Android KitKat For Your Galaxy Nexus – The Best KitKat ROMs

I still have a Galaxy Nexus, which is still an excellent phone. It might be outdated, it might be a lagmeister, but as far as running a close-to-stock or an AOSP ROM is concerned, the Galaxy Nexus can still pull it off, way better than many more powerful phones. It’s a Nexus, after all.

Galaxy Nexus Kitkat

However, I was a little sad when Google finally dropped support for its third Nexus phone. It was a little over 20 months when the KitKat update was announced, so Google’s decision is understandable. But that doesn’t stop the developers from bringing KitKat to this phone.

I’ve been trying a lot of these ROMs over the past few weeks, and while XDA forums are certainly a good place to find out what’s better for your GNex, they’re a mess these days what with an influx of new users drowning meaningful conversation. Here’s a list of those ROMs, in the order of performance and stability.

  1. PlayfulGod’s Unofficial CM11
  2. SlimKat
  3. Official CM11 – there’s no thread for this particular update, which is a bit surprising
  4. The Experience Project

What you will need to do –

  1. Backup all your data
  2. Grab these Gapps – if you want to try ART, download the 20131119 version. ART isn’t all that amazing as the hype suggests, though. Alternatively, you can try BaNkS’ Gapps, which are ART-compatible too. I suggest the “Standard” version.
  3. One of the ROMs from above. PlayfulGod’s builds are the best of the lot currently.
  4. A custom recovery – TWRP 2.6.3.1 or later, or CWM 6.0.4.3 are required. TWRP is better.
  5. If you’re rooted, you can grab Flash Image GUI from Play Store and use it to flash TWRP or CWM, if you don’t already have those.
  6. Reboot into recovery and flash the ROM and Gapps you’ve downloaded.
  7. ????
  8. Profit.

That’s a lot of steps up there, but if you already know how to flash a custom ROM, you can only peruse the list of ROMs.