Nexus owners, mark your calendars: it’s been exactly five and a half months since the Samsung Galaxy Nexus was released exclusively on Verizon in the United States. In that time the phone has received one and only one official update, to Android 4.0.2…. which was almost immediately overshadowed by 4.0.3, then 4.0.4 over two months ago. Today reports are spreading that Verizon is finally, finally sending out the 4.0.4 update over the air, making its LTE version of the Galaxy Nexus officially current for the first time in almost half a year.
To say that Nexus owners are upset is an understatement. Like previous entries in the line, the Galaxy Nexus was sold with the understanding that it would be the first to get updated to new versions of Android. And indeed, the GSM flavor of the Galaxy Nexus is the first. But Verizon has become something of a roadblock for Android updates, as many feared that it would. The fact that Google no longer guarantees timely updates for CDMA “developer devices” doesn’t help. Many Verizon Galaxy Nexus users flashed the leaked updates or Google’s own posted version out of frustration.
We don’t usually outright recommend rooting and flashing custom ROMs, but in this case I’m willing to make an exception. If you bought a Verizon Galaxy Nexus specifically to get timely Android updates, running a custom ROM is your best bet, and it’s worth it to learn how to root and modify your phone even for beginners. Verizon has completely dropped the ball and failed to live up to the tacit promise behind the Nexus name. Both CyanogenMod 9 and AOKP have full support for the LTE “toro” Galaxy Nexus, and come highly recommended.