The new Android OS update broke my phone. Completely.

I have a Nexus 4. This is a somewhat obscure Android-based phone — I got it because it was reasonably priced and available without a contract. This was significantly cheaper in the long run because I could use a T-Mobile pay-as-you-go plan for $30/month that got me unlimited texting, 100 minutes of talk, and 5GB of data. It is an annoying phone for several reasons: it’s too big, and doesn’t fit easily into my pocket. Also, the camera’s not very good. But I love having a smartphone and overall I’ve been happy with it.

A week or so back, my phone downloaded the latest Android update, Lollipop 5.x. And bugged me about it constantly. I finally caved last night and went ahead and installed it. This morning, I was a little startled to see how much it changed the look and feel, but it seemed to be working fine. There was one really odd thing: Lookout phone security (this is an app I installed at some point) told me that my SIM card had been removed at 1:30 a.m. Obviously, no one in the house was messing around with my phone (let alone removing my SIM card) at 1:30 a.m., so I figured this was some weird quirk associated with the update and didn’t worry about it.

The first thing I noticed was not working: Words With Friends. I was using the old version because I’d found the new version incredibly irritating. I started trying to re-install the new version, and it didn’t work. I needed to get going so I didn’t worry about it too much; I figured I would troubleshoot it later.

I had a trip to the dentist this morning and spent a lot of time waiting in the chair (I was having a night guard made) and used my time to play with Facebook and Chrome. At one point, I tried to e-mail a link I’d found on Facebook to a friend, and when her address refused to insert itself, I sent it to myself. It didn’t show up, which was weird, but just then the dental person came back, so I didn’t worry about it. On my way home, I stopped and made a phone call; that worked fine.

When I got home, the message I’d sent myself was in the e-mail on my computer, timed-stamped properly, so I forwarded it on to my friend. When I went out again, I noticed that my phone was running extremely hot. I was having issues with this a month or two back (in addition to providing me with an overly warm phone, this drains the battery like whoa), downloaded GSM Battery Monitor, and kept an eye out to see if there were specific apps that made it do that. Turns out WWF was a frequent culprit, so if I noticed it was running hot, I’d force-quit WWF. That seemed to largely solve the problem. Only today, the culprit initially was Google Play, which was super weird, and then later the Android OS.

When I got home a second time, I realized that I’d had a whole bunch of messages show up that hadn’t come to my phone. On closer inspection, sync was not working for any of the Google applications. I was getting error messages about verification issues, only when I tapped the error, instead of giving me a dialog box to put in my password or something, it just re-tried and gave me the same error. I thought maybe it was an issue with Two-Step Authentication (which I use) but when I pulled up my devices in my Google profile security page, my phone was still listed, plus according to Google, it had successfully accessed my account less than an hour ago. (And incidentally, I did receive the message sent FROM my phone even though it was refusing to show me stuff coming in.)

So THEN I tried some troubleshooting, using Google help. That was problematic because the help page wanted me to try to turn sync on and off a few times and the path to doing that does not appear to exist in Lollipop 5. I eventually got to the “try rebooting your phone” spot and thought, “oh, of course I should try rebooting!” And did. At which point Gmail stopped working COMPLETELY — I couldn’t even get it to load.

At this point:

* It has locked up repeatedly at the “enter your unlock code” screen when I try to wake it. Though sometimes it’ll do that, then work again 5-10 minutes later.

* It can’t decide whether it talks to the cell network, or not. I tried sending two texts to Ed. It told me it sent one, but not the other. In fact, it sent both of them twice.

* I have repeatedly gotten messages from Lookout telling me the SIM card has been removed. (I think this may be connected to the “maaaaaaaaaybe I’m a cell phone or MAYBE NOT!” issue.) I did, at one point, pop it out and re-seat it but this doesn’t seem to have fixed anything.

* The battery continues to burn like a fire built entirely out of crumpled newspaper.

* NOTHING RUNS OMG NOTHING except, curiously, Facebook. (So long as it’s connected to a wireless network OR talking to the cell network.)

On one hand, I’m pretty sure this update hosed my phone. On the other hand, I’m not sure how. I found other people in the Nexus 4 forums whose phone was rendered basically useless by this upgrade but they can all still make calls and send texts.

So! I guess this is all by way of saying, if you need to get hold of me? Don’t call my cell. Also, if you have an Android phone: FOR ALL THAT IS HOLY JUST SAY NO TO THIS UPGRADE.


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