All updated and ready to go

Google selling unlocked Galaxy Nexus phones through Google Play is pretty cool, especially at the price they're asking. But not too long ago, that wasn't an option if you wanted a GSM Galaxy Nexus here in the states. Because of some cryptic exclusitivity deal between Google, Beelzebub, and Verizon you had to import an unlocked handset from Europe, the far east, or Canada. It was a bit more expensive, and there were some warranty concerns, but a lot of people still did it -- and most of them are still sitting on an old version of Android while Jelly Bean is available.

We're not ones to advise people to wantonly hack at their phones for no reason. That's irresponsible, and we get that most Android users love things just the way they are and don't obsess over every little thing like the more hardcore crowd does. But this is a special case. If you're in Canada or Europe, or have a phone from either place, there's a good chance you're not running the "takju" version of the OS. There's nothing wrong with what you're running, but you'll be waiting for Samsung to get around to pushing out any updates to you. Takju is the designation Google has given the build that ships on the Play Store Nexus phones, and is the one they update themselves (and first). Other variants, like yakjuxw, are more dependent on Samsung fulfilling the OTA. We want everyone with an unlocked GNex to enjoy Jelly Bean.

The simplified instructions look pretty, well, simple. Unlock your bootloader, flash the takju factory image from Google, then force the OTA to Jelly Bean. In reality, they aren't much harder. You'll need the USB cable that came with the phone, a few files, and some knowledge that you can find in the Galaxy Nexus forums about bootloader unlocking and manually flashing images. Since you're using a Nexus, it's pretty hard to break things -- but you're still going to have to follow directions. When it's all said and done, and you're running Jelly Bean on your Galaxy Nexus, you'll be glad you did it. We're sure of it. You can even relock your bootloader when you're finished, and still enjoy OTA updates straight from Google on your stock Nexus. This is something worth taking the time to do if you're an Android fan.

Visit the Galaxy Nexus forums

 
There are 40 comments

Small_law says:

I am going to look into finally unlocking my Verizon phone and installing Jelly Bean built from source. Now, if I knew how to actually do that.

This and that are completely different, remember. But good on you for wanting to compile and flash your own build from source.

Small_law says:

Yeah, I know. But posts like these make me think "why can't I do that for my phone?"

Mr Hat Thing says:

Fantastic! But the timing is hilarious, I just found this out and did it on Saturday, and now you post it. But I guess better late than never.

This post, and the forums, makes this place the best Android site ever.
Just sayin'

Tbayrgs says:

Exact same situation here, would've saved me doing a bunch of the research myself but appreciate the info nonetheless.

joshua.worth says:

Read and you shall learn

jeffreytz says:

Wait: does "You can even relock your bootloader when you're finished and enjoy OTA updates straight from Google on your stock Nexus." mean that if I'm on a completely stock build like 4.1.1 and my bootloader is unlocked I won't get OTA updates from Google? That doesn't sound correct to me.

rock7632 says:

Having the bootloader unlocked does not matter. As long as you have the stock rom and the stock recovery you will get OTA updates from Google. You can even be rooted

Goat1202 says:

CWM is flashed to recovery, right? Are you saying I wouldn't get an OTA with it installed?

rock7632 says:

CWM is the recovery so if you have it flashed instead of the stock recovery the update will fail. You will still be notified to install it but installation will fail. I suggest flashing the stock recovery from 4.0.4 or you can manually install the OTA from CWM using a CWM compatible OTA zip

Goat1202 says:

Got it. Thank you for the explanation. So I'm pretty much waiting for the ota so I can flash it to my Verizon GNex. I'm unlocked and unrooted.

Yes you are going to wait for Verizon. If you have a stock radio, recovery and system files then you'll be notified of the OTA and it'll auto install. If you've changed anything on the phone in the system files, you won't be able to install it.

Goat1202 says:

Oh yeah, is stock recovery easy to find through a Google search?

rock7632 says:

Oh I didn't realize you had a Verizon Nexus. As of right now for that you only have 1 choice and that is to flash a custom rom based on Jellybean as the OTA is only out for the GSM version. And as far as the stock recovery, you can just extract it from the official Google Factory image for 4.0.4 and flash it. It might even be on XDA, not sure

rock7632 says:

That's partially true. Mine is on the YAKJU build imported from the UK back in November and I got the OTA. So YAKJU and TAKJU are both supported by Google and get the updates at the same time. The only difference between the two is that TAKJU comes with Google Wallet pre-installed

We know this :)

Well evidenced by the fact that yakju was around before takju, and there are complete stock images for yakju all the way back to 4.0.1.

interlard says:

I'm not sure that having a yakju build does mean updates have to wait for Samsung. My phone is yakju (imported to the US from Europe) and the Jelly Bean update arrived last Friday. Only a few days after it started rolling out.

Yakju and takju are for all intents and purposes the EXACT SAME. The only difference is that takju has Google Wallet preloaded on it. Yakju was the first "official Google build" that came on some phones before they even started selling them in the Play Store. This is why yakju still gets fast updates because the OTAs are indeed pushed by Google directly.

The reason why Jerry indicates that you should just flash to takju from yakju** is because if you're going to flash and wipe you device, you might as well stick it to takju from here on out.

If you're already on yakju, there's hardly any reason to go to takju.

TLB69 says:

All and all,my next Nexii will be GSM from Google.Wasnt thinking when I got VZW Nexus.I dont get a good GSM signal whhere I live.Couldve bought a wireless router(like I have now)and and joyed timly updates.I know I can ROM,but rather have Official from Google.Im done whinning.(let me dry off computer from all the snot and tears,lol!!!)

hatboysam says:

Does this work for my LTE Galaxy Nexus or only for GSM? And will the flashing process preserve root? I'm currently on Liquid Vicious Jelly Bean V1

GSM ONLY

GSM ONLY

GSM ONLY

Now, that out of the way, if you're on a custom ROM, you probably don't care about OTAs, and you should just... stick with your custom ROM. Now, if you were on a GSM model and wanted to go back to stock again, flashing takju would be the best way to do it, and yes, you lose everything including root, data, etc..

eljedo says:

it is important for those of us who reside outside the US (like Canada!) to note - in order to get the JB update to work without a system 7 fail, you must flash the 4.0.4 takju IMM76D radio (the XXLA2 radio) and the bootloader before you run the update through (either OTA or flashed with CWM). Once Jelly Bean has installed and booted, then flash back to UGKL1 (if you want the canadian frequency support, and it gives me the best signal on the west coast). best place for all the radios is here:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=20569003&postcount=2

TomRubin says:

This does not apply to those of us with the Sprint version of the Galaxy Nexus, correct?

GSM ONLY!!!

I have the white international Nexus (not sold in the play store). Does anyone know if the 4.1 update is bound to come to this variant soon (if it hasn't started rolling out already)?

rock7632 says:

What's the build version on it? Download the app from the Play store called Android System Info and you can find out your build info or you can open google maps and go to about and it will say

The color of the phone doesn't matter. The ONLY thing that matters is the firmware version of the phone. Chances are it isn't yakju, so you'll need to flash to takju if you want to get the OTAs quickly.

Luckily, the white model's hardware is the exact same as the others, and all of the methods are the same.

The build is IMM76K.

I was going to flash takju, but I read that Google started rolling out the updates for the international version and so I told myself that I would rather be patient than unlock the boot loader and install it.

eljedo says:

I was like you as well for a while, I thought I'd wait - but I must say, its worth doing. Flash takju IMM76D and then fastboot boot clockwork recovery and flash the JB OTA, its so worth it you can't even believe it. Make sure you flash the bootloader and the radio from takju as well. Really, don't wait, you'll be so happy you did it. I have my Canadian GNex on JB as of last night, and its incredible!

Do you know of a good, web page with exact instructions on how to carry out the process?
I've found a few, but it seems they all say something a bit different. I need to unlock the bootloader first. I am also using a Mac.

eljedo says:

I found this one, which is great, except you'll have to download the most current version of 4.0.4 from https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images#takju because the ones he put in his dropbox are yakju (which isn't a big deal if you want to stick with yakju instead of takju)

http://digital-igloo.com/2012/04/20/guide-update-your-galaxy-nexus-from-...

has all the mac commands, but the only thing i'd recommend is don't lock the bootloader again after you are done, just leave it unlocked.

thank you

So, can we safely flash Takju to the Verizon model, or is this just for non-play store GSM models?

eljedo says:

GSM only sir.

Camilo4gomez says:

Titanium backup highly recommended in case of any error.

Dipgiro says:

Hi Guys,
Jut thought I would say I have a UK Galaxy Nexus Android Version 4.0.4 Build Number IMM76I which I think is Yakju. If it hasn't updated yet then you can force it by

Settings->Apps->All->Google Service Framework->Clear Data. Once you have done that you can recheck for updates and it should prompt you for the Jelly Bean update.

I've tried this many times for my UK Nexus build IMM76I, but it doesn't prompt the 4.1 update.

rock7632 says:

You need to make sure that you have the YAKJU version and not anything else. If you have YAKJU then you will get the update right away. You can check by going to about in the Google Maps app or by downloading Android System Info app from the play store

mathiasjk says:

Just to get this straight, the only difference between Takju and Yakju is Google Wallet comes with Takju right?

xdalaw says:

Daily Steals is selling the new GSM variant for $319. today, with $5. shipping. I grabbed one look forward to flashing the Takju ROM on it. :)