Verizon Galaxy Nexus

It feels like forever, but the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is finally among us.  Hopefully, everyone who wants one was able to get out and grab a GNex of their very own, and have been fooling around with it wanting it to hurry up and charge (hint -- it will charge faster if you leave it alone!).  Now it's time to get serious, and there's a few things you should do right away with your new shiny.  Hit the break and read along!

Unlock the bootloader

Bootloader

You know eventually you're gonna want to flash something to your new Nexus, it's inevitable.  That's more than half the fun of owning one, and the things you'll be able to pull off are amazing.  To do it, you'll of course need to unlock your bootloader and root your phone.  The root can come later, but unlocking the bootloader erases everything on the phone.  Everything.  Do it right away, and be thankful you did later.  It's also easy enough to reverse should you ever have a need to have a locked bootloader.  There's a step-by-step in the forums describing this one, and it's really easier than it looks.  As always, feel free to ask questions in the forums thread -- quite the helpful bunch in there.

And even if you're not sure if you'll want to tinker, go ahead and unlock. It'll save you from an unnecessary wiping of your phone later.

Set up Wifi

Wifi

This one's especially for those new to Verizon and might not have an unlimited data plan.  Android phones (and especially LTE phones) use a lot of data, so you'll want to use Wifi as often as you can.  From the settings page, tap the Wifi icon and set up your Wifi network.  Once it's set, it will be remembered and any time you;re in range (and have Wifi turned on) you'll connect and use the Wifi access point for data services instead of 3G or LTE.  Besides, Wifi is always fast, stable, and uses a lot less battery than your cell network.  Well worth using it if you can.  You can do this with any number of Wifi access points, so you can have one for home, one for work, one for McDonald's, etc. 

Download and set up all your Google services

Google+

Some Google apps come pre-installed on your new Galaxy Nexus, but some other handy ones will need downloaded from the Market.  After you've set up your Google account in the initial device  set-up, hit the Market and search for things like Google+, Currents, Google Voice, Google Music or any other Google apps you might want to use.  The tight integration with Google's cloud and online services is a big part of the Android experience, and you don't want to miss out. 

Customize that gorgeous screen and make it yours

Home

Whether you like minimalism, or want to get loud and gaudy, the Nexus is an Android phone -- that means that user customization is almost limitless.  Besides changing wallpaper (which there's more than a few in our wallpaper gallery), you can add shortcuts, widgets, live wallpapers, and of course icons for any and all of your favorite apps.  Add in a third party launcher (take that Cupertino) like ADW EX and you can even add shortcuts to custom functions and change the size of the home screen grid.  If you're coming from another platform, it can be a bit overwhelming, but take your time and try everything -- it's just as easy to remove or uninstall something as it was to add it!

Sign up for the Android Central forums

Forums

Plain and simple -- we're the best and friendliest Android-centric forums on the web.  Our forums chief Cory and all the mods and advisers work hard to make it that way.  You'll find the forums are a fun and safe place to share with your fellow Android users, and if you're not careful you might even learn something from some of the helpful developers that call Android Central home.  If you're new to Android, you might even want to check out an app called Tapatalk, which gives access to the forums with a more Instant Messenger look and feel and integrated notifications.  Cory and Phil got together with the folks at Tapatalk to get things up and running smoothly on the Galaxy Nexus because we all know it's a favorite of our members.  Check it out, maybe you'll like it, too. 

 

Reader comments

Things to do once you get your Galaxy Nexus

57 Comments

No, not really. It's good to be on a GSM network. While you guys just got the Galaxy Nexus, us folks on AT&T (and else) have been playing with our GN for 2 weeks. Nevertheless, we're SUPER glad Verizon finally decided to share the love with everyone.

How is AT&T's LTE network for you? I'm getting 45mbit/15mbit out in a rural area of Oklahoma on Verizon. Most folks around here with AT&T are lucky to see 13/5.

HAs anyone noticed that the verizon Nexus learn more page is full of pics of the GSM and not the actual...thicker Verizon LTE version....hmmmmmmmm..TRICKERY :)

If you were going to show pictures of yourself, you would pick to most flattering ones, right? Good eye though!

Nice write up!

Gah! I have to wait til my lunch break to go to my Verizon store. I am skipping eating today to get my hands on this fine device. Hopefully they still have a few left at lunch time!

If you have a Frys in your neighborhood, they're selling it for $219 for a new account or $249 for an upgrade... Save some scratch, yo!

(I think Evil Walmart does as well)

I thought there was a deal where you can upgrade from your 3G phone to a 4G phone and it would only be $199?

Is that snow flake wall paper a live wallpaper? Anyone know where I can get it? I looked through a bunch of pages in the wallpaper link above and didn't see it.

And the most important thing to do once you have the GNex... GLOAT, MAKE FUN OF EVERYONE ELSE. At least that is what the guy I work with did... B*#tard.. When he least expects it, I will do bad things to his precious

Nice article, guys. Unlocking the bootloader is the very first thing on my list. Root, maybe later.

I can't get out of work until after a meeting at 10am, so hope I can get one then!

If you want free tethering or apps like Adfree you will have to unlock it and root it. Otherwise no. Basically it is so you can run apps that require root in the future.

You forgot to mention "Brag to your friends".

What's the best price we're going to find it for off contract?

And every app you download from the Market, make sure you say something along the lines of "Works great on my Galaxy Nexus" or "Damn, was really hoping this would work on my new Galaxy Nexus". That way you can take the brag to a national scale.

I will walk up to my sister who just bought a i homo. And I will ask siri what is better you or nexus. It will say in a slow smooth femanine wisper nexus for it is god.

Thanks for this post. I haven't gotten my Nexus (damned job...), but I'm new to Android and this is some helpful info.

I couldn't. I used my last paid sick day for 2011 last Friday. I blame Verizon too because if they had announced a launch day like everyone else, I would have kept it for today. LOL!

I have not seen anyone confirm the fatter Gnex on Verizon will fit. I am sure someone will take the plunge soon enough and let the world know.

Why can't the one Verizon sells be this one? I use my phone in the car to stream radio every morning and having a powered dock with a connection to audio would be nice and could be setup in a less cluttered way.

I feel you man. Sprint has got to get this phone AND QUICK PLEASE!!! Time is a wasting and I have an upgrade burning a hole in my pants. I am not even asking for a Christmas present from my wife this year because I am hoping the GNex will come out soon on Sprint and I will get a late Christmas present this year. I don't think I can handle waiting for Christmas in April though. That is too long!

COME ON SPRINT!!! Christmas Miracles Do Happen.

Just returned home with my new GN and as usual, AC has the most useful post on the home page. For anyone wondering, the GN is everything I had hoped it would be.

I am a phone whore! My 14 days with my Galaxy Nexus starts now, and I still have my Beloved iPhone 4s.....he he good geeky day!

April 2012 for me with Sprint. Before then hopefully CM9 will be out for my OG Evo4G. I went to the VZW store this morning. Had a Pre before my Evo. Have to say lots of WebOS goodness in ICS. Duarte hit a home run here. So want to get a gsm NG for att that I have a sim for, 7 bills kinda makes me pause though.

Unlocked the bootloader as soon as I got to work today. Was glad AC posted a Mac version of fastboot since I couldn't get drivers working on Windows.

Tonight when I get home I will root and restore my data from Titanium Backup (best $6 I spent on an app) via Dropbox.

Is anyone going to encrypt their Gnex? Is there a performance hit (other than the time it takes to encrypt) for encrypting? I like the security benefit of encrypting but it's only for personal use so if it hurts performance too much then I won't encrypt.

If ICS is so good, why would you want to unlock the phone as soon as you get it? Isnt that kinda of redundant? Also doesnt it void the warranty of the phone you literally just brought home? What if it crapps out that day, you left with a brick? That just doesnt make sense to me, Android never really did.

Why would anyone play hockey? They skate in circles and could get hit in the head with a stick or a puck even. Pointless. Why would anyone fly? Or skydive? Or bike? They could fall.

So your saying this phone could be a puck subsitute? Lmao. But in all seriousness, answering a question with a question? lol

To all my sprint users don't worry about the galaxy nexus, we have the epic 4g touch, it is faster, takes better pictures with a 2mp front camera and a rear 8mp camera , has expandable memory the epic touch 4G sII is way superior to the nexus, if anyone has an evo check out the epic 4g touch, I assure you it will be worth staying with sprint and not jumping on the failed nexus bandwagon

I've had my GNex for two days now. At first I was missing some of my favourite Blackberry features (Bold 9700) but the more I use it the happier I am. This thing seriously rocks. My only complaint thus far is the battery life and the management of running apps confuses me a bit (ie the recent apps list vs running apps in settings). All in all you just can't go wrong with this phone, it's amazing.

Why would you not put a link to Galaxy Nexus accessories?!? That's the next thing I'm going to do now that I am downloading all my apps.

Hey Jerry, when I went to setup my wifi, all my previous settings from my droid x were already there in the GNex. Normal?

Just great, I unlocked and rooted my phone and now it won't install the OTA upgrade. It downloads just fine and then reboots. The upgrade starts and then stops with the red exclamation point. Anyone else see this?

If you are unlocking from Linux, I found that I needed to:

chmod +x fastboot-linux
sudo ./fastboot-linux oem unlock

None of the articles I found on the web mentioned that it needed to run as root.