Google has already released the binaries for Android 4.4 “KitKat” for the Nexus 5, and images are coming for Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10, in the next few weeks. Source code is also available in AOSP (Android Open Source Project). However, even though KitKat has been optimized for older devices, the Galaxy Nexus won’t an official Android 4.4 released because it was released at the end of 2011, which is over the 18 months update window guaranteed by Google.
Many people are upset about this decision, and several people have started working on KitKat for Galaxy Nexus. The Linaro team found a solution within minutes by going to the convenience store, and providing KitKat on Galaxy Nexus as shown below.
However, usability was not really ideal, so they had some more work to do…
In the meantime, Grabak, a developer and member of XDA Forums, provided an alpha ROM for Galaxy Nexus based on AOSP, which was working, but still had some display glitches, and Wi-Fi, the camera, and sensors were not working. That was 4 days ago, the thread has been popular for more than 560 replies at the time of writing, and some more fixes and hacks have showed up in some of the replies.
Bernhard Rosenkraenzer (Bero), a Linaro Android developer, who previously doubled the framerate in one GPU benchmark by optimizing Android, spent some more time patching AOSP with Linaro patches, and build KitKat for the Galaxy Nexus. This seems to work pretty well with camera support, and 3D acceleration (with glitches) as shown in the video below. That also means the source code, and instructions should soon be up on Linaro website (http://android-build.linaro.org). Hopefully the 3D rendering glitches are not due to some binary blob issues, as it may be hard, if not impossible, to get a new GPU drivers for the PowerVR GPU in the OMAP4430 SoC used by the Galaxy Nexus.
Finally, if you really want Google to provide an official Android 4..4 release for Galaxy Nexus, you could also sign the petition as over 17,000 persons have already done.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.