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Update: Nexus S updated to OS 2.3.6, finally brings fix for Voice Search bug but breaks Tethering?


Some Nexus S owners over the past few months experienced the Voice Search feature to occasionally activate on its own, which at times made the device impossible to use. A fix has been in the works since May and earlier this Google promised an update. Well, today is a day that these frustrated owners will celebrate.

Paul, from Google, noted on the huge thread on the support forum that “An over-the-air update is now starting to roll out that includes a fix for this issue. As with previous updates, it will take a few days to send to everyone”. Nexus owners on Bell, Rogers, TELUS are reporting this has already been pushed through to them. Check your Nexus for the update, it’s Android 2.3.6, Baseband I9020AUCKF1, Build Number GRK39C.

Update: Ruh oh. It seems reading over the comments and the thread on the Google support forum that there’s a new issue. Now that the Voice Search bug issue has been fixed, some users are reporting that tethering no longer works… so before you upgrade make sure you read over the comments. Paul from Google has yet to respond to the tethering issue.

Source: Google
(Thanks Simon!)

  • Dale

    got it!!!!! I’m on TELUS (in Toronto)

    • havy

      Warning. Some people on google support thread are reporting loss of tethering with this update. If you require mobile Wifi hotspots you may want to skip this update for a while.

    • Tom

      Darn, you are right. First, it messed up my Wi-Fi tethering settings – no biggie, but even after I fixed them it still doesn’t work.

      USB tethering still works but some are reporting that it only works at 2G speeds (e.g. that the tethering kills all 3G connectivity).

      either way, this seems like a serious problem so I would expect Goog to stop the updates and fix it.

    • pasuljko

      Commenting system seems messed up, my posts at the bottom don’t show at all so putting it at the top.

      Here is how to fix tethering issue after 2.3.6 update:

      1) Create new access point, for example “Tethering”

      2) Copy all the settings from your primary APN you use for internet access

      3) Set APN type to “default,dun”

      When you want to tether, select your new APN and then enable hotspot function.

      You can also modify your existing APN but make sure that “supl” is not there when adding “dun”.

  • Emmanuel

    Just updated, I’m on Rogers in ottawa and so far so good. Let’s hope it remains that way.

  • halfasleep

    Got mine 2 minutes after I red this article, gotta love having a Nexus S for the updates.

  • Rob

    …still waiting

  • Stevie

    Yup, Rogers in Tdot!

  • Maxime Roy

    Still waiting … on Koodo Québec !

  • Praise be to Jobs

    More garbage from an OS made from stolen apple tech.

    • Jon

      Yeah, there was so much stolen tech. They even stole the pulldown notification back in the first version before Apple could get it out the door in iOS 5.

  • Domingo

    @Praise be to Jobs. How can you not recognize that you have a mental disorder. Do you think apple is “your team”? Seek help, I can assure you all your relationships will improve with some mental help of which you’re clearly in need of. Trust me, stop drinking the apple kool-aid and one morning the clouds will part, the sun will come through and after some time you might even find a human that wants to have sex with you for free. Good luck.

  • zar

    Don’t feed the troll

  • KidCanada

    Who cares?…

    Jk its a good phone actually.

  • Hagow

    I have owned every iphone that came out so far because I was waiting for the right time to jump to Android and the Nexus S was definitely “The time!”. I am not a fanboy of either platform I simply use what I feel has more potential and at this moment it is Android. I have never used a phone so great as the Nexus S, it may not have the best hardware specs compared to other Androids in the market but wow this phone kicks a$$!!! I love the OTA(still waiting) and with each update the phone gets better. I don’t think I can move away from the Nexus line and am very glad that Samsung should be the one making the Nexus Prime. I also love Samsung because of their AMOLED screens and there awesome battery (best compared to all other brands of Androids I have used) this is probably subjective. If Samsung doesn’t make the next Nexus it will be a hard decision for me whether to stay on the Nexus line or stay with Samsung and suffer TouchWiz.

    Bottomline at the speed in which Android is heading and the progress Google has made in such a short time it would be very hard to go back to iOS as it feels inferior atm.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • niko

      I have to say that im actually liking touchwiz now. probably the best of the custom android UI IMHO.

  • rufusy

    On your dial pad. Type. *#*#checkin#*#* and you should check the notification to update the phone then and there. Just trying to help y’all out

    • Chuck

      Thamks rufusy! Worked like a charm!

    • crimsona

      +1 for checkin tip.
      On Fido, using Koodo phone. Didn’t have update, checked in, then immediately had update available when I looked in system update again

  • northy

    question,, as Im new to Nexus but my nexus isnt new,, i have the nexus one,, this update does not apply to them i take it,,

    and I love the nexus best phone ever,, my iphone4 has been relegated to sitting on the coffee table,,,

  • Qwerty

    did a checkin and its downloading now!

  • ICA

    Thanks for the checkin tip.

  • Raven

    Got the update! (In Toronto)

  • Senk

    One again, I would have included “allegedly” in the title.

    I received the update as soon as I took my phone off of airplane mode this morning. We’ll see if it works. I am very hopeful though.

    • Senk

      *Once

  • Benjamin

    Fido Montreal here, got it last night.

  • zb

    Telus in Saskatoon – got it this morning! Now if only they could fix the “phone number: unknown” in phone status. (I don’t have a blackberry or old iphone to edit the SIM myself).

  • HO

    …no camera fix….so Cyanogen still the fix…..

    • Boc404

      whats wrong with the camera? afaik mine has worked all along

  • Senk

    There are multiple reports of the ‘fix’ causing tethering to cease functioning. Tethering is not working for me.

    Well done Google!

    Please change your headline, MobileSyrup.

  • Luci

    No update yet for Videotron Nexus S…

  • Hagow

    Just got update but 2.3.6 breaks tethering. :(

  • W B

    Thanks to @rufusy, my Nexus S with Bell is up-to-date with 2.3.6 , but fortunately was not experiencing the problem. You have to love gingerbread … updates like a charm, settings the same, even my SPB Shell 3D is working fine.

    • W B

      UPDATE: I retract my last statement. This update breaks tethering. With tethering on, the wifi antenna goes off. How do you roll back to the previous version?

  • kevinc

    Does this update do anything other than fix the voice search bug?

    I have the AWS compatible version of the Nexus S, and as far as I know, the voice search bug did not affect those handsets.

  • Hagow

    Just updated to 2.3.6 and it breaks tethering.

  • pasuljko

    Got the update on my Koodo Nexus S, never had that voice search bug but now got tethering bug.

    If tethering is important to you, don’t upgrade to 2.3.6!

    Good job Google …

  • rufusy

    I think the tethering fix will come soon. It now effects all nexus s users and not just a few Canadians with the voice bug. Also sorry for posting the checkin trick before knowing about the thethering issues. My intentions were good at least :)

    • W B

      Since you knew the ‘checkin’ trick, I was hoping you’d know a roll back trick. Any ideas? The forums are a jungle.

  • Alfonso

    Got the update this morning and seems to be working quite well. In fact, data reception seems better in areas where I’ve had issues before (low signal, constant voice search bug). I’d have to double check on the tethering though.

  • Jim R

    Update breaks tethering?!?!? For crying out loud, Google, do you do no testing before making a release? Is some QA really that difficult?

  • awong

    Using an AWS Nexus S – never had the voice search bug so I won’t bother upgrading.

  • Domingo

    Confirmed, i****s broke tethering. They should change the title to this story to save people grief. ie. “Nexus S updated to OS 2.3.6, finally brings fix for Voice Search bug BUT THE IDIOTS BROKE TETHERING” Great work r*****s and I needed it this weekend. Thanks for ruining my weekend Google.

  • Nick

    I updated this morning. I never had the search bug, but oh well. Does anyone know if there’s anything else in the update?

    I also never got 2.3.5. Is 2.3.6 a Nexus S-only update?

    • W B

      @Nick 2.3.5 was specific to 4G versions of the Nexus S.

  • ML

    Nothing for Wind/Mobi Nexus S…

  • Kam

    anyone get it on Fido, BC? nothing do you just go to System Update?

  • Alfonso

    I got the fix earlier in the day. Although it definitely fixes the voice search bug in the areas of town where I used to get it, Wi-fi tethering no longer works at all. As soon as it is enabled, mobile data turns off on its own.

  • Puleen Patel

    It does in fact break Tethering. Got the update at 9:15AM today and tethering hasn’t been working ever since. I sure hope this is another bug and not Carriers ploy to get more money to support tethering.

  • Martin

    No update yet for Rogers nexus s in british Columbia

  • Martin

    No update yet for a Rogers nexus s in BC. I would really like the update now cause i’m having the problem as I post this comment

  • paul

    well for one I never had an issue with my nexus s, my nexus s runs just perfectly fine from day one. but now from reading complaints regarding this new update breaking tethering, I will not be updating 2.3.6 because I don’t want the tethering bug, and because my nexus is working perfectly fine right now.

  • Martin

    Can someone explain the checkin process?

  • Andrew

    Just enter *#*#checkin#*#* into your dial pad as though making a call and the checkin process automatically checks for updates, then your can update as normal if there’s an update.

  • Andrew

    5 pm and no update on koodo in BC.

  • Andrew

    I’m with Rogers in Waterloo and got the update this morning. I was thrilled to see that the voice bug was gone, but extremely P.O’d when I found out about the tethering and portable wifi issue. Despite many pleas on the forum for a statement from Google regarding the tethering issue, once again, they remain absolutely silent……..

  • P-Dubz

    Still waiting in Vancouver.

  • pasuljko

    Here is how to fix tethering issue:

    1) Create new access point, for example “Tethering”
    2) Copy all the settings from your primary APN you use for internet access
    3) Set APN type to “default,dun”

    When you want to tether, select your new APN and then enable hotspot function

    • W B

      @pasuljko Thanks for the suggestion. I tried this, but unfortunately it did not work. When I select the newly created APN and activate hotspot, the wifi antenna turns off, and tethering devices cannot connect. They can see the phone, and signal looks very low, but cannot connect.

  • rawkey

    In Waterloo… no update yet. Using “checking” didn’t expedite anything.

  • Raymond

    Did the check in thing this morning and updated to 2.3.6. Telus in BC. Tethering is broken as described. Can the update be reversed?

  • RJ

    Rogers Toronto Nexus S owner.

    “Voice Search” bug is still an issue after updating to 2.3.6!

    In addition, tethering is now disabled as well.

    This “update” has now my made my phone even worse than it was before.

    • pasuljko

      Check my post above for a fix to tethering issue.

  • Martin

    Still waiting inBC. How many can confirm or deny that this update fixes the search bug?

    • bilybob

      Based on my reading, it definitely does NOT fix the search bug. This update provides a new radio, and just as others had noted before, different radios seem to have some affect on this bug; some radios make the bug less prevalent than other radios for some. So, no fix for the automatically pressing buttons, breaks tethering for many. Not sure if there are any upsides to this update. Google is trying to fix a hardware bug with a software workaround. So far unsuccessfully. Time for Google/Samsung to “man up” and deal with this issue and the customers they’ve screwed.

  • Sébastien

    From Qc, Bécancour.
    Thank’s “Pasuljko” my tethering work again after update.

  • Rob

    I am an update victim! I did the upgrade early that morning and now have a more important problem. didn’t care somuch about the voice search function issue. tethering is way more important.

  • Emmanuel

    I updated a couple days ago and it did fix the search bug problem I was having. Mine was soo bad I couldn’t even use 3G. However it did break my tethering as others have reported.

  • 4beaches

    I received the OTA update from KOODO on Friday morning. I have since had the search button issue recur except this time it is worse than before. I now have to suct off the phone and immediately upon restarting, shut down 3G to use the phone.

  • Casey

    The 2.3.6 bug does not fix the search bug. It may help for some users, but I just experienced 3 full days of the phantom voice search bug on my Telus Nexus S while driving from Calgary to the Okanagan and back. And yes, Wifi tethering is dead. The phone loses 3G connectivity as soon as the Wifi hotspot is turned on.

  • dirtychoncho

    Bug still exists on my nexus s. This is total garbage recall damn phones already!

  • chris

    The update has been out over a week or so and I still haven’t received it yet…… if anything the issue has gotten worse. Nexus s has potential but this problem is frustrating me and causing other problems

  • Al Cox

    Can anybody help me get tethering – wifi hotspot capabilities back? Please email:alcramone@gmail.com

  • ram

    im with fido and i still havent receive the OTA update for the nexus s to 2.3.6. i tried the “*#*#checkin#*#*” and it still wont do anything. I wonder why only some people ahve received the update and others havent…?

  • Dig

    With Rogers in Toronto.. tried check in several times.. no update still

  • nexus4gshane

    I got a nexus s. I have the search problem and need that update. When will it be released in the edmonton area?

  • sarah

    fido, vancouver. still nothingggggggg…. :(

  • Userfriendly

    Fido Canada Still nothing – called samsung and they are useless

  • Dee

    Just received notification overnight through WIND mobile of 2.3.6 but since I didn’t have the voice issue with my Nexus S and don’t want the tethering issue that comes with this update…I’ll wait!! Thx for the info here…appreciate it!

  • Dwayne

    I had the Voice Search bug issue happening to me frequently in the summer but since the 2.3.6 update things have been stable …until today. I had the same issue happen to me again with the Voice search coming on randomly and swapping back and forth from searching to not searching for several minutes. I double checked my versions and they are still Android 2.3.6, Baseband I9020AUCKF1, Build Number GRK39C so it wasn’t a new update. The only unusual factor that I can identify is that I was in an area with marginal 3G coverage.

  • NewOwner19

    My 2 day old Nexus S (purchased through Koodo Dec. 5, 2011) has 2.3.6 installed (Build GRK39F) and I still have the voice search bug!

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