Verizon confirms software update coming to Galaxy Nexus

Update will adjust wireless signal strength indicator

A software update is coming to adjust the wireless signal strength indicator on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone, Verizon Wireless confirmed Wednesday, less than a week after the new Android 4.0 device began shipping.

Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney didn't say when the update would arrive. Some Verizon service reps have reportedly told customers that an update related to signal strength will come in January.

The spokeswoman also stated in an email: "There is no issue with the performance of the device." Some users have theorized that the signal issue could be related to above-normal battery drain.

Many new Galaxy Nexus customers and Computerworld blogger J.R. Raphael have reported problems related to inconsistent signal strength over LTE since the U.S. version began shipping less than a week ago on Dec. 15.

Raney said the Galaxy Nexus update "will adjust the signal strength indicator to more closely match other Verizon Wireless devices." She said the Galaxy Nexus translates the wireless signal into bars differently than other smartphones .

A review copy of the Galaxy Nexus provided by Verizon to a reporter showed a variety of inconsistent signals in a Los Angeles neighborhood, switching from two bars of 4G LTE to no bars and then to 3G. The phone would offer voice connections even with no bars, but could not hold data connections for the music service Pandora over LTE, and would convert to 3G with several minutes of buffering to permit Pandora music to play.

Analysts have noted that some of the wireless signal strength concerns could be related to how well the LTE network is rolled out. While Verizon lists 179 cities of coverage with LTE, not all areas within a single city could be densely covered with LTE service on towers.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is .

Read more about wireless networking in Computerworld's Wireless Networking Topic Center.

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