Galaxy Nexus Phones Receive Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Others to Follow

Galaxy Nexus Phones Receive Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Others to FollowGoogle is rolling out Android 4.1 Jelly Bean starting this week, and HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus owners are at the top of the update list. If you own one of the Google-supported GSM Galaxy Nexus devices, you should receive an update alert within the next few days letting you know that your Jelly Bean update (complete with Google Now) is ready to go.

I made the switch this week, moving from my iPhone to the Galaxy Nexus. I placed my order one day before the phone was banned due to a court-ordered injunction and was hoping the update wouldn’t be to far behind. Thankfully, I’m in luck. Jelly Bean is on its way.

If you’re using one of the 4G LTE Galaxy Nexus devices supported by Verizon or other carriers, your wait is also quickly coming to an end. Jelly Bean is being rolled out to all Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Motorola Xoom, and Nexus 7 (which ships this month) very soon. The Motorola Xoom, a product of the recently Google-acquired hardware maker, is the first non-Nexus device to receive the update.

How to Check for the Update on Your Galaxy Nexus

If you’re not willing to wait until your device automatically checks for updates, you can manually initiate an update check by following these steps:

  • From the Home screen, open Settings.
  • Scroll down the bottom of the Settings menu and select About Phone.
  • Choose System Updates.
  • Hit the Check Now button.

Not everyone is receiving the update at the same time, even with the manual checks. If your phone says that you have the current version, just check again later. The updates are expected (over the next several days) so it may not be ready for you right away.

What About Other Devices?

Other popular Android devices (such as the Samsung Galaxy S III) are expected to receive Jelly Bean, but only after the manufacturer and carrier have finished developing and testing things on their end. Each manufacturer has a tendency to add their own flare and custom apps to the devices to extend functionality, and some carriers have little apps and things they want to add to the platform as well. Either way, these updates are expected when they’re ready, and not a moment sooner.

It might be said that one of the biggest advantages to owning a Nexus device is that you really do have first dibs on Android updates as they become available. What you receive is a default, vanilla installation of the OS as it would appear to manufacturers before customization. You really do get exactly what Android has to offer, and nothing more or less than that.

That said, ICS is still a pretty major update from previous versions of Android. Phones with ICS benefit from a lot of the advantages of the OS, so a short wait may not be the worst thing out there. If you’re absolutely impatient, the hacker community have developed ROMs you can flash your phone with to force the update at the risk of bugs and voided warranties.