Thursday, February 14, 2013

Very Little Surprise Here

As I write this, my Nexus 4 is downloading the 4.2.2 OTA update. But I already know from reading this Google code bug forum as well as several other technical forums this morning, the promised delivery of a less buggy Qualcomm wifi driver did not occur with this release.

Imagine my surprise. Another turd sandwich. WiFi on the Nexus 4 still effectively turns itself off when the screen is blanked.

Ok, it's a few minutes later now, and 4.2.2 is installed. In the interest of completeness, I decided to test to see if the very first bug I encountered with the Nexus 4 last December still exists. This is the bug that if your phone is connected to WiFi and you place a call while using a bluetooth headset, bluetooth kills the phone's WiFi as soon as the call initiates.

You're still batting 1,000, Google.

So now I need to decide if I'm going to send this, my 4th Google Nexus 4 back (see the story about the previous three here, if you're interested), or hang on to it out of morbid fascination to see if Google ever does manage to fix it.



  1. Well, this appears to be a more suitable location for posting about this (and potentially other) problems...

    Added to my RSS reader.


  2. So, fellow blogger: what's your take on this? Neither of the primary problems with the Nexus 4 have been fixed with the 4.2.2 release. These are of course the wifi dropout and bluetooth killing wifi issue. Do you think both of these can be attributed to the buggy Qualcomm wifi driver? Or do you suspect that other issues exist in Android which only affect the Nexus 4? Or could it be a hardware production issue?

  3. None of these issues occurs on my Nexus 7. Assuming that the OS is the same in both instances, that restricts the problem to either a systematic (i.e. non-sporadic. Something very fundamental) hardware-related or driver-related. I'm divided between the two. Both are ugly.

    If it's a driver issue, then someone in Qualcomm should be fired, re-trained or (the way it usually happens in big companies) promoted. You need talent to screw up a driver so your device (a WiFi antenna) blacks out in the presence of another.

    If it's a hardware issue... then we're really royally screwed. They're not going to recall tens of thousands of units. I'm trying to stay positive, hoping that it's a software issue that will eventually go away.

    Either way, some QA team has to be let go. Such a problem, so prevalent, shouldn't see the light of day.

  4. I guess we're in sync here. I'm having trouble imagining how a wifi driver could interact with bluetooth in such a way that the wifi radio dies. That part sure sounds like hardware to me. My Nexus 7 also has neither of these issues.

    As for QA, the Google team needs to all be fired or promoted as well. After all, it's Google's product.

    One thing puzzles me, and that is how few people have apparently noticed these problems with the N4. I've had a 100% success rate in detecting them with the four Nexus 4's I've had. The percentage of folks who use wifi on their phones must be relatively low.

  5. I want to hope that Google learned something out of the horrendous N4 product launch. I'll be very surprised (and disappointed) if they team up with LG again for the next Nexus device. Too many things went wrong here. Lest not forget LG holding back on N4 stock in order to promote their Optimus device. Ridiculous.

    About the number of people reporting: I asked around and it turns out that many people don't even use the WiFi feature unless they need to. Nowadays, data is virtually free (unless you're roaming); HSPA+ is fast enough for most purposes; and WiFi is known to be a battery drain. So, usage has shifted from "WiFi by default" to "WiFi only if absolutely necessary".

  6. Lots of good info to be gained by any competitor watching this large slow-motion Google screw-up:

    1) Google's Ecommerce sales infrastructure sucks
    2) Google's QA sucks
    3) Google's support sucks
    4) Google's product feedback channels are non-existent
    5) Google is slow to respond to trouble reports

    Plenty of opportunity for an agile competitor to swoop in and steal the Nexus 4 market right out from under them.

  7. Thanks Doug. And good blog btw.
    This could be the straw that broke the camel's back for me and Android.
    I have had too many disappointments with my gnex: no charging bug (warranty fix thankfully), no timely updates (had to flash it as Canada gets a crippled nexus), lastly 4.2.1 totally killing Bluetooth functionality.
    What drives me insane is Google's total disrespect for loyal users that take time to post about these issues on their various boards.
    BB10 isn't there yet and I can't stand iOS so I'm kinda stuck at the moment. Argh.

  8. Thanks Daniel. What surprises me even more than the astonishing ineptness that Google has demonstrated with Android, Qualcomm, and the Nexus 4, is the apparent lack of pride they clearly feel about in their product. Not a healthy vibe for a company to have if they want to continue to succeed.

  9. Thanks for posting this Doug; the fact that you and others have this problem makes me feel less lonely on Valentines day.. lol

    I'm about ready to switch over to a Galaxy S3. At least the Galaxy S3 supports OTG and it also doesn't have this problem...

  10. We may complain about iOS been boring because "have not changed" pretty much since day one, but Apple at least seem to be improving things release after release, and they apear to be fast to fix when a mayor flaw appears on a release. Google instead keep releasing new versions without fixing previous bugs (PPTP VPNs are ramdomly broken since 2.3)Or even worst, releases new versions that breaks what was working before (I had no issues with bluetooth on my Galaxy Nexus on 4.1.2). I like Android but I must say that I'm a little tired of Google not fixing bugs release after release.

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