Are Bugs In Gingerbread Holding Up Nexus One OTA Update?

Earlier today Todd asked, Where Is Gingerbread For The Nexus One? As he pointed out, Google had promised back in December that the Android 2.3 update would be pushed to the Nexus One in a matter of weeks. I am beginning to think there is a good reason why Google has not pushed Android 2.3 to the Nexus One, and that is because it has significant bugs that they don’t want to spread to more phones beyond the Nexus S.

Just last week Google pushed an update to the Nexus S and Nexus One that fixes a bug with text messaging. The SMS bug caused some text messages to be sent to the wrong person. The fact that Google pushed the patch to the Nexus One means they found the SMS bug in Android 2.2 as well, so other phones running Android 2.2 may still have that bug.

Another significant bug remains in Android 2.3 that causes the Nexus S to spontaneously reboot during phone conversations. The bug was first reported to Google at the beginning of January, and Google acknowledges that they have been able to reproduce the bug. I’ve seen this bug on my own Nexus S, and I have decided that I simply cannot rely on the phone for important phone calls. It appears there is a time factor to the bug as it seems to most often occur when calls exceed 15 minutes.

For all of the bells and whistles that come with smartphones, their most fundamental task is to be used for phone calls and text messages. Frankly, any mobile phone that spontaneously reboots during a phone conversation is defective and should not be shipped. Obviously, Google needs to get this bug quickly fixed and should do so before pushing Gingerbread to the Nexus One.

Unfortunately, other handset manufacturers most like are already developing phones with Android 2.3 and if they chose, they could be waiting for Google to fix these bugs before manufacturing and selling phones with Android 2.3. What I think is even worse is all the talk about Honeycomb (Android 3) and Android 2.4 and possible availability in the next couple of months, which increases the possibility these bugs will be spread to even more devices.

One has to question Google’s testing process for Android and whether it is sufficient. For all of the success that Google has had with Android in the past year, it can be lost if Android gains a reputation for poor quality. Google not only needs to get these bugs fix quickly, but they also need to take clear steps towards preventing similar ones from appearing in future releases of Android.