The abysmal Android update situation raises its ugly head yet again, with the latest update for Google's Galaxy Nexus breaking signal reception for phones that enter standby mode. This update is directly from Google as the Galaxy Nexus is the current flagship phone on the Android platform. It is the latest update fiasco from Google that convinces me that the Android update situation is hopelessly broken.
The subject of the lousy update situation on Android comes up over and over. Updates don't appear, and often don't work when they do. Blame is usually tossed at the OEMs and carriers, but this Galaxy Nexus debacle repeats what happened with the last flagship phone, the Nexus S.
When the Nexus S update to ICS had to be pulled by Google late last year due to problems it caused, I pointed out that even Google can't get Android updates right. Now we see that once again the platform owner cannot get updates, in the case of the Galaxy Nexus even minor updates, that work without breaking basic functionality on the phone.
This paints a clear picture to me that Android updates, having evolved in an almost Wild West atmosphere of uncontrolled development, are almost impossible for anyone to get right. In the case of the Nexus S the update that was pulled by Google is only now being rolled out again almost five months later. Either Android has grown so complex it is incredibly difficult to get proper updates out the door or the code is such a mess even Google can't get all parts of it correct.
It sounds like a broken record complaining about Android updates, but we are continually bombarded with reports that once finally released they don't work properly. We've now seen two updates directly from Google that break things and must be fixed. If Google can't get updates to work it is no wonder that partners have no chance to get them right. Something is seriously wrong in Android update land.