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 It might be outdated, it might be a lagmeister, but as far as running a close-to-stock or an AOSP ROM is concerned, the Galaxy Nexus can still pull it off, way better than many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.
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.
- PlayfulGod’s Unofficial CM11
- Official CM11 – there’s no thread for this particular update, which is a bit surprising
- The Experience Project
What you will need to do –
- Backup all your data
- 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.
- One of the ROMs from above. PlayfulGod’s builds are the best of the lot currently.
- A custom recovery – TWRP 18.104.22.168 or later, or CWM 22.214.171.124 are required. TWRP is better.
- 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.
- Reboot into recovery and flash the ROM and Gapps you’ve downloaded.
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.