A change.org petition is being floated around which asks Google to support the Galaxy Nexus by bringing Android 4.4 to it. When Google announced they were bringing Android 4.4 to the Nexus masses, the Galaxy Nexus was strangely omitted. When prompted for a reason, Google noted the device fell out of an 18-month update window.
According to Engadget, sources familiar with the matter at Google said the real reason was due to the Texas Instruments chipset inside. That hardware was allegedly no longer being supported by TI, as they’ve moved away form the mobile device industry altogether. Via XDA Developers, we learnt hat the GPU binaries for that chipset have been updated.
Whether it’s the hardware issue tipsters claim, or some new-to-us 18-month cutoff for supporting their own devices, it doesn’t bode well for Google. The Galaxy Nexus was the last Nexus deice offered via all carriers, so perhaps Google doesn’t feel they should support those variants. The updated kernel for a chipset that’s no longer supported may have meant they couldn’t get a driver for it, too. Either way, offering absolutely no support for a legacy device is troubling.
The petition should arrive to Android chief Sundar Pichai soon, so we’ll at least hope for a little clarification when he gets it. We don’t expect Google to reverse their position on this, especially if it really is a hardware issue, but some clarification, or a hardline rule moving forward, would be nice.