Ant Pruitt Rants: Slow Android OTA 4.2 Makes Me Glad I Rooted



Android version 4.2 updates slowly began to roll out on November 13. Theoretically, consumers with the Nexus brand smartphones and tablets were to expect the updates quickly. So much for that. Unfortunately, the updates will not broadcast quickly for smartphone owners.

Carriers tend to slow down OTA updates.

The typical claim is the carriers would like to make sure the devices and new software will work properly on its respective networks. Sudo Code Image credit Ant Pruitt for aNewDomain.net

Okay, It’s been a few weeks now and some Android users are with Nexus devices still have yet to receive their OTA with version 4.2.

This is ridiculous.  Large mobile carriers such as AT&T and Verizon should have development teams dedicated to approving how and what software runs on its applicable networks in a speedy way. If they do, they’re not working. There are consumers who buy smartphones for specific reasons like ease of use, look, feel and available apps.

As for me, I want not only a pure Google experience, but also to be first in line for OS updates.  Always. That is the whole reason why I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Sadly, I have no confidence in the mobile carriers getting software updates to me in a timely manner.

This is one of the reasons why I am a rooted Android user.  Root, as some of you may already know, is when you have permissions to access and execute commands at will on the device’s file system.  This includes apps as well as system files that control certain processes on the device. Since I have root, I am now able to run an Android 4.2 smartphone. (I already received my OTA for my Nexus 7 tablet)  How did I get version 4.2?  By downloading it from hobbyist developer websites such as XDA-Developers and CyanogenMod.

These groups take the open-source Android code and use it to the community’s advantage.   It’s a great way to get the latest and greatest version of Android.  I’ve always wondered why the developers on these sites aren’t a part of the mobile carrier’s teams.  These individuals clearly have talent and put out great work.  Even the “nightly” releases of their software are great.  For the record, Nightly versions of software are releases that are usable, but not yet considered final.

Image credit Ant Pruitt for aNewDomain.net

Sure rooting your device comes with the risk of voiding manufacturers warranties, but from my experience that hasn’t been an item I needed. I’ve bricked devices rendering them unusable and have been able to recover them with factory images that are freely available from the Android Open Source Project (ASOP).

Now that I have the latest version of Android, I have the improved gesture keyboard capability, new notification bars and the very cool Photo Sphere camera feature. I’ve had several users ask why my device looks the way it looks or performs the way it performs. My answer is always “I’m rooted and ROM’ed.”

Is rooting your Android device worth it to you? Or even “jail breaking” your iOS device? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

To see all of Ant’s stories, click here.

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  • Dan Phillips

    I think the delay is in them testing the new Droid versions with all the bloatware that ships on a carrier phone. If they just left all that crap off we’d have updates by now.

    • Ant Pruitt

      PREACH, Dan Phillips!

      Thanks for reading and your comment. The bloatware really disturbs me. I mean, c’mon. . .why would I want a BlockBuster video app????

      -RAP, II

  • gina@ginasmith.com

    Exactly, Dan! gs

  • http://careyhead.net/ Carey Head

    Down with carrier bloatware and manufacturer skins. One Android to Rule Them All!

    • Ant Pruitt

      You tell it, Froto! ;-)

      -RAP, II

  • https://plus.google.com/115093555862694271963/posts/ Yatharth Agarwal

    I still don’t get it. How do carriers have any say in this? We can just change them by changing the SIM, so how can they mess with the OS? #boycottthesystem

    @careyhead:disqus Exactly!

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