back to article Google cursed its own phones with wacked Wi-Fi, say Nexus users

The latest tweak to Android is fitting badly onto Google's own hardware, with the Nexus 4 reportedly fudging Wi-Fi, crashing out and refusing to run previously compatible applications. The first problem surfaced within days of the update being made public, with eager adopters complaining that their handsets had stopped …


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  1. Thecowking

    The Skype android client

    Is marginally worse than just shouting and hoping someone will hear you.

    It likes to randomly disconnect, without changing its status in the notifications. It likes to not send messages, keeping them for a while so as to better make you look like a prat when the same message fills the screen three times.

    It likes to display other peoples' messages to you only when you actually check, defeating the whole point of notifications.

    Trying to leave a conversation to go back to your list of conversations doesn't work. So you hit the back button, which does work, but that also can drop you to the homescreen, so you need to re-enter the application to enter any other conversation.

    The new "tablet mode" is unusable on a tablet, assuming you like seeing what other people write to you. Or what you've written.

    Not totally germane to the subject, but that application fills me with rage.

    1. davtom

      Re: The Skype android client

      You forgot to add that it takes about an hour to start up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Nexus is supposed to be the definitive Android phone.

      Still at least most android users won't get near this update having to wait for manufacturers and service providers to get round to pushing out the update, if ever.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Nah, it's just the phone that tends to get the latest version first.

        It's an LG phone, is it not LG who is maintaining the thing?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Should've gone to Apple.......

    4. Paul Shirley

      Re: but that application fills me with rage

      Yes but is it any worse than it's ever been? Was bloody awful long before Android 4.anything.

      I suppose Google pulled an Youtube on Microsoft and sabotaged the app. Remember you read it here first.

      1. AlexH
        Big Brother

        Re: but that application fills me with rage

        I'm a very infrequent Skype user but a video call I was making at the weekend crashed out (rebooted the phone) three times last Sunday.

        Replying to Shirley's post as I remember joking with the other party that "I sense a conspiracy - like someone's pushing me to say 'next time let's use Hangouts!'" haha

        (Big Brother because vague electronic communication theme)

    5. Schultz

      Re: The Skype android client

      And here I was, quite impressed by Skype on my S3. It just worked, gave a seamless intercontinental video connection, allowed me to switch cameras on the fly,.... I must have been the lucky one.

    6. gribbler

      Re: The Skype android client

      I think you're being far too harsh on the Skype Android client. Yes, it's totally shit, but I'm pretty sure that's engineered in so that it's just as unpleasant to use as the desktop client.

      1. Thecowking

        Re: The Skype android client

        Actually the Linux client is really quite nice.

        They've done the minimum of work on it, so it's got a small, functional GUI and it has been running on my desktop for about 3 weeks now without a break.

        I assume MS cut all funding for it so it'll eventually die due to some protocol change, but for now it's actually the best IM client I've got.

        The Windows one is pretty dire though. Lots of cruft like glueing chat windows to the online list (which you can disable thankfully) and hiding who's online in group chats in some awful little hidden panel, which only holds 4 names per page and you can't order them.

        Still better than the Android client though.

        1. theblackhand

          Re: The Skype android client (MS funding)

          "I assume MS cut all funding for it so it'll eventually die due to some protocol change, but for now it's actually the best IM client I've got."

          MSN got the cut and is supposedly being replaced by Skype.... Skype is being integrated into MS's Office365/Lync Online/Lync 2013 to provide non-Enterprise customers to easily connect to Enterprise voice/video/IM environments.

          IMHO, Skype integration and MSN's shutdown is MS's attempt at one vendor to rule all of UC, the provided solution doesn't give me the warm fuzzies as someone who uses multiple OS's (equally badly I might add).

          1. Thecowking

            Re: The Skype android client (MS funding)

            I didn't mean Skype would lose funding, only that its Linux client would.

            At which point I'll probably move to finch as my client and abandon all pretense at using GUIs.

  2. simmondp

    Bluetooth worse!

    Worse is the bluetooth problems with 4.3 on a Nexus, paining with cars / headsets is buggy and the bulletin boards awash with issues about bluetooth keyboard.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Bluetooth worse!

      Are you sure you're holding it right?

      My family's been running 4.3 of all our phones for a while now and Wi-Fi is working fine as is Bluetooth. Now, I did have to re-sync the bluetooth to the car but that was all - no big deal. If you want the latest and greatest then there are bound to be occasional issues - if this is a problem for you then go buy a phone running Gingerbread.

  3. stephajn

    The Camera app

    I wish they would just settle down on the camera app just a wee bit. I had just gotten used to 4.2's camera app UI and flipping between the front and back camera, only to find out that once AGAIN they have changed it in 4.3. OY!!! LEAVE THE DAMNED CAMERA ALONE GOOGLE!!!!

    Going back to take my Prozzac now....

  4. tempemeaty

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux

    Android is a Linux OS under the hood after all. You update the OS and all the previously compatible software no longer works. That is until you update the programs too...if they have that update.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux

      And iOS and OS X have large amounts of BSD amd Mach in them, which obviously means it's a research operating system upon which fuck all actually works unless you're a propellorhead who know how to install drivers courtesy of a dust free environment and a magnetised needle.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux

        Errm. BSD, even Mach kernels, have been around for rather a long time, used in rather a lot of commercial and free UNIX releases, including realtime and high security platforms, with rather better, more mature ease of maintenance, many before Linux was even a gleam in someone's eye. But your description matches several Linux releases I have endured, some of which made Slackware look mature.

        Anon as I get bored with the outraged screams of the blindly faithful.

        1. M Gale

          Re: Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux

          Sheesh, someone's touchy.

          Ain't got nuthin' against BSD. It's a research OS that gave the world a working network stack, for instance. However, it certainly falls into the category of "propellorhead OS". Which, according to the logic of the OP, means that OS X and iOS must also be propellorhead OSes.

          Now you see?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux

            Nobody understands sarcasm around here any more...

            1. asdf

              Re: Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux

              It works better if you are not an AC.

            2. Fatman

              Re: Nobody understands sarcasm around here any more...

              For that, you must use explicit <sarcasm> tags!!!!!

    2. Brian Miller

      Re: Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux

      See, that's why everybody needed the Ubuntu phone! You always need a full development system with your Linux distro installation.

      git clone ....


      make install

      make clean

      See? No compatibility issues at all! And if there is one, you have the source code right there to fix it yourself.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Budget phone means a budget user's experience.

    So much for google hiring the best of the best if they can't even get it working on their own phone.

  6. jonathanb Silver badge

    A slightly different problem

    My problem with Android is that it does connect to known wifi networks, even when the wifi signal is rubbish and it would be better connecting to the cell network. For example, if I am outside the house in my car trying to set up the satnav to go somewhere, it just about detect my home wifi router, but there isn't enough of a signal to actually do anything. There is a perfectly decent HSDPA+ signal which is actually around about the same speed as my ADSL connection, but it won't use that unless I switch wifi off, and if I switch wifi off, it can't use my wifi and my neighbours' wifi to determine that I am located somewhere near home, and it instead takes ages to get a GPS or GLONASS location fix.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A slightly different problem

      Get a new Android then. I have several devices that get a fix in seconds, in the middle of nowhere, without any wi-fi or phone signals.

    2. User McUser

      Re: A slightly different problem

      That's not an Android specific issue; I often have the same kind of trouble with my iPhone.

      The worst is when I'm leaving the office and start to send an email right as the WiFi signal is at the edge of reception. I hit send, the WiFi goes out of range, and the f'ing thing will wait forever for the timeout error before switching over and resending my mail over the 3G connection. The timeout for TCP/IP must be set in the 1,000s of ms; probably a good idea for 3G/Edge but not so much for WiFi.

      I'd leave WiFi off, but my office is in a lead-lined room (they used to do X-Ray crystallography in here) and we get next to no signal on a good day.

    3. OneArmJack

      Re: A slightly different problem

      There's a setting for the wifi thing: go to Settings - Wi-Fi - Advanced and tick 'Avoid poor connections'. I haven't tried it so can't vouch for its effectiveness.

      1. Andrew Jones 2

        Re: A slightly different problem

        It's effectiveness is crap -

        My Nexus 4 and 7 both randomly decide that it might be fun to suddenly disconnect from my Network with 5 bars of signal and re-connect to a friends over the road (and down a bit) with a whole 1 bar of signal.... It will then stay connected to the network until either it loses signal or I toggle WiFi off and on - in both cases it will immediately reconnect to my network.

        However - this is NOT an Android 4.3 problem - I've had these problems since Android 2.2 - and I know I'm not alone.

        As for random resets or other reported bugs with 4.3 - no thanks, my Nexus 4 and 7 are both perfectly happy on 4.3 not had a single problem with it (aside from the wifi one I just mentioned) -

        In any case - you might have missed the news - but a bug fix for most reported problems is currently on it's way to all Nexus devices OTA

        1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

          Re: A slightly different problem

          Maybe turn off the wifi unless you want to use it?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A slightly different problem

            But that's not how we are supposed to be using a 'smartphone' is it?

            some of us do/did that simply to conserve battery but get roundly slagged off for not being connected and using FaceTwat all the time.

  7. Gene Cash Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    For once

    I'm apparently left out of all the "fun" - I've not had problems with bluetooth or wi-fi, and I'm on the latest 4.3 OTA update. I can use the Apple BT keyboard, or a couple ones branded "for Android" that I have, as well as one of the old laser type-on-the-desk ones so ancient I used it with my Palm.

    But yeah, I agree with the sentiment to chill out on the camera UI.

    1. Tom 35

      Re: For once

      Add another with no problem. No Netflix or Skype (crap) on my phone. The only app that didn't work was updated after a few days (a few others updated to take advantage of new features).

      1. Tom 35

        Re: For once

        My Nexus 4 just received an OVA update yesterday. Not enough to change the version number but it did change the build (JWR66V TO JWR66Y) so just fixes no new stuff. I don't know if it fixed any of the stuff in this story since I didn't experience the problems myself.

  8. fishman

    I've got a Nexus 4 running 4.3, and I've had no problems at all. I installed 4.3 25 days ago with no crashes or reboots. Battery life seems better, and it seems to pick up marginal signals better when on the net. And Wi-Fi seems to work fine - I downloaded several 200+ MB files over Wi-Fi with no problems.

    The wife doesn't have any problems with her Nexus 4, either.

    1. Kay Burley ate my hamster

      Mine too. Not a problem...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this only the Nexus 4, my Galaxy Nexus (Nexus 3?) is fine, but then I don't have netifix of skype on mine as they are rubbish

  10. Infidellic_

    Issues disappeared here

    When I upgraded to 4.3 for the first few days I'd take my Nexus 4 out of my pocket to discover it was asking for SIM pin (so probably a restart). This seemed to stop after about a week, since then I haven't had any problems fortunately :)

  11. DrXym

    Nexus 4 randomly went dead after 4.3

    After the update my Nexus 4 would randomly die and only power up if I held the power button down for 10 seconds to make it respond again. I had to go into a maintenance mode and clear out a cache partition to improve things. Since that it's been fine but it makes you wonder if Google was on the ball with this update.

  12. Only me!

    Nexus andWi-Fi

    Yep there is a problem and it has been there for a while.

    Between the Nexus 4, Xoom and wifi connections. You can get them all to work! But not in an Apple claimed kind of way "It just works" (I will get the down votes for that comment)

    You have to work out if the device wifi security works on 2GHz or 5Ghz best, you then have to step through the wifi security settings WPA, WPA2, open! Work out which combination works (Normally not the fasted or most secure) Then have to live with it! (Router setting changes may also be required, just to add the extra fun)

    Other than that any idiot can get it to work. Doh!

  13. Adrian Midgley 1

    nexus 4: working very well

    WiFi Bluetooth to Mercedes after the Merc had its service, all fine and stable.

    Skype is Microsoft now, nobody should be surprised if other companies' operating systems and applications encounter new faults in successive editions of it.

    1. Fletchulence

      Re: nexus 4: working very well

      No problems here either. Although I refuse to use Skype, so maybe I need to put that on if I want to bork my phone. Perhaps should add I don't install a lot of "apps" (hate that word - angry birds is a game for gawds sake, not an application).

      I've never used any operating system of any kind that performs better the more software you install on it.

  14. robert_raw

    My nexus 4 hasn't crashed at all since 4.3 if anything the WiFi seems much better

    1. Big-nosed Pengie

      No problems here. My 4.3 has been rock solid all the way.

  15. Magnus Ramage

    Is Nexus 7 affected too?

    Has anyone heard of problems with the Nexus 7 (v1) on 4.3? I updated my not-very-tech-savvy parents' device to 4.3 when I was staying with them a few days ago. They've not reported any problems, but they might not attribute them to the Android update even if they encountered them. Whoops...

    1. Ian 55

      Re: Is Nexus 7 affected too?

      Wifi works fine for me.

      The one thing I have noticed is that the Amazon Tablet program now no longer responds to 'clicks' on the purchase links such as the 'add to basket' button or the 'more buying options' links) You can search for stuff, and see reviews etc, but not actually buy anything with it any more.

      1. Anonymous Custard

        Re: Is Nexus 7 affected too?

        No problems on my N7 either, although I don't use Skype (and only quite infrequently Netflix).

        That said I did have another system update last night (having been on 4.3 for about 3 weeks now) which may or may not be related to some or all of the reported problems elsewhere?

        1. Sunrise Omen

          Re: Is Nexus 7 affected too?

          Generally speaking, no major problems however...

          Netflix refuses to let me adjust the volume in app and will cause the picture to freeze but the sound continues to play (but not adjusted according to the button presses). My N7 then becomes unresponsive so have to kill all the running apps.

          Only happens maybe 4/10 times, and the workaround for the sound issue is to increase it in the system settings first which is not ideal but according to they are pushing out an update to Nexus devices as we type.

      2. Ian 55

        Re: Is Nexus 7 affected too?

        The Amazon Tablet buttons now work again, following another OTA system update.

  16. Keith_C


    Problem exists between Nexus and chair?

    3 x Nexus devices in the house - Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and the wife's Nexus 4.

    None of these problems on any of them - and battery life seems improved on my Gnex and N7. The only problem I had was my replacement launcher - it was a bit unstable for a few days until the dev updated it.

    Strikes me as people with shonky apps, badly rooted systems or just plain iffy hardware looking for someone to blame

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep up...

    The Nexflix problem was fixed over 2 weeks ago.

    Personally, I have no problems with any Wifi on my Nexus 4. Looking at the bug report it's due to a specific model of router.

    The reboots are due to a clipboard sharing issue/misbehaving app, and is usually Microsoft's skype at fault. There is a Nexus 4 OTA rolling out as we speak. Got mine this evening...

    So really, non-news...

  18. Skorponok

    My Nexus 4 is running 4.3 on wifi and never had a problem. Strange. Maybe they are just doing it wrong :-)

  19. julianh72
    Big Brother

    Another happy camper here

    I have had precisely zero issues with both my Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (2012) on stock 4.3. (But then,I didn't have any problems pre-4.3 either.) I don't know what circumstances / applications cause the instability issues (and I hope Google fix it for those who are afflicted), but I suspect the 4.3 problems affect a vocal minority.

    I do know that an awful lot of Nexus users couldn't wait for the 4.3 update to be progressively "pushed" to them via OTA, and were using "the old Clear Google Services Framework trick" to try to force it onto their devices immediately, and this then caused a lot of issues for some people, which could only be resolved by deleting their Google account and then re-activating it. I wonder if there is any correlation between those who tried that trick, and those who have 4.3 stability issues?

    (Big Brother icon coz' I'm starting my own conspiracy theory here ...)

  20. GaryDMN

    Imagine if this was an iPhone problem.

    There would be hundreds of articles a day written, lasting weeks after the problem was solved. Is there a dual standard for quality assurance? Is it because it's open source? With the top of the line iPhone's selling for the same as the the of the line Android phones, aren't you buying the software and hardware? Does that make iOS free software?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Imagine if this was an iPhone problem.

      that's because these are non-problems. most of them already fixed, the one that isn't affects a VERY small number of users.

      It's miniscule compared to Apple Maps, or the iPhone4 reception problems.

  21. Daniel Voyce

    4.2 and staying there for now

    I have rooted my phone and disabled OTA updates mostly because of stuff like this - They should have a [better] Beta program for updates to the phone so that people can test on real world devices. Personally I am just going to wait for Paranoid Android to have a solid 4.3 build and update to that - [certain] custom roms are far superior to stock android - even when it comes to stability!

  22. Sceptic Tank Silver badge


    Sent from my iPhone

  23. jason 7

    No crashes or lockups on my N4 with any version of Android since I've had it.

    I do wonder at the exact makeup of these folks that are getting crashes though as I bet they are custom kernal/rom'ed to the hilt.

    The only issue I have had with 4.3 was next to useless cell signal for 3G. 2G networks worked like a trooper but 3G was hopeless when it was fine with 4.2. I switched the baseband back to .48 (from .84) and its improved things.

    Wi-fi has been fine though.

    My only other issue with the N4 is I get loud crackles and pops on the first 5 seconds of any video I take with it. The next shot I take has none, just the first clip I shoot. Odd.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're ALL idiots (phone coders)

    Just got back from a tour of Asia. Brought along my iPhone AND an unlocked Android phone.

    Both ecosystems demonstrate clear evidence that the coder drones are morons.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on, sold/marketed via google != "flagship"

    It's a budget, "no frills" android device. It may be "flagship" google, but it's no "flagship" android phone that's for sure.

  26. Manolo

    Nexus 10 too

    The Nexus 10 already had a known problem losing WiFi connectivity, unfortunately 4.3 did not fix it.

    Google "Nexus 10 WiFi" and Google will auto suggest "dropping".

    Also my Bluetooth keyboard is next to useless on the Nexus 10 unless I turn WiFi off.

    I deeply regret ever having bought the Nexus 10.

    My Galaxy Nexus on the other hand functions without issue, both on 4.2 and 4.3.

  27. Stefing

    Better for me

    My Nexus 4 now has better connectivity and far better power consumption, I initially had problems with notifications during sleep and it taking a long time to reconnect once woken but a change of build to JWR66V has fixed that for me.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My phone was acting up with random reboots while using Skype and the camera so I RMAe'd it and received my replacement about 2 weeks ago. The replacement has the exact same problems. So yes, Android 4.3 is definitely a step back for stability if you actually like using the camera/video functionality. I've also had random crashes in my banking apps which never happened under 4.2.

    All of these crashes are pretty infrequent, but they are (nearly) definitely caused by android 4.3 as I've had the same issues on two devices, one of which is brand new.

    Hurrah for google's QA!

  29. Cthonus

    Gallery crash

    I've had the gallery crash on me repeatedly with only two jpegs in the directory, one of normal resolution and the other a small thumbnail.

    Deleting the thumbnail stopped the crash so I'm wondering if it's the scaling routine that's the issue.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    4.3 works brilliantly on my HTC One. So if there's any issue then it is specific to either the Nexus 4 or 4.3 with specific routers.

    As for Bluetooth, Android is finally shipping with its own stack with support for low power.

  31. asdf

    hmm I wonder

    I wonder if WP8 doesn't have any problems and is the greatest thing ever. I wouldn't know because nobody I know has one and in fact outside of a store I have never even seen one. And no Nokia doesn't sell for shit over here stateside. Still my bet is Cyanogenmod doesn't have these problems (except some nightlies perhaps) mainly because those guys seem to take Google's releases and polish them.

    1. pominoz

      Re: hmm I wonder

      Yeah, well we have 3 wp8 phones in our family, Nokia Lumia 920, 720 and 620 and they are all rock solid. You couldn't pay me to have a bugdroid phone, but I guess going by the massive sales of Droid

      there must be a lot of techno masochists out there.

  32. AlexS

    They are rolling out another 4.3 update

    They are rolling out another 4.3 update for security fixes. Yes a second "4.3". For minor security fixes. Maybe it will solve that issue by stealth.

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