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Verizon Galaxy Nexus Owners Able to Taste Kit Kat, “Shiny” OTA-Like ROM Now Available

verizon galaxy nexus

Last week when Android 4.4 was released to AOSP, developers started their task of bringing the latest version of Android to basically every device they could. It’s a reason we still love this hard-working community. With that being said, Verizon customers that still cling to a Galaxy Nexus, learned that their devices’ would not be receiving an official update to Kit Kat, and would instead be stuck on Jelly Bean forever. But given that the Galaxy Nexus is one of the most loved devices of all time, it didn’t take very long for the developer community to whip up some Kit Kat action for the device. 

The ROM we suggest giving a shot is called Shiny, and the reason we suggest it is because the developer does very little in terms of modifications to Android. He calls it an “OTA-like” ROM, which means this is a pretty much vanilla build of Android, kind of like exactly what you would see if Verizon actually did push Kit Kat to the device. Sure, we love a ton of customization options and all of that, but try vanilla Kit Kat out and see how it feels. It’s a very smooth experience, one that everyone should try at least once.

In terms of what you will need, you must acquire several items to complete your quest. You will need a Galaxy Nexus on Verizon running a custom recovery (we recommend ClockworkMod), the Kit Kat zip file found on the forum page linked below, and be sure to download the toro radio zip file, just in case you somehow run into trouble. And as always, when flashing these custom ROMs, please make a backup of your current system. We can’t stress how important backups are enough.

Who here is never giving up their Galaxy Nexus? Still “living the dream”?

Via: RootzWiki

  • Joe Holder

    Nexus 7 2013, southern California, unrooted and running 4.3. I received my 4.4 OTA notice yesterday, but the update screen locked at the initial message with a small “Could not download” message. After multiple attempts to get past this screen, this morning I did a Factory Reset. Then 4.4 loaded and updated smoothly. Since almost all of my apps are from the Google Play Store, all of them automatically downloaded after I signed into my Google account.
    First impressions. Smooth and amazingly faster than 4.3. I like it.

  • Yuri Curri

    Will this work on Fido network in Canada BC?

  • Paul Luman

    I have no idea how to do all those steps…who or where can I have this done ?

  • dan

    Hi I would like to flash this to my phone, but I never unlocked or rooted it. Do I need to do that first? Are there instructions on how to do that?

  • Eric G Canoy
  • antintyty

    I just did an insurance claim to get a reburb model because I couldn’t find a phone better than the GNex!!!

    • http://www.pcprocare.com/ Barry Taylor

      LG G2, Nexus 4, S4, S3… Need I say more? I have two gnex phones at home.. My old one and my wife’s. They.. are.. so.. slow..

  • http://www.hammertechnologies.net/ Chase Johnson

    Just got my 4.3 update on my Spring Gnex last week…now this (if its compatible) ahhhhh decisions.

  • Rob

    Noob alert. I’m new at flashing but I decided to void the ol’ nexus’s warranty. I need some help getting this to work. Every time I try to flash it, I to a screen with the android on it’s side with an explanation point in a triangle. It won’t boot. Anyone care to take a second to help me out?

    • http://www.pcprocare.com/ Barry Taylor

      Are you rooted?

      When the phone is off, hold the volume up, and volume down and then hold power to turn it on. it should take you to a screen with options to boot into recovery.

  • Mike91270

    I installed this on my Verizon G-Nex. The home button doesn’t work…anyone else experience this?

  • DanWazz

    Still “living the dream” here, due to contractual obligations. Phone still works, and Kit Kat really does help it feel a lot newer, either that or it’s because I finally went ahead and did a clean install. Whatever.

  • MikeKorby

    “the Galaxy Nexus is one of the most loved devices of all time”

    Some would describe the experience as an emotional roller-coaster at times…

  • Dn Bro

    I installed this…Look on page 841 for the big KitKat 4.4 install post. YOU NEED TO FOLLOW THOSE DIRECTIONS to the letter! Don’t follow the OP. That is slightly out of date.

  • maxfrix

    My employer provides vzw unlimited data plan and at first used the htc incredible they provided until it died. The only thing left in the phone drawer was a blackberry and I spent about 3 months struggling with that before buying a used gnex. I love it. No reason to let it go. I have emailed vzw tech support and they claim updates are going to come. So I expect 4.3 next spring sometime the way vzw works. I would not pay them if it was my money. But better than nothing. Gnex is great though!

  • Burger

    My phone wont connect to LTE but will connect to 3G can someone help me out? I’ve rebooted several times and re flashed the radios

    • NeilOMalley

      Did you do a clean install? Did you reboot at the setup screen after the initial boot?

      • Burger

        I figured out that was the issue I didnt reboot “after the initial boot” LTE is working now but it does go out when Im on a voice call. Normally I can talk on the phone and use the net any way I can fix this? Thank for your help!

  • chris125

    And this is why even a nexus with slow/no updates is still better than any skinned device.

  • RW-1

    Graphics issues are minimized by turning off all animations in dev options, this actually has a side effect of speeding things up as well, still some issues, but using as a daily for the moment. If you install, follow the instructions to the letter in the post for that build, not the OP in RW.

  • Tyler

    Waiting for the drivers to get fixed before I install. I have faith that Baldwinguy77 will do an amazing job with it.

  • Guipo

    2 Days, and I’m back to 4.3.1. Just couldnt handle all the black box graphical glitchyness.

  • NorCalGuy

    Simply amazing 2 years old and still one of the first phones to get it. Really Google you could have at least tried…

  • Dennis Da Menace

    What about for the GSM Galaxy Nexus? Any Kit Kat love for the GSM version? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

  • Chippah

    Ill load this up on the old ladys Gnex as she is jelly of my Note 3. hah

    • Bigwavedave25

      If she’s a stickler for everything looking nice and perfect she may not like it just yet. The open gl “black box” rendering issues my give her a sour taste for KitKat. The dev is working hard to iron stuff out.

      (played with a Note3 again at best buy during lunch today… man I do like that beast)

  • JRUIV

    Balls…I just gave my GNEX to someone in the family that needed a phone. I would’ve loved to mess around with Kitkat until my Moto X gets it

  • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

    Given that KitKat is supposed to make it easy on lower spec machine, I wonder if it will make my GNex run faster.

    • http://www.mecha-digital.com/ Jason@MechaDigital

      It certainly should – I saw a post a RootzWiki that someone said his available memory went from less than 100mb to over 250mb. I have long felt one of the major issues with this phone was the lack of RAM to keep apps running in the background.

  • Aaron

    I love how you say we’re “still clinging to” it when it hasn’t even been 2 years since this device was released. There’s not a single person who is out of contract term on this phone. I realize there are some tech-addicted people who switch out their phones every 6 months, but most of us have to wait.

    • Mike Hilal

      I know a couple.

    • http://about.me/gregmalleus Greg Malleus

      The Verizon Galaxy Nexus was released mid December 2011. While it hasn’t been 2 years yet, Google only supports and releases updates for 18 months after a phone is released.

    • Ralph Luciano Padro Jr.

      I’m off contract too. A lot of contracts were eligible for early upgrades. Like, since May.

      • Hothfox

        If you’re able to upgrade early, that doesn’t mean you can leave without an ETF or a very nice customer service representative. Your contract is still 2 years.

        • Ralph Luciano Padro Jr.

          The point wasn’t so much the contract, but rather the available upgrade aspect. Contract or not, many people I know with the Galaxy Nexus have been sitting on their device with an upgrade option for a number of reasons — chiefly being the devs community.

    • Rodeojones000

      I got my VZW GNex on launch day – December 15, 2011. And I was eligible for an upgrade back in August. Used it last week for the amazingly fantastic G2.

      • Chester

        I’m counting down the days until Dec 15th to cancel my vzw contract. My Nexus 5 has been shipped and should be delivered on Friday. No contract TMobile with LTE in my area. Awww yeeeaaahhhhh!!!

      • michael arazan

        Got mine in Jan 2012, using another person’s upgrade and they used mine which officially pushed my contract to march 2012.

      • dragonflyr

        me too. launch day nexus. now G2. still have the gnex kicking around tho .. think i’m going to throw this rom on it.

  • Razma

    shiny is friggin awesome, i’ve been using his Rom since 4.1 I believe, since the demise of bugless beast. its a great replacement

  • MikeSaver

    I’m sticking with my Gnex for now! Plan on flashing this when I get home! Then I’ll get a moto x when thats on Verizon and be all disappointed that I have to go back to 4.2.2

    Can’t believe my Gnex will get 4.4 before my Nexus 7! Baldwinguy’s pretty cool.

  • donkeykong85

    Installed for over 24 hrs now. Battery life is great and I have not had one single glitch. I think these glitches might be from something else people are doing ie different kernal.

    • blackjaguar25

      No, it’s an issue in the ROM. Promise.

    • Eldorath

      Not sure what magical kernel you’re using.. but the glitches seem to exist across all manner of kernels that people have tried. The drivers need to be updated, but since TI is out of the ‘industry’ (so to speak) now, I believe we have a better chance of Satan strapping on ice-skates to go to work than see ‘official’ drivers being released. The only hope is that the community can cobble something together.

  • Mark

    ♫ The dream of 2011 is alive in GNex (in Gnex)♫

  • Adam Truelove

    Just FYI, this is very buggy at the moment. Constant lockups and reboots and many graphical glitches, which are probably causing the reboots.

    • Brian Wingert

      if you want to temporarily fix the issue some of the people on the forums have flashed a new kernel and fixed most (not all) of reboot issues… Biggest issue that almost everybody is having is the random graphical glitches because of the gpu on the phone

      • Jeff Weeks

        What’s a good kernal to try?

        • Brian Wingert

          I used mpokang kernel personally and haven’t has as many reboots as I initially did when running the stock kernel

      • otto lombardo

        I am having graphics glitches and random reboots. how do I get the new kernal and can I flash just the kernal without doing all the wiping and flashing of the previous rom/radio, etc…

        • Brian Wingert

          I’ve read using mpokang is a solid kernel to try and also on the statement I said above for the kernel fixing the reboot issue… The biggest reason the reboots occur is because of the new surfaceflinger that was introduced… I’ve used mpokang 1080p kernel for the past week and I’ve had a lot less reboots. Link to his post on xda for ya

          http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2423338

          • otto lombardo

            I loaded the kernal. I will post tomorrow and let you know how it works. the graphics do glitch when changing from portrait to landscape and back again. thanks much for the help

          • Brian Wingert

            Your welcome!

            I’ve got the same glitch on the graphics due to the new surfaceflinger in 4.4 is why this occurs… Hopefully it’ll get sorted out in due time with an update.

          • otto lombardo

            OK, My phone has not rebooted since I flashed the mpokang 1080p kernel. Looks as if KitKat is running well on my G-Nex.
            Yeah baby!

    • MikeOliveira

      yeah. its a little wonky but not completly unbearable, and if the dev gets it straightend out soon i could live with it for now. the rest of the rom is smooth and solid. I like it

    • nate

      I tried it and couldn’t get LTE or 3G so i went back to CM 10.2 lol

      • Landon

        There is a post in the forum with a fix. When you boot the ROM on the first attempt, simply power it down when it’s on the “choose WIFI” screen. On the next boot-up your LTE will have kicked in. Afterwards DO NOT change the network select mode, that’s where the issue lies. I changed mine to 3g on the first time flashing, and it would never go back to LTE without a clean install. Used Titanium Backup to save/restore hangouts messages and all is now well… with the exception of all the blackouts and random reboots.

    • Mike91270

      My home button isn’t working. Using the back button to navigate,

      • M. Hype

        Same issue here. Verizon GNEX. Any fixes to this?

  • Hothfox

    I wouldn’t really call this a daily driver yet, but I’ll stick with it so I can get used to KitKat until my Nexus 5 gets here Wednesday. Screen has some fuzz and black box issues, likely due to the graphics drivers. It randomly reboots quite a bit (usually once per every time I pick it up to use it). It also won’t connect to 4G/LTE – 3G works fine though. It does run very smoothly aside from those issues.

    • blackjaguar25

      4G works perfectly fine if you follow the installation instructions. I also get reboots probably 5 times a day now, but NEVER during just texts and phone calls. Apps are where the black boxes show up. The graphical glitches aren’t a big issue IMO.

      • Hothfox

        I followed the instructions (did not change any mobile data settings, rebooted), and all I can get is 3G. 4G just never connected. I’ve had it reboot on me just browsing in Chrome, adjusting my volume, and trying to play music, to name a few things. These are activities that I do frequently, which is why – FOR ME – it is not daily driver yet. I was posting my experience, not complaining (before someone quips, “Well, where’s your ROM, then?”).

    • Adam Truelove

      4G worked just fine for me. I had to go back to 4.3.1 due to the constant reboots though.

    • epyon

      I also followed the installation instructions to the T and can’t get 4G to work. I’ve flashed several times, and even reflashed the radios, all to no avail. I love 4.4, but I’m probably going to have to go back to 4.3.1.

      • Hothfox

        I usually leave my GNex on 3G anyway, because 4G drains too much battery on me. I’m typically on WiFi all day at work, and then at home, and when I’m on 3G I’m just driving, and that’s fast enough for navigation if I need it.

        • epyon

          I got 4G working by following these instructions on the rootzwiki page (and confirmed with an Ookla speed test):

          For anyone who is having issues getting 4G LTE, to show up on the
          phone please do the following to resolve the issue. Once this is
          corrected don’t go back into the mobile data settings.

          Open settings, under Wireless & Networks choose More…

          tap on Mobile networks.

          Make sure Data enabled is checked, if isn’t check it.

          Under Network Mode make sure it’s set to 3G if it’s not change it to 3G

          tap the Home button

          Open the phone/dialer

          Dial *#*#4636#*#*

          Tap on Phone Information

          Scroll down then in the drop down choose GSM/CDMA auto(PRL)

          Tap the Home button

          In
          a few moments your 4G bars should appear and if you go into a low spot
          it should still switch back to 3G. This is the only mode I found that
          actually does the hand off.

          • Hothfox

            Thanks for the solution. Would I go back to Dial *#*#4636#*#* to switch back to 3G if I wanted to be on that to save battery?

  • Orion Pax

    Yeah I keep my GNex as a spare device and flash each update Shiny-OTA releases. This one is pretty good so far and I’m expecting his next incarnation to be even better. Been on Shiny since Pete shut Bugless Beast down; hasn’t missed a beat.

    • Nick Bell

      Same here. With 4 high end phones in our family( 2 S4s, Note 2 and Note 3), it’s nice to have a backup phone when one of us breaks a screen or is in between selling a phone and buying a new one. Plus it’s not worth selling at this point. For 150 bucks, it’s worth more than that to me.

  • Bigwavedave25

    Baldwinguy77 is on top of it!

  • A.Miller

    “Most loved devices of all time…”

    Really? I mean, I loved the idea of it when I got it.

    It seems to me that in retrospect, most people think it was a garbage device. Poor battery life (to say the least), awful camera, etc.

    • crazed_z06

      The battery life was horrendous, but I liked everything else about the phone. The build quality was great and the curved screen was really trick. It had 32GB onboard which was nice also. The camera was only 5MP, but it did take clear pictures with no shutter lag.

      • A.Miller

        Maybe I just don’t know how to use the camera. I’m still using the GNex (Nexus5 is coming today, supposedly) and have an awful time w/ the battery and the camera.

        • diversion

          Go green

        • Jaxon Wright

          29-6

        • miri

          The battery on my Sprint GalNex is dreadful even with an extended battery, but the camera takes very usable photos with very accurate white balance, good colors, reasonable dynamic range adequate detail and the shutter is still one of the fastest on the market. Low light leaves much to be desired but if you use night mode with a few other tweaks to the settings and clean it up in post, you may still be able to get something decent out of it.

    • Adam Truelove

      Other than battery, I love mine.

    • adbFreedom

      This phone has received an insane amount of developer support and was the first and probably (but hopefully not) the last nexus on VZW. So yes, “one of the most loved devices of all time” seems accurate to me.

    • HarvesterX

      If mine wasn’t torn apart, I’d still use it and just use my hotspot off the G2

    • Hothfox

      If you were on Verizon, it was a greatly loved device. It was really our first Nexus, aside from the OG Droid (THAT is my most loved device), and received a ton of support from the development community. I ditched Verizon for the Nexus 5, but will hang onto the GNex to fiddle around with and get as much use out of it on WiFi as I can.

      • EC8CH

        If you were on VZW, the choice at the time was between it or the RAZR MAXX…. I think G-Nex has proven to be the better choice.

        • Hothfox

          Yep!

    • MikeOliveira

      im experiencing crappy radio issues now, dropped service, inconsistant service, weak signal strength. i did install the new radios from the post and it seems to have helped….. for now…

  • fritzo2162

    I installed this and it CLEARED OUT MY CHECKING ACCOUNT!

    Oh wait…never mind…my wife did that. Go ahead and install it.

  • AnotherAndroidKid

    Shiny rocks. Been on it since BuglessBeast ended. Not perfect on 4.4, but small things. I find battery life better on 4.4 and the phone is snappy quick, although I did full wipe, so many that has something to do with both.

    • j

      Agreed. I only run shiny these days w/ notification bar mod. CM is buggy mess by comparison IMO.

      • http://www.toysdiva.com Toys Samurai

        CM is just way too buggy and slow on the GNex. I installed CM for about a week, when BB development stopped. Then switched to Shiny when I found it out. It’s on the level of BB, IMO — meaning, it’s just like stock. Is it 100% stable. No. But my friend’s non-root, stock GNex running on the same network is even buggier.

  • realfoxm

    This is a great ROM and props to baldwinguy77 for the work he put into this. Would be perfect if it wasn’t for the graphical glitches causing random reboots (at no fault of the dev).

  • duke69111

    I installed it over the weekend and it work well. The screen does have a few glitches at the bottom every now and then. Like an old tv’s grey fuzz.

  • Ian Smith

    not doing it – pleasure delay.

  • Ben Murphy

    I pulled mine out the drawer to flash it. Nice and smooth. A few graphical glitches and random reboots, but all in all, a good start. Damn I love the developer community.

  • Brandon Tiller

    Still has random reboots and problems with black boxes because of lack of TI GPU drivers.

    • EC8CH

      Is the lack of updated gpu drivers from TI going to be a difficult issue to overcome to eliminate the graphic glitches? Anyone?

      • Albert

        Yes. I believe so. Back in the days of the Droid X, it was an issue for the same reasons.

        • Albert

          I should say, as soon as the OEM quits providing updated drivers and support the device is pretty much dead.

          • EC8CH

            Guess we’ll see then. It would be a shame because 4.4 is running incredibly smooth on my G-Nex other than the GPU bugs.

            It would be hard to go back to 4.3 because all of the small changes in 4.4 are very smart and useful.

  • GNex User

    Excited to try this out.

  • Mike Arnett

    Just an FYI, you need the newest CWM to flash it. Mine wouldn’t flash last night until I updated to 6.0.4.3 (I think that’s the version number).

    • Bigwavedave25

      Yes. And d/l links to everything needed are supplied along with a well written set of instructions [link to post] for installing.

      He is probably most informative and helpful dev out there.

    • TheDrunkenClam

      Yes mine failed because I was on cwm version 6.0.3.6. Thank you sir. Everyone up vote this ^

    • Raj Bhatt

      Any idea if it works with TWRP? Or is it CWM only?

      • Bigwavedave25

        CWM only for now looks like until TWRP is updated. BG77 states that current TWRP causes multiple FC’s on boot.

        • Raj Bhatt

          Okay thanks. I JUST loaded TWRP through adb haha. Oh well, at least my Nexus 5 gets here today.

      • MikeOliveira

        cwm only. i ran into this issue after 3 failed attempts with twrp

    • TheRobotCow

      THANK YOU!!!!!!

  • HotRodJohnson

    Snaps!

  • Eldorath

    In before someone else links it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ

    Not a rickroll, but relevant to Tim’s last comment in the post.

    • blackjaguar25

      Your attempt at humor ruined my Monday.

      • Eldorath

        It was posted for 2 reasons…
        1.) The comment that Tim made just screamed “Troll-Bait” (and while, I’m usually not a troll.. I figured I’d get to it before one of the regular trolls did ;)

        2.) The damned song immediately got stuck in my head as soon as I saw his:
        “Who here is never giving up their Galaxy Nexus”, thus.. if I’m gonna be stuck with it rolling around in my head, so is someone else ;)

        Besides.. as you pointed out.. it’s a Monday… not like it’s the best day of the week anyway ;p