Galaxy Nexus was the first device that packed the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS and it was released in December 2011. A few days ago, Samsung released an update for the ICS OS and here you can find instructions on how to successfully apply the update without the need of using any complicated tools or any other software that could put your device in danger.
The Galaxy Nexus GSM has been created by Samsung in co-operation with Google and its name comes from previous phone models released by both giants, these are the Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus brands. The last firmware that was officially available for this smartphone was the Android 4.0.2 and only the devices that are currently featuring this firmware version will be capable to apply the instructions listed in this article. For those that are wondering, this won’t root your phone but such guides should appear on our website shortly as there are some users that are working on it.
Updating the Galaxy Nexus GSM is extremely easy but if you’re running a custom ROM firmware then it won’t work and you will need to install the stock 4.0.2 ICS firmware before updating to 4.0.4 ICS. This new firmware enhancement comes with several things that will make your ICS experience way better or so it says the developers, as you will notice that the Time Lag in apps has been drastically reduced and the battery should have a higher autonomy. Several camera bugs were fixed and the camera from the lockscreen loads way faster. Some animation bugs were solved and the major improvements were added to the UI and now it appears to be more fluid and the difference when moving through screens is noticeable compared to the former firmware.
Despite all the good things that are brought by this app, there are some other things and features that should’ve posed a much higher importance for the developers as the Ringtones are unchanged, the kernel is updated but the version is still listed as old, while games and other hungry for RAM apps are lagging and sometimes this might annoy users. If you spot any other improvements or features added then please feel free to post them in our comments section.
Now, since you’ve read all the general info about this update, I think that you need to move to the next part of this guide and learn how to correctly prepare your Galaxy Nexus for the firmware updating process. Here’s what you need to do:
- The Android SDK bundle (download link) should be installed on your computer along with the Fastboot utility, this one can be downloaded from these links: Fastboot for Windows / Fastboot for Mac. Click the download links and wait until the download completes.
- try and backup all the music, video, pictures and all the other files that are currently stored on your device. While updating the firmware such files might become corrupted or damaged and that’s why you should create backups.
- charge your phone battery until it reaches over 75% and in this way you will prevent it from discharging during the update.
- disable or uninstall all the firewalls, antivirus or antimalware apps that are currently installed on your Galaxy Nexus. This prevents such apps from blocking the updating process.
- enable the USB debugging mode by going through Settings, then Applications, Development and here you will find the option that has to be enabled. Make sure to enable this mode only when the device is disconnected from your PC.
I can’t think of any other info that you might require before moving to the updating guide. Just make sure that before applying the firmware update, your device runs on stock 4.0.2 firmware and not on some custom ROM, because otherwise the tutorial guide listed below won’t work and you’ve lost precious time trying to install files that weren’t development for your device. Also, this works only with the Galaxy Nexus GSM edition, so no support for LTE.
How to update the Galaxy Nexus GSM with Android 4.0.4 ICS firmware:
- Download the Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich firmware zip file from here. Save it on your PC / Mac.
- Download the Clockwork Recovery Mod image from here and save it on your system.
- Connect your Galaxy Nexus to your PC and then move to the next step.
- Move the files you downloaded at step1 into your phone’s SD card.
- Copy the image of Clockwork Mod, the one downloaded at step 2 and place it in the same directory where you’ve placed Fastboot folder. Place it in the SDK folder and then either ‘tools’ folder or the ‘platform-tools’ folder. Rename the image file like this: cwm.img.
- Power OFF your smartphone and now we need to enter bootloader mode. This can be done by pressing and holding the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons and while doing this you need to press Power.
- Connect your phone with your computer via USB Cable.
- Launch Command Prompt (Windows) or Terminal (Mac) and point its address to the folder where you saved the ‘cwm.img’ file.
- Now enter the following command: fastboot-windows.exe boot cwm.img or you can try fastboot.exe.
- Now, with the Clockwork Mod Recovery you have to flash the zip file downloaded at step 1 and that was moved afterwards in your phone’s SD card.
- Select the OTA 4.0.4 zip file and then the update will start.
- When the Galaxy Nexus has been successfully updated to the new 4.0.4 ICS Android firmware, it will be restarted and you can disconnect it fro your computer.
That should do it, now you are free to test the new firmware update and see what new features have been added and if you find something interesting while browsing its options please let us know by posting in our comments field. Also, if you have any extra questions then please feel free to leave it as a comment to this article and we will help you figure out whatever is troubling you.
Please note that in case the update isn’t correctly applied or it didn’t even manage to finish because of whatever reason, then you need to repeat all the instructions listed above and the second time you should manage to apply the entire 4.0.4 firmware update on your Galaxy Nexus device.
Those of you that were hoping for a rooting guide should not be to disappointed as in the near future Android.gs will contain the tutorial guide that will help you root your device without damaging its firmware files.