The Nexus S from Google / Samsung has received its own port to Android 4.4 KitKat and now you can use this tutorial in order to learn how to successfully update its firmware. Note that you're using this tutorial at your own risk.

AOSP Android 4.4 KK for Nexus S brings the latest OS build from Google, but it not a final build and you will find some things that aren't working. So, the WebView is not working and this means that any application you launch that uses WebView will show a black squared screen. Not all Gapps will work with this custom ROM. More info about it can be found at XDA here.

This is what is currently working in this KitKat custom ROM for Nexus S: calling, SMS, 3G Data, WiFi, Camera, SDcard, CRT off, light /gravity sensors, superuser and others.

Before starting the installation, read the guidelines below:

  • Use this post only for the Google / Samsung Nexus S device.
    - don't try to update any other Android device with the files you find here.
  • Your device has to be rooted, factory unlocked and running the latest CWM Recovery to be installed on it.
  • The tutorial will tell you to factory reset the device, which is why you should create a full NANDROID Backup of your current ROM.
    - factory reset doesn't delete the contents from the internal storage.
    - factory reset wipes only the system partition.
  • Backup data from installed apps using Helium app from Google Play Store here.
  • Backup SMS, Call logs info and APN Internet Settings using the following tools for Android: SMS backup & restore | Call Logs backup & restore | APN Settings Backup & Restore. Root access is required for some of these apps.
  • Sync Contacts info and People details with your default Gmail account.
    - for those of you who don't know how to do that, then you can use the info listed here.
  • Enable USB Debugging from Developer Options.
  • This is a guide for advanced users, do not skip any steps and make sure to read the entire post before starting the install.
  • Note that we cannot be blamed in case you brick your phone or lose any important data in the process.
  • Check the Nexus S battery power change level and make sure that it is over 50%. If the device switches off in the middle of the updating process, then you will be forced to repeat the entire tutorial.
  • If you have problems completing the tutorial, then you should ask for more help in comments.

How to flash AOSP Android 4.4 KitKat custom ROM for Nexus S:

  1. Download the custom ROM build from here.
  2. Download Gapps for this ROM from here.
  3. Connect your Nexus S with your PC, then move both zip files on your device's internal storage.
    - disconnect the device from computer when all files are copied successfully.
  4. Power off the device now.
  5. Boot it in CWM Recovery Mode now.
  6. First you need to create a full NANDROID Backup of your current ROM by selecting 'backup and restore' option.
    - save the file on the Nexus S internal storage, then continue to the next step.
  7. Now, apply the factory reset:
    - select 'wipe data/factory reset'. Confirm the process.
  8. Install the custom ROM zip by selecting 'install zip from sdcard', then 'choose zip from sdcard'.
    - find the AOSP Android 4.4 custom ROM and confirm its installation.
  9. After the ROM is flashed, repeat step 8 actions and flash the Gapps zip too.
  10. Return to the main custom Recovery screen when both files are flashed successfully.
  11. Reboot the phone.
    - note that the first boot process takes several minutes to complete, which is why you shouldn't press any buttons until all files are loaded.
  12. Enter your Google Account details when the home screen appears.

That's it, now you need to take control over your device and start testing all the new features.

If the first boot process takes more than a couple of minutes to complete or the phone enters into a boot loop, then you will be forced to power off the device and then repeat the entire tutorial once again. For extra help use the comments field below.

Ethan Earnshaw · 5 years ago

Hi, thanks for the info. I have downloaded the ROM and GAPPS as per your link. When I look into the ROM zip I can not find the AOSP Android 4.4 custom ROM file. Therefore I do not want to get to that point in the setup process. Please advise?

rb · 5 years ago

no 3g

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