Nexus One’s Gingerbread “Coming Soon”, but We’ve Heard That Before


Google has reportedly chimed in, again, on the Nexus One + Gingerbread tandem that we’ve been waiting to see. “No unexpected hurdles,” says a representative of Google talking to Computer World. They state a roll out should be happening soon. The problem is that we’ve heard this one before – when Gingerbread was announced, a couple of times after the Nexus S was released, and so forth.

What gives, Google? I know the Nexus One was the only developer phone out when you announced Froyo, but it received an official OTA upgrade in less than a week. Why hasn’t the same been true for Gingerbread? The only reasonable explanation – as a skeptic – that I can come up with is that Google’s purposely holding it back so that users will be enticed to buy their latest flagship – the S.

I know, I know: baseless speculation. And it does sound a lot like what folks were saying regarding Samsung and T-Mobile with the Vibrant 4G issue. But I can’t think of anything else that could logically explain the delay. As Cyanogen and his team have gotten builds up for countless devices already, how is it that Google can’t get it together for their first official developer phone?

It’s not like the hardware can’t handle the update – we hear it’s supposed to be even easier on resources despite small touches of eye candy. And wasn’t this version of Android being tested daily on a Nexus One? Come on, Google.

I’m ranting at this point – let’s hope the version of “coming soon” this time doesn’t take another month for the OTA to come to form.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. It’s all about marketing.

  2. Yep.. still waiting

  3. Only thing I can think of is the random reboot issue maybe they wanted to fix that before pushing it out… I know it still happens to me on my NS

  4. Can’t really complain unless you’re a vibrant owner. This will happen soon enough for the nexus one

  5. OTA within less than a week? err….no

  6. my comment was regarding the froyo update.
    and if you can’t think of a reason: why not complain that CM7 is still not stable for the N1? doing software takes time, so sit back and relax.

  7. And then we need to wait for Gingerbread on the Desire even though it’s essentially the same phone

  8. That’s what happens when you get in bed with samsung. You gain their bad habbits.

  9. Talk about fragmentation…you can’t even get the latest version of Android on a pure Android phone! As they say on ESPN…CMON MAN!

  10. C’mon son Google, don’t give me that BS…

  11. lol @6 sadly true

  12. lol @ Froman

  13. Cyanogen 7 nightlies are actually pretty stable been using them as my daily rom for a while now

  14. Lemme make another speculation… 2.3 is not the final Gingerbread; they rushed Gingerbread 2.3 + Nexus S in time for Xmas. Something like Motorola Droid’s 2.0?

    Probably that’s also the other reason why Nexus S isn’t sold worldwide, and not in the dev store? Just speculating

  15. Google and Android are risking a bad reputation and that’s not something I’d like to see for such a great ptplatform. No matter how good Android gets, it will only be as good as the general public sees it. Image is very important and this update system that we have might make a lot of users hop over to the iPhone or another Android competitor.

  16. yeah…Froyo took about a month after it was first announced at I/O to push OTA to my Nexus

  17. Blah blah blah, whine whine whine.
    Google’s not intentionally holding it up, and we’ll get it when it’s ready. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s how Google works: They start talking about things before they’re done and then we have to wait for their release. Nice rose-coloured glasses on your Froyo memories: In fact, it was about 6 weeks from its announcement at Google I/O to the completion of the Nexus One roll-out. And those six weeks were filled with histrionics by impatient N1 owners. And Froyo was *developed* on the N1, while the NS was the target phone for Gingerbread. So, there’s probably more work to be done this time stabilising on the N1, and the team is probably spread thinner than ever (what with the two Nexus phones and all the work on Honeycomb and the tablets).
    Have patience. Google says it’s coming, and they have a good track record, with 2.1.1, 2.2, and 2.2.1 all having been pushed out over the last year. In fact, when Gingerbread does hit, that will be the second major version update for the Nexus One in a little over a year. That’s the same number that the original iPhone got over its entire three-year support lifetime.

  18. i think it might be that gingerbread is on ext4, whereas froyo and everything before was ext3. As a result, it would require a full wipe – though it wouldnt be hard to build gingerbread on ext3 right?

  19. I’m no mathematician but the words “few weeks” were used at least a month ago. Once again I’m no expert but I think the people at Google are smarter than I am. So what gives? Give me my gingerbread! I was promised the latest upgrades when I purchased the Nexus One!! If another phone gets it before we do I’m going to be very upset.

  20. “I was promised the latest upgrades”
    And you do get them. Fact is, there are no more upgrades at this time. I for one cheer at Google for holding out until it’s stable.

  21. This inconsistency with OS upgrades is what killed Windows Mobile for me many years ago. The lack of it (at that time) was one of the things that made the iphone appealing.

    This is now killing the Android experience. Bought the N1 specifically because I expected it would avoid this problem. Other Android phones on the horizon look appealing, but we are forced to buy with the expectation that manufacturers, carriers, and now even Google, will hesitate to upgrade, or refuse entirely.

  22. CM 7 working perfectly. Nightly build #8. Battery life improved and some very welcome UI tweaks.

  23. I pretty much like my Nexus One the way it is. With LauncherPro it’s awesome. No complaints. The only thing about Gingerbread that looks nice is the black status bar and black menu buttons. I don’t like how they are white now.

    What is everyone else looking forward to specifically in Gingerbread?

  24. I don’t know about you, but my nexus one isn’t a developer phone. They might have changed what it was mid way through it’s life, but the phone I bought was to use, and I expected timely updates. I don’t mind if it takes a while, but don’t say a few weeks if it’s going to be a month. I have no doubt they are working on it, but Google (or at least the android team) needs to work on having correct expectations and meeting them.

  25. I have cyanogen 7 nightly running on my nexus one, works like a charm. I don’t even bother waiting for google.

  26. @Dilbert

    #1: Having the most up to date version of our beloved mobile OS.

    #2: Rubbing the aforementioned version of the OS into the faces of all the other smartphone owners.

    #3: Having the feeling like we didn’t pay $529 + Taxes on a device that really has no upper hand compared to any other device that is Rooted/ROMed.

  27. Let’s see.. if they time it right, then the Samsung people can go straight from complaining about Froyo, to complaining about Gingerbread..

  28. This is exactly why i got an NS, Sure i loved my N1, but i had a feeling that GB was going to take a while to make it’s way to the N1. Also, the N1 was running out of memory. With the NS, no problem with space. As far as GB goes, it looks more mature than Froyo did on N1. Sure Froyo was a great update bringing flash and small UI tweaks. But GB makes Android more appealing to the eyes. I will take up for the N1 owners here( because i use to be one) GB looks slick on the N1. First of all the N1 is a sick phone, but with GB, the phone becomes sick on the inside. More Sleek.


  30. @bigsg

    Actually, you can convert an ext3 filesystem to ext4 easily on linux without losing data… I imagine the same is true on Android.

    The SD card is fat32 anyway, not sure if they’ll try to change that (since Windows only supports fat and ntfs).

  31. Umm… I think a better speculation than the S is the X… OOM that is. I think the team is busy trying to finish Honeycomb, and doesn’t have many resources on the whole Nexus 1 thing.

  32. Excellent article, I had simiar thought. Looks like google is doing favour for Nexus S.

    Poor Nexus One owners, including me

  33. will the GB update to a 720p video on the N1?

  34. Haha Richard… the fact that we don’t have to deal with bloatware overlay interfaces without having to root makes us special enough… the fact that Nexus One will receive Gingerbread before any other device (Except Nexus S of course), should add further fuel to your fury while invalidating your opinion entirely.

  35. Meh. It’s only been a month since that tweet saying “soon”. I didn’t expect Gingerbread till the end of Jan. It took them about the same time to get FroYo out.

    I think it’ll be the end of Jan and they’ll run it the same way: dev phones first, then everybody else.

    I will admit that the tweet got my hopes up. But when it didn’t happen by Christmas, I knew it was going to be a while. I just wish they’d been more honest and told N1 owners that GB won’t be available till the end of January.

    In any event, I’d rather they take their time and put out a nice stable upgrade with as few flaws as possible, then put out a turd that creates havoc for users.

    And keep in mind, we’ll still be getting Gingerbread months before anybody else. Heck, Samsung is still working on FroYo for the Galaxy S in the USA (rest of the world is getting their FroYo). I will bet that despite having worked on the Nexus S, that a Gingerbread update will take just as long…or might not happen at all.

  36. Dave and Mark are right – this will ship as soon as it’s ready. For Google to deliberately delay a good, completed release would require a conspiracy that includes the whole team Nexus One customization team – and for what? It’s not like they’ll sell more or fewer Nexus Ones or Nexus Ses by delaying. I’ve been on teams like that, and we push the release when we all agree it won’t bounce.

    This will get pushed when it’s ready, not before or after.

    SSA is completely wrong in asserting that “I was promised the latest upgrades when I purchased the Nexus One!!” You were promised nothing except for the one-year warranty, and sold nothing except the software that came with the phone.

  37. @DS4, if the iPhone is appealing because of its updates, then the Nexus line must be positively drool-worthy. An iPhone won’t get a major update until a full year after its original release. We’re now a year into the N1’s life and just about to get our second major update!

  38. In early December they said that an update was “weeks away,” and then said the same thing in late December. What a bunch of bullsheeeet!!!!

  39. Richard must be a Galaxy S owner…

  40. If Google wanted to release the update, they can… don’t no wat there waiting for

  41. I bought a MT4G a month ago and gave my stock N1 to my dad. I told him he would surely have gingerbread before I did. Then, I rooted my MT4G, and I’ve been flashing the CM7 nightlies (After falling in love with vanilla, SenseUI just felt cumbersome). I have to give the old man credit, he spotted the green battery meter and signal bars after a quick glance. He’s jealous, but keep up hope guys. Gingerbread is worth the wait. Go CM team!

  42. I’m gonna go out on a limb and speculate that the Nexus S is not selling as well as they hoped. Hence, the sales and marketing folks are trying to milk it as much as possible before updating the Nexus One owners.

    Why is it not selling that well? Because of its limited hardware: no microSD expansion slot, 5MP camera when others have 8mp or even higher, no microSD, and by the way, did I mention no microSD slot??? WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? No developer is going to rely on this phone. Sorry, sir, our development phones don’t have SD slots, so we can’t test whether our app works with one–you’re SOL.

  43. I suspect there were some GB bug fixes they wanted to incorporate before releasing, like maybe the SMS bug. No point in pushing and then pushing a “.1” release a few weeks later for both platforms. Plus that would leave the N1 AHEAD of the NS for a short period of time.

  44. As a Nexus One owner, I can confidently say I’m never buying another Google phone again. Google cares about their own-brand phone only until the next one is announced, at which point they completely wipe their previous baby from their memory and disown it.

  45. Im not in a rush about this on 2.3 update but it has been a while already i already got the minor 2.2.2 update on my nexus one but google is being greedy and i herd the the sprint optimus s is going to get gingerbread early as febuary thats bull the reason i got this phone was to get all updates before any other phone but if this does take place where the optimus s gets it first im never buying a google phone again.

  46. I would rather that Google take it’s time in making sure that Gingerbread is completely stable/ready for the Nexus One before pushing it out.

    Like most people here I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of 2.3 to the Nexus One. I did get 2 minor updates during the past couple of months so maybe that’s part of the prep work for deployment of 2.3 to the platform.

    I doubt Google wants to take any chances of “bricking” all the Nexus One’s out without thorough testing. So I’ll wait.

    I won’t be buying the Nexus S mainly because of the lack of micro SD port.

    I don’t think Google ever promised that the Nexus One would be the first phone to receive major upgrades forever. And I for one am uber happy with my Nexus One. Heck it took a skid off the hood of my car at 25 mph, busted apart (took me 45 minutes to find everything) and then booted right up once I put the battery and back cover back on. HTC’s metal frame on this phone may weigh more but it makes up for it in durability.

  47. “I know the Nexus One was the only developer phone out when you announced Froyo, but it received an official OTA upgrade in less than a week.”

    A week?! Who did you payoff to get it within a week of the announcement?! From the time it was announced to getting it on my N1 was over a month.

    I’ve heard the whole “get it right before you ship it out” spiel before. The problem is that — like it or not — they’re competing with companies like Micro$oft. If MS can ship out updates to its PC operating system on a weekly basis (some of them major updates), than Google looks foolish. They have GOT to either pick it up, or just not mention anything until an update is ready. Waiting anymore than a couple days is SO 2002.

  48. I’m convinced they’re holding release until they can fix the in-call reboot issues and unstable network stack, which may be related since the wi-fi and BT issues I’ve been experiencing on my NS also result in reboots.

  49. Picked up an OTA update earlier this week on my n1. Almost burst into tears when I saw that it was 4.2.2.

    I know they’re getting it finished and ready, but I still intend to sit here and pout until I get my gbread.

  50. The main reason I bought my Nexus 1 was because I expected that Google would fully support it through thick and thin. Now that I see that it is no longer true, I’m not so eagerly awaiting an AT&T version of the Nexus S.

  51. As a Nexus One owner, it seems more likely to me that they’re fixing the reboot bug that still hasn’t been resolved on the Nexus S. They don’t have a lot to gain by holding out on N1 owners for marketing reasons. There just aren’t that many N1 owners period, and N1 owners are the *least likely* to upgrade to the Nexus S, since the N1 is still such an awesome phone.

    Frustrating nonetheless, but I don’t think Google is being evil here.

  52. What I hate the most is that I was happy with my Froyo before they gave us the “soon”.
    I was hoping it would appear in Nexus One’s birthday, but who knows when it will come.

  53. Totally agree with Big Al. If Google would have said they were going to start rolling out gingerbread in march, I would have been much happier waiting till then than eagerly anticipating the update “any day now”.

  54. In which world did you get FROYO in less than a week? I remember we had to wait a good 2 months after it was announced at an event on Mar 28 (I think), because I wouldn’t root my phone…

    AT&T ppl had to wait longer and heard rumors that they may not even see this update!

    Get your facts straight!

  55. Come on Google, some new phones will be shipped with Gingerbread anytime soon…my Nexus One should get it first! We trusted you from the start on, please pay back!!

  56. I don’t give a fuck about gingerbread release! CyanogenMod 7 nightlies are so good and fast…..
    root your phone.
    Guillaume from france

  57. I don’t accept that there is any technical reason for the delay: Google have simply decided to give Samsung a good long clear run with the Nexus S the only ‘pure’ gingerbread phone.

    As for those of us who shelled out good money for a Nexus One less than a year ago in the expectation of getting the latest soon after it was available? As far as Google is concerned we can just bend over and feel privileged to get shafted by the awesome ‘not evil’ Google.

    Google is demonstrating the kind of honesty with it’s customers we expect from Apple, and the kind of ethics we expect from Microsoft.

  58. Was the gingerbread released for nexus one or not yet?
    Will the installation of applanet or any other software like app installer affect receiving the update?

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