Install Experimental SlimKat Android 4.4 KitKat custom ROM for Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Flash SlimKat Android 4.4 custom alpha build ROM for Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Google has released the Android 4.4 KitKat OS last week and now developers have started to work with it, which is why we’re starting to see more and more custom and experimental builds being released every day. This post is destined to be used by Verizon Galaxy Nexus users who want to test a custom Android 4.4 KitKat ROM.

The custom ROM you’re about to flash is the SlimKat experimental alpha build ROM. This modified OS is created by the same team who were behind the SlimBean ROMs, which where based on  Jelly Bean AOSP builds. Usually SlimROMs are packing fewer features, so that there will be less memory used while making even older devices smoother.

Android 4.4 KitKat is destined to be used for low-end device too. But, that will mostly happen for smartphone and tablet models that are yet to come, while devices launched years ago such as the Galaxy Nexus will not be getting any official KitKat builds from Google. Use this post at your own risk and make sure to test thoroughly all features installed by SlimKat. Also, keep an eye on our web site to get your hands on the latest KitKat custom ROM builds that are constantly released by developers worldwide.

An experimental build of SlimKat ROM means that is note very stable and in no way a final version, which is why it is highly recommended to be used and flashed only by advanced users. It packs all Android 4.4 features except for the new Google Launcher. This post is destined to be used by those users who want to tinker with their device.

Before starting the installation of this new ROM you will need to take a look at the guidelines below:

  • Use this post only for the Verizon variant of Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
    - you cannot flash the files listed here on any other Android device.
  • The VZW Galaxy Nexus that you’re about to update has to be factory unlocked, rooted and running a custom Recovery image such as CWM or TWRP.
    - make sure that you’re on the latest custom Recovery build.
  • Full Wipe is recommended for this new ROM to install correctly.
    - this means that all data from your device will be removed in the process.
  • Create a NANDROID Backup before installing the new ROM.
  • Backup data from installed apps using Helium app from Google Play Store here.
  • SMS, call logs info and APN Internet Settings can be saved using the following tools for Android: SMS backup & restore | Call Logs backup & restore | APN Settings Backup & Restore. Root access is needed for some of these apps.
  • Sync your People details and Contacts info with your default Gmail account.
    - if you don’t know how to do that, then follow the instructions listed here.
  • Enable USB Debugging from Developer Options.
  • Read the entire post, don’t skip any steps.
  • Check the phone’s battery power level, it should be over 50%. It prevents it from switching off in the middle of the updating process.
  • This is a guide for advanced users, do not blame us in case you brick the phone or lose any important data files.

These were all the guidelines you had to go over before continuing to the next part of this post.

Flash Unofficial Alpha SlimKat Android 4.4 custom build for Verizon Galaxy Nexus:

  1. Download the custom ROM zip from here.
    - save the file on your PC.
  2. Download the Gapps for this particular custom ROM from here.
    - save the zip on computer.
  3. Connect your smartphone with the computer, then transfer both zip files on your device’s internal storage.
    - when the files are moved successfully, disconnect the phone from PC.
  4. Power off your Galaxy Nexus now.
  5. Boot the device in custom Recovery Mode.
    - both CWM and TWRP should work with this post.
  6. First, create the NANDROID backup of your currently installed ROM:
    - CWM: select ‘backup and restore’. Save the file and confirm.
    - TWRP: press Backup, rename the file. Swipe to apply backup.
  7. Next, apply a factory reset for your device:
    - CWM: select ‘wipe data/ factory reset’. Confirm.
    - TWRP: press Wipe, then swipe to factory reset.
  8. Now you can flash the custom ROM:
    - CWM: select ‘install zip from sdcard’, find the ‘choose zip from sdcard’. Load the SlimKat alpha build zip and confirm its installation.
    - TWRP: press Install, then you should browse the internal storage for the SlimKat zip. Swipe to start the custom ROM flashing process.
  9. When the new ROM is installed, repeat step 8 actions in order to install the Gapps zip as well.
  10. After both files are installed, return to the main custom Recovery screen.
  11. Reboot your device in normal mode.
    - note that the first boot process takes a while to complete, which is why you shouldn’t press any buttons until the new home screen appers.
  12. Enter the Google Account info and take control over your smartphone again.

I hope that you’ve managed to complete the installation of this new custom ROM using the instructions that I’ve listed above.

In case your device doesn’t boot in normal mode, then you will be forced to repeat the entire tutorial once again. However, if you do repeat the tutorial and the Galaxy Nexus Verizon still doesn’t go past the Samsung boot animation screen, then you will be forced to apply a full system wipe, then repeat the tutorial.

More info about this custom ROM can be found at its XDA thread here.

If you don’t like how SlimKat Android 4.4 experimental ROM works with your device, then you should restore the phone to its previous OS using the backup file created in step 6. For any other questions use the comments field below.