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Custom ROM Friday: Android Open Kang Project For Galaxy Nexus

The Galaxy Nexus has an outstanding fan base among the developer community and it completely shows when you poke your head into these forums. After receiving plenty of requests for us to post some custom ROM goodness, here is a ROM called the Android Open Kang Project (AOKP). It is based on Android 4.0.3 and has all the features you would hope for when flashing a ROM to your brand new Galaxy Nexus.

There are a few main things people look for when flashing ROMs to the G-Nex. They need to be able to switch up the colors on the navigation bar, add system toggles to the notification bar, switch up their lockscreen to have more than just unlock/camera options, and of course they need WiFi tethering. From what we have experienced, you can do all of that and a whole lot more. AOKP comes with the stock 1.2 GHz kernel that is set to an interactive setting. For battery life, it is one of the best I have seen on a device. If you have been looking for a good custom ROM to throw on your device, then look no further. 

Flashing Instructions:

  1. Download AOKP  zip and Gapps zip. (Place both on your phone’s storage.)
  2. Create NANDROID backup.
  3. Reboot into ClockworkMod Recovery and wipe data/cache.
  4. Install the AOKP zip.
  5. Once finished installing, then install Gapps zip.
  6. Reboot.
  7. After reboot and setting up your Google account, reboot again.
  8. After you have finished all of those steps, you’re ready to party.

For further instructions and info on the Android Open Kang Project, check our their forum entry over at RootzWiki. If you have any troubles, just ask below and we will do our best to help you through the process. Enjoy!

  • Anonymous

    Referring to step 3 “wipe data/cache” – is it necessary to wipe all data, requiring a redownload of all apps? What if I were to flash this rom after just wiping the cache?

    • Dean McKenzie

      I tried to do it without wiping and it stuck on the pink unicorn! I let it set for 20 minutes or so.
      I rebooted, wiped, flashed, and it worked no problem.  It’s my first attempt at using a custom ROM so I don’t know how normal this is…but that’s my experience.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks. This will be my first rom flash on my Nexus too. I guess I will just save what I can with Titanium Backup and go for it.

      • Anonymous

        ALWAYS wipe when flashing roms.  Unless the dev says otherwise.  

  • Nyjohn14

    im running this rom build 21 which just came out yesterday and its great…

  • Ryan

    Is this rom Deodexed?

  • http://twitter.com/jfafard81 Josh Fafard

    Has anyone compared this to Tranquil Ice??

  • Anonymous

    Could haveswore this said 1.3 kernal before

  • Brian Wenger

    I use this ROM, and it’s amazing.

  • Anonymous

    I get a full day on this rom and then some with my extended battery with moderate use. It’s great. LeanKernel too.

  • ddevito

    Currently running BB from Peter Alfonso + Franco Kernel, lovin it. 

    May be tempting to try this out, I’ve heard such great things, including this great review

  • Anonymous

    This rom is pretty cool been following it for a min now… has lots of cool features and is fast and stable. I also just found a new from on this list
    http://www.galaxynexusforum.com/forum/galaxy-nexus-roms-lte-cdma/934-list-cdma-lte-galaxy-nexus-roms.html
    called foxhound pretty cool with lots of goodies and something I have yet to see an animated pull down screen.

  • ddevito

    Thanks Tim – great review – keep ‘em coming – only 34 more custom GNex ROMs to go  ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Pengwnmastr Mitchell Johnson

    I tried AOKP but after getting 6-7 hours of battery with light use for 5 days in a row, I went back to my CM9 Kang ROM. I’m now enjoying well more then a day on the charge.

    I’ll give this one a try again in the future.

    • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

      What CM9 Kang ROM were you using? Would you mind sharing the link?

  • Anonymous

    I always come back to this ROM. I’ve tried tons of other ROMs, but this is the most stable, buttery, and customization-rich one. Great job, roman.

  • Anonymous

    Do you need to be rooted to do this? I am unfamiliar with unlocked bootloaders

  • Adelson Ben

    Is there a way that you can get some app store apps from rooting. Such as temple run, action movie, jetpack, snapchat.

    • Anonymous

      Simply put, no. iPh*ne apps can’t run on android devices because they are written in a different coding language so rooting isn’t going to allow you to run apps from different platforms. The only reason jailbreaking your idevice allows you to install apps that aren’t in the appstore is because apple operates in a closed environment and doesn’t allow certain apps in their store and jailbreaking allows you access to a secondary market of non-apple approved apps. Android doesn’t prevent developers from publishing their apps like apple and allows for the existance of multiple secondary app stores so you don’t need to root to get any apps except the ones that need special permissions to change system files like overclocking apps and even those are available in the market

  • http://twitter.com/Thracks Robert Hallock

    AOKP is best pony!

    Romanbb has consistently proven to be the most innovative ROM developer on the GNex scene, with more new features and faster release cycles than anyone else. Between AOKP, the Imoseyon Lean Kernel or Franco Kernel, the SGN is a real monster.

  • Jothen2002

    …was running axiom forever…then to gummy  .6.6 stability excellent… customization’s excellent …battery  good….

    .7.0 just released…..
    http://rootzwiki.com/forum/362-cdma-galaxy-nexus-developer-forum 

  • Andrew Seraphin

    does this have google wallet? and if so will i experiance any sort of problems installing and using the wallet if im already using it on a custom ROM (gummy nex 0.6.6)

  • Anonymous

    Is it better I tried it out in its earlier stages and it was horrible with battery life …gummy nexus
    seems to be my go to for know but just might give this another try …we need more of these “Custom days ”

  • John

    have been running AOKP from day one. roman is a great rom dev

  • Anonymous

    I’ve tried most of them and I used to use Axiom but since that was no longer supported have moved full time to CM9 Kang, my current fav

  • http://twitter.com/DroidBricker Droid Bricker

    I love this rom! Only problem is it’s too good.  How am I supposed to get through my workday without figuring out why my phone is boot-looping or randomly rebooting? 

  • Anonymous

    Does this ROM use the GPU for the user interface or the CPU?  I really like what I’m getting out of Revolution given it’s use of the GPI over the CPU for interface processing.

    • Flyinion

      I’d like to know this as well.  I was originally going to go with Revolution when it first came out just because of that feature, but there were some issues that first week that it was waiting for a new version.  Then I got sidetracked and never got around to flashing anything at all.

      • Anonymous

        Actually, I just found out how to do the modification on any ROM, so I guess it doesn’t matter.  Remove first line from egl.cfg and remove the libGLES_android.so library file (or rename it). Both are located in /system/lib/egl/.  This will make the phone use full PowerVR SGX 540 (GPU) rendering over CPU rendering.  

        • Anonymous

          whats the advantage of this? Faster, looks better, battery saver, all of the above?

          • Anonymous

            The UI feels a bit more snappy, but I don’t know about how it impacts battery life.  You can actually do this with stock and it works quite well (I tried it out last night).  But, I just installed AKOP and that thing works amazingly well.  I didn’t even bother to check if it implemented the GPU trick… it worked that well.  I’m really happy with this ROM compared the other few I’ve tried.

  • Teng247

    currently running CM9 Kang w/ stock kernal and im getting decent battery.  May give this a shot once im bored with the one im on 

  • Jose Lopez

    But can I get rid of the pony? 

    • mons

      I’m assuming you’re talking about the boot animation

      Check this thread out http://rootzwiki.com/topic/12938-boot-animations-boot-animations-for-galaxy-nexus-updated-011912/

    • Tim242

      Disable boot animation in settings. Once you do, it says, Jerk!” Haha

  • hawgpapa

    There are a number of great ROMS available for the GN and they are getting better every day. But, for my customization tastes, battery life and stability nothing can beat AOKO (build 21). I use imo’s 1.7.3 kernal, NOVA launcher and tweak to my heart’s content.I have flashed most of them out there, but always come back to AOKP.

  • Kuboo99

    This looks very similar to CodenameDroid. Same features and stuff. But both a very good.

    • WormDoes

      That’s because Codename kanged it all from Roman

  • Anonymous

    Is this on rommanager?

    • Tim242

      Milestone 2 is, but not nightlies.

  • Flyinion

    Thanks Tim!!  I’ve been holding off on stock rooted waiting for CM to come out with at least a nightly (don’t think it’s out, but I just check the section on droidforums for it) but I might have to try this out since it has the DL seal of approval :).  So many ROMs popped up right after release that I had no idea who to start with hehe.

    On a side note, the radio updates that were leaked a few weeks ago, anyone know if those are worth flashing?  I haven’t heard anything about an official update so I’m just wondering what’s going on there.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

      They certainly won’t hurt to flash.  It takes all of 1 minute.  I don’t think I’ve noticed much of a difference, but I haven’t really had any issues with reception from the beginning.  

      • Flyinion

        Yeah no real reception issues either and the 4G outage happened when they released so I just never bothered to look at them again.

        • Anonymous

          I noticed a slight difference for the better.  Do it.

  • Levi Wilcox

    Rocking codename myself. The new rom specific kernel is pretty bad ass

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

    I switch back and forth between Gummy and AOKP.  Both are great.  To be honest, most of these ROMs are pretty much the exact same. The same code is just passed around.

  • Jason Purp

    I’ve been using Codename Android forever, but I guess I should check this out to see what all of the fuss is about.

    • Kuboo99

      I don’t think there is that much of a difference between Codename and AOKP.

      • Guest

        Yeah Codename kangs alot of work from AOKP.  Go with AOKP.  

        • Anonymous

          Kang means steal… If can’t be Kanged if full credit is given on open source projects… you do realize that is what open source is all about right? You put the code out there so others can use it in one way or another.

    • Boblank84

      correct me if i’m wrong but i think codename uses allot of romans work.  I think they are fairly similar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

    I don’t use the kernel that comes with AOKP, but isn’t it 1.35ghz instead of 1.3?  

    • http://www.droid-life.com Tim-o-tato

      Mine shows a max of 1200 actually. I need to update. Thanks for the heads up. 

  • http://about.me/jim.kenefick JimK

    My ROM of choice. Just waiting for the black & blue theme to catch up to build 21 before I flash the new one. GREAT stability, endless customization, fast, and runs really well with most of the popular kernels. I get the best combo of performance and battery with the GPU-overclocked Trinity kernel – http://goo.gl/wwtnO

  • Jamaicawind

    So is there any way to do this on a mac?

    • http://www.JWesCampbell.com/ Wes Campbell

      This part is on the phone itself. are you unlocked and rooted?

      • Jamaicawind

        No sadly i am not ive been kind of scared to but this looks like something that is really worth a try. So let me get this straight after i unlock and root do i just come to this site on my phone and download this stuff directly on my phone? and is there an easy way to unlock and root with a mac? im sorry im such a noob at this

        • http://www.JWesCampbell.com/ Wes Campbell

          lol no problem! that’s why droid-life exists! turn noobs into elites! :)

          I’ve been thinking about posting a how to on a mac since i haven’t found any decent ones… 
          that being said:
          http://goo.gl/szNuQ
          that’s one on androidcentral that’s accompanied by a video.after you root and unlock and flash “clockworkmod recovery” then this is an easy thing to do..

          • Jamaicawind

            Cool thank you so much! and i just have one last noob question. Seeing how this rom increases battery life by a significant amount does it also take away from performance at all?

          • http://www.JWesCampbell.com/ Wes Campbell

            It shouldn’t. If I was reading a post about the rom right, it has a 1.3 ghz kernel which is overclocked.. it shouldn’t take away from the snap. Its probably ultra low voltage.. but still. It should be just as fast or faster than the stock rom.

          • Jamaicawind

            I just wanted to say thanks again! i just unlocked and rooted! sadly all my stuff got deleted but im not really worried about that. After everything gets re downloaded them im going to put this rom on it!

          • http://www.JWesCampbell.com/ Wes Campbell

            Sorry I forgot to tell you about the formatting… every time you flash a rom its suggested to wipe your phone clean every time you flash a new rom. Congrats on getting rooted and unlocked! Follow me on twitter if you have any more questions. :) @JWesCampbell let me know its you so I follow you back.

        • http://twitter.com/kirilv Kiril

          You should do a search on Google. Try “unlock root galaxy nexus on mac” and you should get a ton of guides (I know, because I have written maybe 3 of them already). I believe Koush wrote a dead simple one, so you can throw his name in the search box too.

          After that, yes, you can download the stuff straight to your phone, or download them on your computer and transfer them with the USB cable.

    • Flyinion

      Uh, you don’t need a computer at all for this?  If you’re talking about to root and/or unlock the bootloader first, hopefully someone else can answer that.

  • Anonymous

    Personally I care about stability and battery, then customizations which is why I have been running BB with franco kernel as I’m getting 12 hours with moderate use and no bugs.  Anyone who’s used this and BB can you please compare them based on battery and stability? If it is as stable I’ll give it a try, otherwise I’ll stick to being plain.

    • Anonymous

      im getting well over 12 hours of battery life on this ROM, as for stability this has been the most stable i have come across when it comes to roms with nightlys

    • Anonymous

      I am running BB as well (1/22). Was using Franco but gave up due to too many deal-breaking problems for me like the camera randomly crashing and certain applications crashing upon startup (GTA III). Posted about it several times on the Franco thread on Rootzwiki with no responses from Franco. Currently just on stock Pete kernel but will probably flash Defiant later today. Removed Defiant yesterday trying to diagnose a problem that was actually related to SetCPU. The other day with BB and Defiant I got 16 hours on my extended battery, nine of which were on wifi and moderately active/overnight and the other seven full-on 4G using the phone quite a lot for browsing, texting, and doing a lengthy TiBa Dropbox sync.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jblaies Jason Blaies

    I love this ROM! Fast and Stable… Lots of customizations!

  • GrapeApe

    this rom rocks. been using it since it came out and i dont even try the others anymore.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm… looks like Codename Android is going to have to be put in the corner for a while so I can try this out! 

    On another note, I don’t think I have gone 48 hours since December 15th without flashing a ROM / Kernel / or Mod. God I love this phone

    • http://twitter.com/Thracks Robert Hallock

      Codename Android’s features are primarily taken from this ROM, as well as Bigxie/Apex. There’s nothing innovative there, just kangs.

      • Boblevel

        Yep, CodeName is a complete rip off of the real developers ,like romanbb’s work. Don’t waste your time, support the devs that actually do the work..

      • 96tmzh

        right…. except it is perfect

        • http://twitter.com/LucasNJohnson Lucas Johnson

          Agreed. It runs awesomely smooth. having said that this AOKP looks pretty sweet too

      • Anonymous

        Kang = stealing others’ work without giving proper credit, and trying to pass it off as your own. CNA gives specific & full credit to the aokp team, RootzBoat team, imoseyon, CM team and others.

        If you don’t like a particular rom or you have issues with the dev, then don’t use it. Take the drama elsewhere.

        • Baked14

          What drama?

    • http://twitter.com/wh1te_mag1c John Doe

      That’s really stupid, no offense. I mean, each to their own, but if you keep flashing roms.. every 48 hours or more often, then you have way too much time on your hands. What are the possible gains of flashing so much? 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alex-Zeman/1202282112 Alex Zeman

        its not always custom roms that require a whole wipe.  I have the same addiction, i usually flash themes and kernels and other things.  As for the possible gains there really aren’t any compared to flashing less, its just really fun for some of us to exert that much control over our devices. 

        • http://twitter.com/wh1te_mag1c John Doe

          It’s definitely fun to screw around a bit, I agree.

      • chmcclellan

        That’s really stupid, no offense (see what I did there, it actually is offensive).

        You (or at least I) can do a full wipe, flash, and restore apps with data while watching a 30 minute tv show.

        I mean, to each their own, but if you don’t have 30 minutes a few days a week to play with your phone, why are you reading Droid-Life?

        • http://twitter.com/wh1te_mag1c John Doe

          Ehh, I think you’re underestimating one thing here – the backing up of data part. Making a nandroid can take quite some time, depending on how much data you have on your phone. I do agree that flashing new roms and kernels is a trivial and quick process, though. But flashing a new rom every 48 hours or more often?? Does the point of diminishing returns ever factor in?

  • Anonymous

    aaah good old droid-life

  • Anonymous

    Wonder if I will still have my radio disconnect issues with a different ROM :(

    • Michael Forte

      ROM has nothing to do with radios. Have you tried the 4.0.3 radios yet to see if they’re any better?

      • ddevito

        I flashed the 4.0.3 radios and see a slight improvement, but nothing major. My GNex is HW Revision 9, a friend of mine has one with HW revision 10 and gets slightly better reception than I do. I asked VZW but they insisted that was unsupported software (even though that has nothing to do with it).

      • Anonymous

        I understand that Michael – the thing is the RIL within a given ROM can have an effect on the radio performance as well.

        We had this problem with the Thunderbolt early on and it took some time to get the RIL working properly with HTC’s radios.

  • Bewara2009

    This post is dedicated to those geeks you know who you are! Now don’t bitch anymore.

  • Mzmenasian

    I’m running android revolution 2.1.4 and I love it but is this rom better?

  • Anonymous

    Stock Wifi tether? Like Bugless Beast?

  • Anonymous

    unicorns? lol

    I tried this ROM in earlier stages and didn’t like it. Looks like it made some BIG progress. Kudos.

    • Anonymous

      that unicorn startup screen kind of turned me off from the get-go.  just weird.  was a pretty nice rom though.

      • http://about.me/jim.kenefick JimK

        That is the first thing I replace upon bootup. There’s like 50 bootscreens for this phone now, no need to look at the, uhh…”interesting” unicorn. :)

        • Anonymous

          nice.  i might give it another go now, i’m getting that itch :)

          • Chrisc2u

            You can disable the boot animation in Settings > Rom Control > General UI. I’m not a fan on the pink unicorn, but trying out this ROM again. Have been on codenamedroid and the latest release dropped my battery life. 

        • Whett Phartz

          The unicorn is “fabulous”… not that there’s anything wrong with that. ;^D

  • http://twitter.com/Pucuck Nicholas Ringhiser

    Wow, this is really cool. Hopefully once data and calls are fixed on the AOSP ICS for the Rezound, there will be things like this brought over. Being able to change up the ICS colors to match the red keys on the Rezound would be great!

    • Barnaby

      red on red would look pretty tight!

      • Philip A. Kaiser

        Did red on red on my Gnex. Looked sweet!

  • Jd

    does anyone have an opinion on this vs Apex?

  • Aaron

    I have been using this rom for sometime now and it is great. I think I am on build 15 and waiting a bit to flash the newest. Ill wait for something big I think before I wipe data and cache….especially with the internal memory.

    • http://about.me/jim.kenefick JimK

      There have been a metric eff-ton of changes since build 15…you might want to consider flashing 21. You probably won’t have to wipe for 22,23 etc. barring major changes. You SHOULD, however, wipe between 15 and 21.

    • Anonymous

      It won’t wipe the “SD card” partition so your data is good.

  • Maxkobi

    i’ve been through 4 different custom roms and switched around and after about a month on AOKP i wont be switching. definitely gives you everything you could need on a phone!

  • Anonymous

    Best Nexus ROM in existence. It’s really freaking awesome, and Roman is a cool guy too.

    • Anonymous

      Can you get google wallet on it ?

      • Maxkobi

        google wallet works like a charm

        • Anonymous

          How many hours of battery do you get ?

          • Maxkobi

            yesterday when i checked i was 12 hours at 50% with wifi on about 6 hours. the whole time i was out and doing stuff using my phone to text, browse, and play maybe an hours of games. right now im at 85% with about 3.5 hours of use. ive been texting really heave the last 2 hours

          • Anonymous

            Did you have power saver mode on or off ?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=25001493 Hank Godwin

            That is going to vary so much that it’s not worth asking.  That will all depend on your usage more than anything as well as which kernel you’re using.  If I watch videos for an hour on my phone with brightness all the way up and I tell you that my battery only lasted 5 hours, does that really mean anything to someone that has their screen off for the majority of the day and got 10 hours?

          • Bnm

            With powersaver and minimal use I’ve gotten up to 26 hours, obviously that is probably a best case scenario. With normal use I usually get 12+ hours.

    • Boblank84

      Agree, any time i try something new i end up restoring my aokp nandroid within a day.

      • John

        exactly. same here

    • Anonymous

      Can you tell us what else you’ve ran? I’ve tried Axiom (loved it, but no longer supported) Codename Android, Gummy… So many to try!!!

    • Anonymous

      I haven’t rooted my Nexus yet… My EVO was rooted up and down….. So I’m a bit out of date… but is there a work around for Google Movies?

  • http://twitter.com/Kanestapler Kane Stapler

    Can we have this more often?!

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      Going to try to. :)

      • Anonymous

        Is there a work around for Google Movies? I really value that services.

        • Anonymous

          I’m rooted with a custom from and don’t have a problem with Google movies.

          • Anonymous

            After renting can you play back just fine without that stupid message about rooted phones?

      • RINZLER

        I don’t even have a GNex but I’m so happy to see custom ROM Friday again! :D

      • Philip A. Kaiser

        Got a nostalgic feeling reading this. Like the good ‘ol days.

      • http://www.facebook.com/treswaters Tres Nugget Waters

        That would be awesome. I miss how there was pretty much one every week during the OG days. However, I’ve used Axi0m (discontinued, sadly), Gummynex, and AOKP and after using AOKP I figure it’s best to not waste time with other roms after seeing how great it is…although, the CM9 kangs and Codename Android do spark my interest.

        • tcanderson

          Dude!

          • http://www.facebook.com/treswaters Tres Nugget Waters

            HA! It’s a small world after all. Aren’t you supposed to be at my house right now?

        • babadush

          AOKP mixed with nova launcher is perfection

      • Skyskioc

        What ? You busy ?

      • Anonymous

        CNA next week!

        • Anonymous

          :)

        • Anonymous

           Sadly enough if it is CNA next week then Aokp will be twice CRF twice in a row since its the same exact rom just reversed with a different logo. CNA is the old Ultimate Droid of the Galaxy Nexus.

    • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

      +1