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Galaxy Nexus update checker tells you who's sending your updates (but it probably doesn't matter)

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Not all Galaxy Nexus models get their software updates directly from Google, and a new app helps you figure out which situation applies to you.

GN Official Update Checker app
GN Official Update Checker app

A recent revelation in the strange, mysterious world of the Android update process is that the Galaxy Nexus isn't necessarily updated to new versions of the operating system by Google directly: even the exact same hardware might be updated by Samsung or your carrier, depending on the software configuration. The Galaxy Nexus, for instance, currently has at least three configurations, including one dedicated to the Verizon version (known as "mysid"). Why is that? As Google's Jean-Baptiste Queru explains, "there are routinely per-country or per-operator software customizations for the same hardware."

For users, this means that as Android gets updated, the actual over-the-air updated may not be pushed by Google directly — it might instead be pushed by Samsung or a carrier. In the case of the Verizon model, Queru says that Verizon has the "final" call:

To help users figure out which situation applies to them, an Android developer — Christian Brüggemann — has thrown together a quick, simple app that checks your configuration and tells you where your updates will come from. To be clear, this isn't a new situation: Queru notes that this has been going on all along (the Nexus S has three software configurations), and there isn't any evidence to suggest that Nexus handsets not getting updates directly from Google will be delayed by any meaningful period of time when new versions get pushed. Still, though, it's interesting to know whether you're getting your Android straight from the source.