updated 05:13 pm EST, Sun November 3, 2013
Neglected Nexus gets KitKat thanks to developers
A pair of custom Android 4.4 KitKat ROMs have been released for the Galaxy Nexus, bringing the latest Android version to that device. Google neglected to port the operating system to the two-year-old device when announcing Android 4.4 last week, but - as SamMobile points out - the Android development community has stepped in to fill the gap. The two ROMs reportedly work well on the Samsung-built Nexus handset, with only a few issues having been reported.
Commenters on the forum threads publicizing the two ROMs note that they have some bugs. Particularly, there are issues with animations and graphical glitches. The developers behind the ROMs, though, are said to be working to address those issues.
KitKat represents one of the larger changes Google has made to its operating system in some time, with the last two releases having been incremental updates to Jelly Bean, which was itself in many ways a refinement of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Google focused on reducing memory requirements for features in 4.4, and the search giant says that its newest operating system will run on devices with as little as 512MB of RAM.
With 1GB of RAM and a dual-core processor,the Galaxy Nexus should be able to run Android 4.4. Google, though, does not push updates to devices older than 18 months. Thus, the 2011 Nexus will not see an official release, and Nexus devices released in 2012 likely will not be able to receive any updates released next year.
Google announced Android 4.4 some time ago, noting at the time that there had been one billion Android device activations to date. The Nexus phones represent a small portion of those devices, as Google every year partners with a manufacturer to produce a Nexus device but rarely gives it a marketing push comparable to what those manufacturers would do for their own devices. Instead, the Nexus devices are meant to showcase the latest Android build in its "purest" form, with no manufacturer alterations added.