Google says the Galaxy Nexus will not be upgraded to Android 4.4 KitKat

Galaxy Nexus Jelly Bean

Google just announced Android 4.4 KitKat today, and along with a laundry list of new features, the new software is said to be more efficient than ever and able to run on a variety of older or lower end hardware. But that doesn't mean that Google will be bringing it to its older Nexus devices: the company confirmed today that the Galaxy Nexus will not be getting upgraded to Android 4.4.

The Galaxy Nexus was released in the fall of 2011, making it just about two years old. Google's reasoning for not updating it is that it's just too old; the company is only committed to updating Nexus devices for 18 months after their release. Compare that to Apple, which offers the latest version of iOS on devices that may be up to three years old.

It's pretty evident that the Galaxy Nexus is more than capable of running the new software — its 1GB of RAM is double what Google says is the minimum for KitKat — so we're a bit disappointed to hear that Google is sticking to a hard and fast 18 month update rule. If Google continues to adhere to this, in just six months the Nexus 4 will be off the update track, even though its hardware is still pretty strong.

Google's Nexus program is designed to showcase the latest software innovations from the company, but it's still a service by which real people pay money for real devices. Those customers wouldn't be wrong to expect better than 18 months of software support on their devices, which cost multiple hundreds of dollars. Hopefully Google reconsiders its position, but given its statements today, we don't expect it to any time soon.

Thanks Farhad!

Update: Google also notes that the Galaxy Nexus uses a chip made by Texas Instruments — a company that's no longer actively developing smartphone chips. So it could be that trying to get everything in 4.4 working on that chipset would have been fairly burdensome.

The Verge
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.