be the best phone ever made!

And so began the very familiar wait for any information. I set up my usual Google Alerts for “Android 4.0 Nexus S 4G”… and waited. I checked all the big tech sites – daily, sometimes hourly, for the first few weeks. No dates. I wasn’t totally turned off, like I said, with Android we are used to NO information – which is ridiculous. Then hark! Early December 2011, I was tipped off by my Google+ community of Nexus S users – that the update may be released by the end of December! Hooray! Best Christmas present ever.  However, as we all know, that didn’t happen – or did but… then didn’t. The update appeared to have been released for “some” GSM users then paused due to a battery issue.

Anyway, long story short, this is ridiculous. I bought a phone from the Nexus line to enjoy the earliest of updates and get the pure Android experience. Both is crap. The Nexus S should have been the first to get Android 4.0 period.

Now I hear from my angry fellow Google+ Nexus S friends, that there’s a new rumor that the Nexus S may never get the update. You have to be kidding me. I’ve waited this entire time and now an update may really not happen? I’ve heard rumors that the now antiquated Wimax (or the “slower” processor) may be to blame, but the phone is not even a year old (on Sprint)! Google should have prepared the device for further updating – prior to release.  And, really, the 4G is a joke. Or maybe it’s just me… on the Nexus S, since it has such terrible reception… .

I really feel that Google and Sprint owe us an explanation. Are you going to upgrade this phone or not? Simple question. No need for secrecy. If not, I have suffered with a phone with a bad radio, weird ticks, and poor battery life in the wry hopes of getting Android 4.0 … for nothing.

I literally don’t know where to go from here – rooting does not appeal to me for multiple reasons, the main one simply being I shouldn’t have to! And my girlfriend has an iPhone, so I know both worlds – both options, per se. And, I am not really into the iPhone. I primarily use Google products for work and – let’s face it – the Android platform has the best integration with Google products. She is using Microsoft Exchange to sync things and doesn’t have a native Docs app, that I use on a daily basis.

I am alone on an island just waiting for my next direction to be screamed at me by Google.  Thank God I have a great community of fellow Android and Nexus users who are just as upset as I am on Google+.  We even started a petition to get Google and Sprint to listen… if you’re one of us make sure to sign it!

Make a simple announcement Google, before you lose an entire generation to Windows Phone 7 or the iPhone.



  • Pcfix123

    Been running ICS since November on my Nexus S here in the uk

  • http://profiles.google.com/xsehcx Daniel Dombrowski

    i left sprint because of this, i am using the galaxy note on AT&T, and for what it’s worth, i like the gingerbread/touchwiz implementation on the note better than what i saw in ICS anyways. I’ll be fine if all i get in the next year or so is maintenance updates, maybe.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JPTTY5CPD7YKFV5RJQOZBPAZ3E Mike

    gotcha on the shouldn’t have to root part, but it’s a breath of fresh air. like wiping the factory windows install on a laptop and clean installing it yourself. Ahhhhhhhhhhh

  • Silk7412

    Sorry to say but this is why i didn’t buy this nexus. It went from being a developers phone to a brand and with samsung in the mix. This makes a BAD combo.

  • Antiphon

    Unfortunately the answer is clearly written on the AOSP website: “No CDMA devices are supported in the Android Open-Source Project.” Also look at the fact that only GSM Nexus S users got the update (re: NOT CDMA). This may have started with the whole Verizon Galaxy Nexus debacle, but it’s clearly grown it’s own legs and it looks like the Sprint Nexus S is in support limbo due to Google’s anti-CDMA stance.

    I’d say at this point to just root the phone (it is still a Nexus device so it shouldn’t be too difficult) and put whatever ROM you like on it. The Nexus S hardware is still more than enough to run ICS.

    • http://www.designisphilosophy.com Morten Rand-Hendriksen

      That’s not the case: Rogers Nexus S phones in Canada are all GSM but we have yet to see the ICS update. There is more goingon than meets the eye.

    • smarterthanuare

      The official Google Android versions for the Nexus phones are closed source. There are two different branches of the Android OS.

    • petrochemicals

      AT&T’s GSM Nexus S never received ICS either.

    • beastwork

       I really don’t care what  the AOSP website says.  I can go to this site (http://www.android.com/devices/detail/nexus-s-4g-from-google) and read the following  “With this device, users will be the first to receive software upgrades
      and new Google mobile apps as soon as they become available.”

      This is why we bought the phone, and we’ve been lied too.  I just want to know exactly who I should be boycotting.

  • NexusICS

    Just root and stop complaining! It doesn’t take long and you can go on living you’re life. Also applies to the people with the “back button” issues.. By the way ICS has been great!

  • JevyJav

    I’ve been running ics on my nexus S4g just fine since January face unlock and all. I’m also rooted so…. Anyway the fact that the device can and does run ics leaves little to no excuse to why it has yet to be officially updated. I’m running ics 4.0.4 . Anyway after playing with actual gnexuses I finally caved in and bought an unlocked gsm version that I’ll be running on simple mobile. Cheaper bill than sprint/tmobile and more speed.

    I do agree with the original poster nexus s should have been the first with ics period! I’m thinking maybe sprint has something to do with three being that they are about to also release a g nex

    • smarterthanuare

      Simple Mobile isn’t a very good carrier. They use a non standard 3G network. It’s not normal for a USA 3G HSPA network to operate on the 1700MHz band.

    • beastwork

      I think the culprit is Samsung.  Clearly the OS has been released and is working on the T Mobile Nexus S and other Android devices.  I called up Sprint for answers and they told me to call Samsung.  So I called up Samsung, realizing I was being played, and they told me to call up Sprint. 

      They want to force the loyal Nexus S owners to upgrade to the Galaxy in the spring to get the new, pretty OS.  Before I bought my Nexus all the blogs warned that Samsung was horrible when it came to upgrades.  I thought this would be different since it was the “flagship” “pure Google” phone.  Obviously I was wrong.  I’m ready to divorce Google and Sprint for their lack of transparency on this matter.  I’ll certainly never trust Samsung again.

      But how is it that Samsung has both Google and Sprint by the balls, to the point that Google won’t speak to its customers.  I figure by the time my contract is up with sprint a new iphone will be out and I’ll finally go and jump on that bandwagon.

      • warbux

        Maybe I’d believe it were Samsung’s fault if they weren’t already pushing ICS on the Galaxy S II.  Google states EXPLICITLY on their own website for the Nexus S that “With this device, users will be the first to receive software upgrades
        and new Google mobile apps as soon as they become available.”  Check for yourself: http://www.android.com/devices/detail/nexus-s

        The claim is utterly fraudulent.

  • Blah

    Quit being a pansy and just throw Pete’s ICS on there. You don;t need to keep root if you don’t want it.

    • codemonkey85

      Or AOKP or CM9.

  • Jojo

    My Nexus S (AT&T) has not been updated to ICS. This is not just a Sprint issue. At this point, I’m mostly just curious to see how long it takes Google/AT&T to either update, or come out with a definitive statement that it is not going to happen.

    • Neo4uo

      Last time I checked the source code for ICS was released before Christmas and the manufacturers had the source before that so Google is not at fault blame the carrier and the manufacturer.

  • http://twitter.com/myconoclast Dave

    I sympathize with you about not receiving the update as I’ve been waiting for the Galaxy S update myself. But it’s worth pointing out you could always buy an ICS phone if you want it that bad. Just saying.

  • http://www.designisphilosophy.com Morten Rand-Hendriksen

    I wonder if there is a class action lawsuit in this…

    • Neo4uo

      There will never be a lawsuit about this. Its Samsung and Sprints fault and they will have sold millions of phones and could care less about a few thousand unhappy customers. If Samsung isn’t worried about all the apple lawsuits that are filed dailey, they wont break a sweat over a tiny class action lawsuit. And besides the average person buys a phone and all they know is that is an android phone. They sure don’t know what desert it is…lol.

  • Gurule31

    What a stupid article.
    I hate it when people blame the carrier and google, who the F made the phone. SAMSUNG! That is who is to blame. Do you really think Samsung got paid to make the phone. Shit no, they paid google.
    Samsung is single handedly ruining Android for the masses. As soon as they touched the nexus name it was doomed.
    It’s a shame really. I hope Google kicked everyone in the nuts and just give Motorola the goods and control the action.

    • smarterthanuare

      It’s not Samsung that will be pushing out the ICS update.

    • Operationnightfall24

      What are you talking about??? You obviously haven’t owned a Nexus,I have all three on T-mobile & the Galaxy Nexus is by far the best Android phone I’ve owned and of all the oems Motorola is the worse to developers & modders,So I doubt they will be building the Nexus anytime soon

      • smarterthanuare

        Motorola is the very best for developers and modders. Motorola only locks the bootloader if a carrier tells them to.

  • Ken Dellinger

    You come off a little whiney, but i can understand your frustration. The blogs and the 0.1% of us who pay attention to this stuff are kinda to blame for high expectations on Android updates. We’ve all made such a big deal about ICS, but it really is beginning to look like the next update (JellyBean?) will hit before most of the major phones will see ICS. Nature of the beast. Get past it or get an iPhone*. ;-)
    *kidding about the iPhone…ick

  • Ken Dellinger

    You come off a little whiney, but i can understand your frustration. The blogs and the 0.1% of us who pay attention to this stuff are kinda to blame for high expectations on Android updates. We’ve all made such a big deal about ICS, but it really is beginning to look like the next update (JellyBean?) will hit before most of the major phones will see ICS. Nature of the beast. Get past it or get an iPhone*. ;-)
    *kidding about the iPhone…ick

  • g0ogle

    petrochem, did you write this article? xD

  • g0ogle

    petrochem, did you write this article? xD

  • Operationnightfall24

    What a ridiculous article,It sounds like it was written by someone who didn’t take their medications.It’s all over the place,In one sentence you say if the Nexus S had ICS it would be the perfect phone yet in another sentence you say how your phone has been plagued with problems that I don’t understand how you believe android 4.0 would fix those issues.Flash a rom for goodness sake & stop complaining like a baby.Or go buy a new phone,I’m not sure if your crazy or just stupid because you say that Google should have prepared the phone for updates before releasing it,How is it possible that Google sat there a a year and a half ago & said “Huh,Well let’s use a 1ghz cpu & give it a chip to support wimax not because it’s the latest tech but because when we update our software it may or may not work” That just doesn’t make any sense at all,They didn’t conspire to screw you out of an ota & your probably still going to receive it anyway.Any of the rumors about the ota not coming out are just that…….rumors.So just chill out & either flash a custom rom,Apply to Google & help build the software yourself or just buy the Galaxy Nexus,I’ve owned all three Nexus phones along with a host of others & let me tell you,The Nexus S was the worst of all three & the Galaxy Nexus is by far the best Nexus & really the best Android phone I have owned & I have owned a lot

    • Jaygetty

      Only people off their meds write that someelse is.

      I think the article is correct. Total arrogance to leave Nexus S people in the dark. Tell us a date; or It is broke and you di not know when you can fix it.

  • smarterthanuare

    Google recently announced that the Sprint Nexus S 4G phone will definitely be getting ICS. They even announced an approximate release time frame.

    • petrochemicals

      Where is this “announcement”?

      • smarterthanuare

        It’s on Sprint’s own forums. Google has been working on the ICS update for Sprint’s Nexus S 4G since November. There have been numerous bugs in ICS and it’s been extremely difficult to get them fixed. The leaked Sprint build of ICS clearly shows that ICS on the NS4G is not ready to be released. ICS currently freezes up hard at random on the NS4G. Also, have you ever used an HTC phone with Gingerbread? If you have, did you ever run into the issue where you hit Home only to get the white HTC screen for an eternity while the Sense launcher reloads? ICS on the NS4G currently suffers from this very same bug. You hit Home only to see a blank screen with nothing except your wallpaper. Depending on how many apps are installed it typically takes anywhere from 30-60 seconds for the ICS launcher to reload. Even if the home screen icons reappear sooner the app drawer will likely be blank with a spinning circle in the middle of the screen while the launcher reloads. It even appears there may be a serious memory leak as well.

        • Firstodin420

          Agreed. I spoke with 4 different Reps in one day about the same thing, ICS, and they all said the same thing. An ICS update for the NS4G is in the works, but, they want to be sure it works with their network “flawlessly”. Sounds good to me. I’d rather have a perfect working update rather than what T-Mobile did to the G2x with the GB update. They also said a release date was given, but, it is still tentative. I rooted to the IMM26 and it was OK but it just seemed to be a little buggy. So I unrooted and I am now impatiently waiting for the OTA update to be pushed out by Sprint. Hope it will be soon.

  • petrochemicals

    About time someone wrote an article on this.

  • SocalTeknique

    meh i been rooted since Google decided to fix (screw up) the sAMOLED screen on my GSM NS back in May 2011 and havent looked back. CM7 then and now CM9 and loving ICS. Once i get my Gnex, im rooting that too.

    • SocalTeknique

      whoops! this article is for the CDMA NS sorry. But still root is still the way to go

  • Rishigaiha

    Can someone post a link of how to root the nexus S4g. Assume I have the intelligence of a 6th grader. 
    Or at least how to root it and where to get the files. 
    Thanks

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  • http://blog.paul-burton.com/ Paul Burton

    Any chance you’d share your Nexus S 4G owners Google+ circle?

  • http://profiles.google.com/ilya.eliseev Ilya Eliseev

    So much for Nexus line phones…..:) even HD2 is running ICS now days

  • Carlos

    Maybe some Samsung pressure to don’t harm Galaxy Nexus sales?! Have been month since Android 4.0 came out, and for months Galaxy Nexus was the exclusive phone with exclusive OS!

  • Neo4uo

    Not to be mean but it’s not necessarily Google’s fault. Look at who made the phone and there is your biggest problem. I was singing those same blues with my fascinate getting froyo and then gingerbread. The biggest hold up is Sprint and Samsu.g. Samsung is the worst about updates and you may ask why? I think all they really give a rip about is sales and not service after the sale. They release a new phone every two months. I bet money the Verizon Google Nexus will never see the light of day on 5.0. Going to a windows phone or Iphone would be the worst thing to protest. Windows phones suxxors and apple is just as worst with a new phone every six months and there updates are crapola….their updates have been material stolen from Android ala notification bar…If you want to protest go with Asus, Moto, or HTC. I will never buy another Samsung product again. I have owned a fascinate and original galaxy tablet and have got better roms from the devs over at XDA.

  • thooht

    The point is that the “nexus” name on a phone is supposed to assure you that there will be some updates at least into the moderate future and this hasn’t happened with the nexus s. It’s lame. I own one and it’s only been in my hand a few months and now it feels out of date. If Android is supposed to be a true alternative to the iPhone then thier so-called flagship models should update or at least warn that updates will not be forthcoming as they are with Apple’s offerings. Is it a flaw? Yeah, it is. Not a massive flaw, but irritating.

  • Kai Hendry

    I feel the same frustration. I’m a Nexus S owner, who bought it out-right in London.

  • annoyed

    I’m with you.  I bought a Nexus because of the implied promise of timely updates.  However it appears that Google now has adopted Samsung’s policy of little to no support for already released hardware in favor of focus on new products.    I’m not buying a new phone every six months just to get software updates.  
    Google also gets some blame here. Releasing ICS on a new model Samsung phone before releasing it to existing Nexus owners was a dick move.Are my expectations to high?  I guess so.   

  • Dwreck420

    stop whining, and get CM9. its amazing.

    • annoyed

      Does the camera work yet?

  • Pedro Fernando Pereira Bogado

    Finally someone wrote an article on this ridiculous situation. The way Google handled this update is shameful.
    And to all those people saying just put X rom in your phone to get ICS, the article makes the right question, why should you? You shouldn’t have to root just to get updates, that’s ridiculous.

  • http://www.DavidPat.com David Pat

    Get a Motorola device and get an ICS Rom

  • JD

    Apparently the Samsung Galaxy SII has already started updating to ICS…So much for the Nexus S being the “first” phone to receive the newest OS…I’ll be going back to the iPhone here soon, at least Apple knows how to keep customers!

  • petrochemicals

    At least some sites have the guts to run an article on this issue. I have been asking Android Central to run an article about this for months. Head editor Phil Nickinson even went so far as to reply to one of my e-mails telling me that this is not news. Google failing to update their own hardware with their own software is not news on and Android News blog? Now he is even deleting my comments asking the site as to why they are not reporting this. AC is a joke for Android news. Thank god some place still have some integrity. 

  • petrochemicals

    At least some sites have the guts to run an article on this issue. I have been asking Android Central to run an article about this for months. Head editor Phil Nickinson even went so far as to reply to one of my e-mails telling me that this is not news. Google failing to update their own hardware with their own software is not news on an Android News blog? Now he is even deleting my comments asking the site as to why they are not reporting this. AC is a joke for Android news. Thank god some place still have some integrity.

  • petrochemicals

    At least some sites have the guts to run an article on this issue. I have been asking Android Central to run an article about this for months. Head editor Phil Nickinson even went so far as to reply to one of my e-mails telling me that this is not news. Google failing to update their own hardware with their own software is not news on an Android News blog? Now he is even deleting my comments asking the site as to why they are not reporting this. AC is a joke for Android news. Thank god some place still have some integrity.

  • petrochemicals

    At least some sites have the guts to run an article on this issue. I have been asking Android Central to run an article about this for months. Head editor Phil Nickinson even went so far as to reply to one of my e-mails telling me that this is not news. Google failing to update their own hardware with their own software is not news on an Android News blog? Now he is even deleting my comments asking the site as to why they are not reporting this. AC is a joke for Android news. Thank god some place still have some integrity

  • HannahM

    I got ICS on my Nexus S the day I put in a TMobile SIM.

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  • Eric

    I have the nexus s 4g also and I finally caved in and installed the IMM26 leaked build. It works perfect. I would recommend you try it

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