Android 4.4 KitKat unofficially arrives to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

November 3, 2013
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Android 4.4 KitKat

After all the rumors and speculation, Android 4.4 KitKat finally was unveiled on Thursday with a promised update coming to most Nexus devices within weeks. For Galaxy Nexus owners, it was also revealed that the older Nexus handset wouldn’t be getting its hands on KitKat through an official release.

The good news is that the developer community is moving quickly to bring some form of Android 4.4 support the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, at least in an unofficial capacity. As we speak there are already quite a few different Galaxy Nexus ROMs starting to surface – for both the GSM version of the handset, and for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any ROMs designed to work with the Sprint Galaxy Nexus at this time. On the bright side, Sprint has one advantage over Big Red: the Now Network officially supports the new Nexus 5.

While there are many ROMs out there, two of them stand out as being the most stable builds currently available, both of which are ‘pure’ KitKat with few modifications made, besides those needed to get the ROM working.

It’s important to remember that while both builds are reasonably functional, these are still alpha projects. That means that bugs are bound to happen.

On the GSM side of the fence, we have SlimKat Maguro alpha build. Based on both user feedback on the XDA Developer’s forum and from the developer’s notes, this build appears to be very functional. There doesn’t appear to be any broken features or functions in the build, though there are some minor graphical glitches.

For Verizon, you’ll want to turn your attention to the new “Shiny” Android 4.4 ROM, from well-known Android developer baldwinguy77. Like the SlimKat rom, this AOSP-based ROM has few to no modifications present. As for stability? Most of the user feedback has been quite positive, and it seems that all of the device’s core features appear to be working.

It’s important to remember that while both builds are reasonably functional, these are still alpha projects. That means that bugs are bound to happen, and so you should proceed with caution of you are considering downloading KitKat for your Verizon or GSM Galaxy Nexus.

For more details on the GSM-compatible SlimKat ROM, head on over to the XDA Developer’s Forum. For the Verizon Shiny ROM, you’ll want to visit Rootz Wiki for more details.

For those that have already tried either build (or perhaps a different Galaxy Nexus KitKat ROM), what’s your experience been like so far? Smooth, or are you running into any trouble?

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