CyanogenMod for Galaxy Nexus “won’t survive the jump to L” (updated – GSM lives on)

by: Bogdan PetrovanSeptember 12, 2014

Google Galaxy Nexus Logo aa 3 1600

Update: since this post was published, developer Nikola Majkic stepped up to assume maintenance of the GSM version (maguro) of the Galaxy Nexus. There is still no maintainer for the CDMA model (toro). Support for the GSM model will continue for now.

It comes a time in the life of every phone when updating it to the latest version of Android becomes more trouble than it’s worth. For the Galaxy Nexus, that time came when Google announced it wouldn’t receive the upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat. However, a number of custom ROM projects clung on to the aging device, including the popular CyanogenMod.

Now a commit to the CM open source project suggests that support for Galaxy Nexus is going to be dropped. In the commit comments, CM’s Abhisek Devkota explains that the reason for the drop is the lack of ongoing support for the processor powering the Galaxy Nexus. Texas Instruments, the maker of the OMAP 4460 chip inside the Galaxy Nexus, pulled off from the mobile market in 2012 and stopped supporting its chips, which makes it difficult for developers to support devices that feature OMAP processors.

Another problem, Devkota said, is that CM for Galaxy Nexus lacks a full time maintainer that would be able to solve issues with the builds.

Under these conditions, the chances for the Galaxy Nexus to continue receiving new CM builds are slim – in Devkota’s words, “this will not survive the jump to L. R.I.P.” However, support could be resumed if a maintainer is found for the project.

Devices based on other “legacy” processors, including old Tegra and Exynos chips, are probably on the short list for discontinuation as well.

While other custom ROM projects, including Paranoid Android and Omni, are continuing to support Galaxy Nexus, it’s hard to blame CyanogenMod for giving up on an old phone that became very difficult to maintain. Google itself abandoned the Galaxy Nexus after the release of KitKat, and refused to change its stance even when users of the phone started a petition with thousands of signatures.

  • crutchcorn

    That’s too bad to hear but highly understandable. Best of luck to Nexus Users

  • Xavier_NYC

    I’m staying away from custom roms.. I have a Snapshot build on my G2 and reboots and freezes religiously…

    • Sunny

      You just got really unlucky or you did something wrong..I flashed like 10 ROMs on 3 phones over time and no issues like you got..

      • Xavier_NYC

        Possibly but I’m content with just rooting and debloating my next phone.

    • you cant blame a Snapshot build. It may have bugs. I would have agreed if the rom you were using was a stable one.

  • Andrew T Roach

    Don’t feel bad Galaxy Nexus users.

    99% of Android users wright now won’t be able to use the 64bit code in Android L anyways.

    • Andrei

      The next version of Android is not only about 64-bit support, you know…

    • Flex360

      Did you thumb up your own comment?

  • Frosti

    “Devices based on other “legacy” processors, including old Tegra and
    Exynos chips, are probably on the short list for discontinuation as
    Noo! That means i have to worry about my Galaxy S3 (exynos version). I hope I will get Android L

    • Jack Parker

      They’re not even bringing out kitkat let alone android L

      • Emmanuel

        Samsung….yes no kitkat….. CM kitkat? for i9300? it has been available for ages…. just so you know….

        • Jack Parker

          Yeah its not official. That’s where I was getting at

  • dafuq

    Who uses the Galaxy Nexus nowadays?

    • MasterMuffin

      There are people who have no need to change their phone for years. My dad finally stopped using his Galaxy S2 this summer and changed to Z2 :)

      • theoctagon

        Thanks to developers!

      • enricorov

        Heck, I’m still using and ROCKING the S2.

    • Dan

      People who were waiting for the Nexus 5 to come out on Verizon (oops).
      Those people then started waiting for the Moto X or Nexus 6/X and are switching to T-Mobile.

      • wezi427

        I may be switching to T-Mobile. I’m with Verizon and have unlimited data. They are going to start throttling my in October. In my area Verizon is KING, but they keep chipping away at everything.

    • xyz

      I use Galaxy Nexus, because I have no money for new device.

      • Dairox

        I know that feel, I miss my Maguro

    • David Onter

      Friend of mine :) Altough battery-life is shit ^^

    • Maria Dale

      People like me who bought the phone ONLY two years ago and can’t afford to spend money changing a phone every couple of years.
      TBH, it’s running well enough but the battery life is horrible.

      • YouNex

        I’ve an excellent battery life
        Better than my Nexus 5 so far !

      • bob

        I was still using the original battery that came with my nexus when I bought it in 2011, and the life was abysmal. I just bought a brand now oem samsung extended battery for it off of ebay for only $5 and it’s better than new! This phone does everything I need it to so why not keep using it, I have no need for faster fancier electronics. and parts for the nexus now are cheap as hell so I got a brand new screen as well and it’s better than most of the budget phones you can get new

    • YouNex


    • Simon Belmont

      I went from a G’Nex to a Nexus 5 last fall. I still have my trusty G’Nex as a backup phone.

      In fact, it’s been used several times throughout the year testing out various KitKat ROMs. It’s still a viable phone.

    • Carlos

      I have a nexus. too bad u have a crap phone…

      • dafuq

        My “crap phone” is Nexus 4 :)

    • Dairox

      I did, until a few days ago, not because I wanted to ditch it, but because the screen broke

    • N0x

      I ‘m using Nexus 5 and Galaxy Nexus like backup (work) and the Galaxy Nexus has less lag than Nexus 7 2012…

    • Zyphera

      I write this on my very own Galaxy Nexus right now. The fact is that I still do not feel any need to upgrade my phone. The screen is still really good after RGB manipulation correction for its age. The CPU, while only 1.2 ghz dual core and the gpu is still fast enough for most apps. The apps have not become more demanding the last years. I have replaced the battery.

      I love the format, size, weight and look of it.

      I do use Franko kernel btw. My CPU is over clocked to 1536 MHz and show no sign of instability.

  • Emmanuel

    Probably random and irrelevant………………………. but it’s good to note that the MOTO 360 uses a TI OMAP processor….

    • MasterMuffin

      And is the slowest of the AWear smartwatches >_<

      • Simon Belmont

        Yup. And the least battery efficient.

        For perspective the original Motorola Droid used an OMAP 3. That’s a 5 year old phone.

    • Sunny

      Is that a good or a bad thing ?

      • Ahchoo3

        “Texas Instruments, the maker of the OMAP 4460 chip inside the Galaxy Nexus,pulled off from the mobile market in 2012 and stopped supporting its chips, which makes it difficult for developers to support devices that feature OMAP processors.”

        I would say that’s not good, TI is no longer supporting their chips for mobile devices. Which makes it hard for developers. Pretty much paraphrased the quote.

        • Sunny

          Ohh thanks
          Ah.. oh well there’s always Moto 360…2? Lol
          Hopefully they learn from their mistakes and make a better one next model

          • TDN

            Yeah, when I heard the 360 had the TI processor, a part of me died, because I knew that it would not be supported for very long. I’ve already decided I will wait for the second generation watches from LG and Moto.

    • Dimitrios Kirkos

      Because TI is still in the “low-power embedded” market, so they still maintain chips that target that market. Can’t imagine an OMAP 4 in a watch though, so they don’t have a reason to maintain the OMAP 3.

      • Simon Belmont

        It’s not an OMAP 4 in the Moto 360. It’s actually an OMAP 3.

        That’s a 2009 era SoC (Think original Motorola Droid/Milestone). I’m not sure if it’s the 65nm or 45nm die process version, but either way, it’s going to be less power efficient than the Snapdragon 400 chips being used in the other Android Wear devices because they use a smaller, more efficient, die process of 28nm.

  • JSo

    Not surprising. I loved my Galaxy Nexus but I have since updated to the Nexus 5. Comparing the two, the Galaxy Nexus does show it’s age.

  • Marty

    Reminds me of the videogame console bit wars of the ’90s. 8 bit, 16 bit, 32 bit, 64 bit…I was eagerly waiting for Sony or Nintendo to do a 128 bit.

    Looks like the phone makers are getting into the bit wars…lol

  • Julian Andres Klode

    Don’t shock me with false news. Only the CDMA variants are affected.

    • Yup, see the update, someone stepped up to maintain the GSM version. When I published the post, it was accurate.

  • Ryu

    Those still using a Galaxy Nexus probably don’t care all that much.

    • Alex

      Speak for yourself!

    • Simon Belmont

      I may have a Nexus 5 as my daily driver, but my GSM G’Nex is still my back up phone. I’ve kept it up to date on various KitKat ROMs and it works great.

      I’m pretty sure a lot of folks who own G’Nex handsets still care like I do. I still see tons of people mentioning they have a G’Nex in comment sections of articles.

      • Ryu

        I meant people that use it as their daily driver still. The amount of people that want cyanogen on it is probably not that many.

        • Simon Belmont

          That’s possibly true. Each year the amount will dwindle until it becomes pointless to keep maintaining.

          For now, though, I think there are enough who are still using it to warrant continued developer support. By the end of next year, we might have a different story (who knows, though, and I don’t like putting hard timelines on things like this). For example: I believe the GSM Nexus S is still being maintained, so that sort of speaks for itself.

  • Flex360

    CM is very unstable nowadays.

    • yes, coz u used the nightly/snapshot build

      • Ahmed Hassan

        Can you make Rom s5 kitkat for nokia xL fixed or note 3 kitkat

  • wezi427

    I feel bad for these Nexus owners. I own a Verizon Note 2 and I upgraded to 4.4.2 and it’s not supported by Cyanogen anymore. I’m going to have to get a new phone if I want “L”.

  • Bogdan

    CDMA ONLY!!! Maguro lives on since the commit clearly states that it has a new maintainer! Jeeez, stop it with the shocking titles.

    • Since I published the post, someone stepped up to maintain maguro. I updated the post. The title was accurate when it went live.

  • xyz


  • cee

    Nice of Similarsung and Scr-U-gle to plan to drop a phone after just three years.

    Android is so much better than Apple, the scum at Apple only keep iphone 4 up-to-date for four years.

    I guess someone has to try to boost Similarsungs profits somehow.

  • Geovanny Montilla

    T_T bye bye Android L on my Nexus. -_-b

  • Simon Belmont

    I think this is the CDMA only version. The GSM one still has a maintainer, which is unsurprising because the GSM G’Nex is still a phone that a lot of people use.

    The funny thing is it looks like, the precursor to the G’Nex, the Nexus S, will still have active support into Android L. I could be wrong, but then again, that’s also the GSM model (not sure about the Sprint one).

    • Yup, since I published the post, someone stepped up to maintain maguro. I updated the post.

      • Simon Belmont

        Thanks. It’s appreciated, for sure.

        I would have been said to see my venerable G’Nex already put out to pasture for CM. Glad it’s not the case.

  • Dimitrios Kirkos

    Galaxy Nexus: The only Nexus that really sucked (bad camera, battery that needs to be charged twice every day and mediorce screen). I know the thing used to be expensive when knew, but it’s time for Galaxy Nexus users to move on.

    • Simon Belmont

      That’s funny. My G’Nex could go for 2-3 days with moderate usage without needing a charge (around 2-3 hours of screen on time) or 24 hours with 4-5+ hours of SoT. The GSM version, IMO, had much better battery life than the CDMA/LTE version. That version killed the battery due to inefficient first generation LTE radios.

      Of course, everyone’s usage pattern is different. But I never felt like I had to sacrifice usability or turn syncing or GPS off to get respectable battery life. The camera, while not perfect, was definitely fine for its time, IMO. Compared to today’s cameras it might pale a little, but that’s how technology works (steady march of progress). I honestly thought it was better than the Nexus 4’s camera. The color saturation seemed much better, but to each his/her own.

  • Kasi Viswanathan

    really bad

  • bright daniel

    Rip…galaxy nexus aka nexus 3…. you gave me the three best years of my life…cynogen kept u alive a little longer..But by how this article sounds its onto greener pastures for u old nexy lol

  • Suresh Aryal

    Abhisek Devkota is a Nepalese! So Proud!

  • new_guy_around_here

    I’ll miss this phone. Why it only felt like yesterday it was released with ICS. I sort of miss the Holo days of ICS! :(