Is T-Mobile delaying delivery of Android 7 to its customers?

rbob

    Lots of Nexus 6 owners on Google's Nexus forum are complaining that they haven't received Android 7 OTA, and those who identify seem to be mostly T-Mobile customers. I haven't received it or the November security patch. I did receive the November patch on my Pixel.

     

    One of the forum "experts" theorized that T-Mobile has asked that delivery to its customers be held up while they investigate some problem with the cellular radio component of the OS update.

     

    Anybody have any facts to offer beyond this guesswork?

      All replies

      • pmorrsn

        I updated via the beta program(about a month ago), so look forward to hearing if there any particular issues I should be aware of.

        • choxta

          I see Sprint is rolling-out, to the LG G5, starting on the 19th. Not patiently waiting here!

          • tmo_marissa

            Hey everyone!  We know software update waits are rough.  I don't have any word on this, but I wanted to let you know that you can always consult the  Software updates  section of Support to see which devices have upcoming releases in the confirmed stage, in testing, or complete.  The page mentions that manufacturers customize releases for TMO radios (among other things) - although I can't say for certain that's exactly what's happening right now with Nougat, it definitely is part of the process.  For Nexus devices, it might be helpful to take a look here: Check & update your Android version - Nexus Help  and click the drop-down next to "Nexus".

             

            - Marissa

              • rbob

                The software version info for the Nexus 6 here https://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-18109 is very much out of date. The last updare I received was MOB31K, which is the November security update for Android 6.0.1.

                 

                The Web page you cited for update info, https://support.t-mobile.com/community/phones-tablets-devices/software-updates doesn't include the Nexus 6 at all.

                 

                I don't know what either of those things imply about the Nexus 6 and T-Mobile.

                 

                One thing I should add though, is that if T-Mobile actually is holding up the Android 7 release because of concerns about the RF performance of the phone on the T-Mobile network, suggesting that people go here https://developers.google.com/android/ota to download and install the release themselves is probably a really bad idea.

                  • tmo_marissa

                    Hi rbob.  You're right, the Nexus 6 isn't on the list.  But to be honest, I'm not sure if it will be - I linked to the page that I did because it says "Nexus devices get the latest version of Android directly from Google."  It also explains that the time frame in which the updates are provided may differ depending on where you purchased the phone, and that there are different timelines for how long Nexus equipment continues to receive updates for software versions and security updates. 

                     

                    TL;DR: I wish I had a concrete answer for you - but since I don't, I wanted to at least offer the internal resources we've got and the external info I'm aware of.    My link to the Google support page for Nexus was definitely not intended to encourage users to foray into the territory of completing the install themselves if that's not something they're comfortable with!  I'm not sure what implications that could have on equipment functionality or warranties, so I'm shrinking into the wall at the thought of it. 

                     

                    - Marissa

                      • rbob

                        As far as someone downloading the update file and installing it, that's ALWAYS been "at your own risk."

                         

                        My concern is actually about T-Mobile's network. If the update is being held at T-Mobile's request until its compatibility with the network is verified, someone installing it on their own might introduce instability, or worse, to the network.

                         

                        I'm pretty sure the 7.0 update will arrive one of these days, or maybe skip over to 7.1.1, which is about ready to hatch in a couple of weeks.

                         

                        Heck, I didn't get the November security update 'til a few days ago.

                         

                        In short, gripe about the delay, and I'll gripe with you, but until you know FOR SURE there's no problem with the network, DON'T install it yourself.

                        • peterhanson

                          @tmo_marissa

                          I appreciate your confirmation that the Nexus 6 is not on the list and that you have no insider information leading you to expect that it will be added to the list. In Google's product forums, I ran across a post that appears to be authoritative, explaining Google's updates process, outlining that Google will not upgrade phones via OTA from 6.0.1 to 7.0 until after the carrier has given Google technical acceptance for the radio portion of the update. (see Techno Bill's first response in this thread Google Groups). Putting those bits of information together, I came to my own conclusions:

                           

                          It seems reasonable to assume that T-Mobile is not spending any resources to testing this upgrade, especially given the age of this phone model and the absence of recent software update information. I think that means only that no one at T-Mobile will put effort into testing a radio upgrade on a phone that is stable and is getting security patches. If the information I linked to above is correct, then the logical conclusion is that T-Mobile Nexus 6 customers have no assurance that we could receive an upgrade to Nougat as an OTA from Google.

                           

                          The other subtlety I want to highlight is that we don't know the upgrade will introduce problems. How could we know if neither T-Mobile nor Google is testing the radio code for this phone with T-Mobile's network? Are there any field reports telling us about known defects in the radio code that comes with the 7.0 upgrade? Is there any chance T-Mobile would give Google the technical acceptance without devoting resources to the test effort?

                          Thanks.