Update Google Nexus S to Android 4.4 KitKat AOSP custom ROM

Google Nexus S is the next handset that we want to add on our list of devices to update. The tool that will work for this guide is none other than AOSP Android 4.4 KitKat custom ROM.

This ROM that is especially designed for your Google Nexus S will work its magic on the device in more ways than one. What you can expect from this tool varies from tweaks that will improve the phone’s performance, new features which will make your experience brand new, tweaks to enjoy the handset in a personalized way and more. If you thought your battery wasn’t lasting as much as it used to, just install this custom ROM and that won’t be an issue anymore.

As far as good things about this tool, we already laid them out. Now for the bad points. You will soon notice the following: not every Gapps package out there works and neither does WebView.

So, in case you want to open apps using the WebView, all that you’ll get will be a black display. What does function properly is 3G Data as well as Light/gravity sensors, SMS, Camera, calling, SuperUser, SD card, WiFi and all the other features.

Requirements

With what’s working and what’s not working in mind, the update to the AOSP Android 4.4 KitKat custom ROM is now on. Before we give you the steps to get the upgrade file installed on your phone, we wish to deliver the requirements below:

  • the handset must be a rooted one, so use a rooting guide for that;
  • download and install either TWRP or CWM from here on your device once the latter is rooted;
  • download Gapps package from here (file name: pa_gapps-full-4.4-20131105b-signed.zip) and the AOSP Android 4.4 KitKat custom ROM (file name: aosp_crespo-kitkat_fyodor_20131103.zip) on your PC or your laptop;
  • your smartphone must be factory unlocked;
  • the battery must be fully charged in case you notice that it’s all empty;
  • make backups (a regular and a NANDroid one);
  • turn USB Debugging on;
  • go to the Gmail account you made and sync your phone’s People as well as Contacts details to it.Nexus-S-I9020

Instructions

  1. Ready for the steps required for a smooth update? Then begin with the one that tells you the following: plug the handset to the laptop or comp. Make sure you then take both zip files from where they currently are to the phone’s SD card root and have your phone unplugged from your other device at the end of the transfer.
  2. Now do this: switch the smartphone off and then have it enter Recovery Mode.
  3. If there is no NANDroid backup created, then do it now by following these guidelines: choose “Backup & Restore” and make sure you save the needed file on your phone’s internal storage.
  4. Next step: apply a Factory Reset by opting for Factory Reset/Wipe Data and then confirming. Now flash the ROM zip file like this: choose Install zip from SD card and opt for Choose zip from SD card.
  5. Then look for the update file: aosp_crespo-kitkat_fyodor_20131103.zip; confirm its flashing next. To install the Google apps as well, you only have to redo the steps that delivered the new custom ROM on your device.
  6. Then go back to the Recovery screen. Be sure to move on by restarting your Google Nexus S and, when the rebooting is at its end, access your Gmail; once there, wait for the update tool’s home screen to pop up.
  7. Now type in your Gmail details. Once this is done, your Nexus S will become an updated one. And with that, all of the advantages that arrive with it will show themselves.

However, in case you experience a longer boot phase (more than 10 minutes), we ask that you do this:

  • switch the handset;
  • redo the guide.

A boot loop will require the same method.

And that’s the end of this tutorial. Go and have great fun with your upgraded device!

Posted In How To - By Mihai Mateescu

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