I am sure that most of the people who happen to own Google’s latest Galaxy Nexus smartphone have stumbles across this dilemma at least once since they got their device: Should I keep going with the stock ROM or try a custom one? The thing is, it is not always easy to choose between the two, especially if your device is already among the top dogs in the Android world. Of course, this is your worst nightmare decision if you own the Galaxy Nexus, as it is currently the first device to receive all the Google made Android goodies, and going to a custom ROM might even delay the updates and fixes by a little bit. For this reason, we will present an easy and safe way of updating your Samsung Galaxy Nexus with the AOKP Milestone 5 Custom ROM.
The AOKP name comes from Android Open Kang Project, a team dedicated at improving the stock Android 4.0 ICS that comes with your Galaxy Nexus. You may recall that there was a similarly named group, the AOSP, which handled the Android 2.3 Gingerbread vanilla development. The Milestone 5 build of the AOKP ROM is based on the IMM76I update and it can only be applied to Galaxy Nexus’s running on rooted versions of Android 4.0.3 or 4.0.4.
We can tell you all about the features and improvements the AOKP Milestone 5 Custom ROM has over the stock Android 4.0.4 ICS, but we think it is best if you skim the official release log below:
- Based on Latest IMM76I Update,
- Fixed Long Press Home on Navbar being on by default option has been fixed,
- Fixed volume zoom playing sounds with video camera,
- Flash-off indicator is now visible in camera,
- AVRCP: fixed soft reboots with certain players,
- Fixed brightness slider jumping when toggling auto-brightness,
- Speed up opening of init.d tweaks in RC,
- Added description to LED setting on RC to be clearer on what it does,
- Wi Fi icon issues have been sorted out,
- Fixed small icons when airplane mode & wifi are enabled,
- Fixed decrease lights in custom backlight settings,
- Battery now lasts longer than before,
- Force Close issues upon starting some games have been addressed.
We also have a couple of screen shots from the ROM itself, but you will have to struggle hard to find differences between the looks of the stock ROM and this one:
Before we move any further, there are a couple of things you should be aware of, and the first one is our disclaimer notice: This software is not our creation so we must warn you that you cannot hold us responsible for any damage that might occur to your device by following the procedures in this guide. However, we will try to help you sort out any glitches or problems that might arise by following the steps in this guide to the extent our knowledge limits us. By going past this point in our guide you have accepted and understood the terms above.
On a side note, this AOKP Milestone 5 ROM has been thoroughly tested before its release, so in case there are still some minor bugs present, they should be fixed in the next hot fixes or updates in the very near future.
The other important aspect is that this AOKP Milestone 5 Custom ROM can only be installed on the international version of the Galaxy Nexus, the i9250. This means that if you have any other carrier orientated or LTE enabled Nexus, you will still have to wait for a compatible version of this ROM to be released.
Installing any custom ROM will also erase your personal data stored on your Galaxy Nexus, and this brings us to the next part in our guide. Here we will discuss methods and apps that will help you back up all the important data stored on your device and also restore it once the update is successful. We are not using the official backup software as it does not offer support for any custom ROM’s out there. All you have to do in order to secure all your personal information is to install the apps below, use them and then simply follow the third party procedures in the list:
- Text messages – We will back them up with the following application : SMS Backup & Restore
- Phone Contacts – You can simply synchronize them to your Gmail account or export them to the micro SD card as a .vcf file
- Call Log – We will use the following application to backup your call log : Call Log Backup and Restore
- Pictures, Music, Videos, and other files – Simply copy them to your microSD card.
- Internet & MMS Settings – Write down all the settings from this path “Applications > Settings > Wireless and Network > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names”
Apart from these safety measures concerning your private data, there also some requirements that should be met before applying the actual update. We have made a shot list below, and we strongly recommend that you meet all requirements before proceeding, as not doing so may result in your smartphone getting damaged:
- The most important thing you must know is that you need to have a rooted Galaxy Nexus i9250 in order to install this update. In case you need more help with this please check our article about Rooting the Galaxy Nexus i9250.
- Another critical requirement is that you must have the Clockwork Mod Recovery already installed on your Galaxy Nexus.
- The last important aspect is that you must charge your Galaxy Nexus to at least 70% of its battery capacity. If your device runs out of power during the update procedure, things may turn out badly for it.
After understanding the risks and the requirements that are needed for a successful update we can now move on to the last part of our guide. This last part covers the actual updating procedure, and while many of you still fear flashing their devices with unofficial firmware, the risks involved are minimal. With this in mind please follow all the steps below in order and you should be finished in no time:
- We will start by downloading two software packages in the form of to Zip files. The first one is the Milestone 5 AOKP Custom ROM package, and the second one is the Google Apps package.
- In the second step you will have to copy the two archives downloaded earlier to the root folder of your Galaxy Nexus’s internal memory card. Do not place them in any sub folders as you will have a harder time selecting them later on.
- Next up you should turn off your Galaxy Nexus and reboot it into bootloader mode. In order to do this you need to press and hold the Volume Up and Volume Down Keys and then simply press the Power Key.
- Once you are in the bootloader menu you will need to select the Recovery Mode option and then simply wait for the Clockwork Mod Recovery to load.
- We strongly recommend doing a nandroid backup at this stage, since it will save a copy of your already working software. To do this backup you will need to select the following from the main menu of the Clockwork Mod Recovery: Backup and Restore -> Backup.
- Now you will have to clean up some areas that will be used by the new update and you can do so by selecting the following options: “Wipe data/factory reset” & “Wipe Cache partition”.
- In this step you will be applying the AOKP Milestone 5 Update so please make sure you select the correct files. You have to select the following options from the main menu of the recovery: Install zip from sd card -> Choose zip from sd card. After doing so you will have to navigate to the Milestone 5 Firmware Zip archive you placed on the internal memory card earlier and select it. The updating process should start now.
- Next up you will have to return to the main menu of the recovery and reselect the options: Install zip from sd card -> Choose zip from sd card. Now you will have to select the Google Apps Zip you also downloaded before and install it.
- Both Zip files should finish installing in under 5 minutes and once they are done all you have to do is to select the Reboot Now option from the recovery and wait for your Galaxy Nexus to restart.
The first boot after updating your Nexus with the AOKP Milestone 5 Custom ROM may take a little while longer than usual so don’t be alarmed about this aspect. If however your Galaxy Nexus fails to start after 30 min you should consider that the update has not been successful. In this case you will have to take out and then reinsert the battery and restart the guide above from the last part. If you still can’t get it to work try restoring the nandroid backup made earlier and write us a line in the comments section below.
If everything went according to plan you should now rejoice as you have updated your Galaxy Nexus to one of the fastest and feature rich ROM’s out there. You should also let your smartphone settle for a couple of minutes and keep in mind that it will take 2 or 3 charges for its battery to calibrate under the new software.