The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, or Google’s last major official Android phone as it’s better known, wasn’t officially launched in the Indian market. That disappointed a lot of people, but surprisingly, the product is still a hit and it’s available in some cities as well as some online stores. There’re a number of reasons to own one – for roughly Rs. 23,000, you get a dual-core processor, a 4.65-inch display that renders a resolution of 720×1280, NFC and since it’s an official Google device, you get the latest updates just days and weeks after they’re announced. 

While over-the-air updates for ICS (version 4.0.4) will happen, unfortunately, most of the devices available in the Indian market won’t automatically update to the latest Jelly Bean build (version 4.1.1). So let’s look at a workaround that will let you get the latest Android build over the air (using Wi-Fi, 3G) without having to depend on custom ROMs or custom bootloaders for it to work. This particular workshop is specifically designed for non-CDMA devices sold in India.

Note: Before you get started, remember that you’ll lose all of the data on the phone, so make sure you take a backup. There’s also risk involved, so if you download the wrong ROMs or don’t follow the steps correctly, there’s a chance of spoiling your phone. We’re not responsible for anything that goes wrong. Proceed at your own risk.

Step 1. Check your Galaxy Nexus product ID

Pretty much every Google Nexus device in the market can be flashed to Jelly Bean and even rooted and unlocked. Galaxy Nexus phones are sold across the world in different variations, some with CDMA specific to certain regions. Be sure of what model you have. One easy way to identify the phone is to use a tool called Android System Info. Once installed, click on the System tab and then on BuildInfoOS. You’ll find a Product tag at the bottom, with a name that reads something like yakjujp or yakjuxw. You’ll find a whole list of supported maguro devices on this XDA Developers thread . Our process means flashing  the device to a stock yakju build (Android 4.0.4) and then using the OTA update to get the latest 4.1.1 build.  

Step 2. Install drivers and setup USB debugging

The next step is to get drivers for your device, in case your PC hasn’t automatically detected and installed all the necessary drivers including the ADB drivers. If those don’t work, there are universal drivers available on this XDA Developers page with instructions on how to install them.

Checking if the drivers are installed properly

Checking if the drivers are installed properly

Then, use the phone and enable USB Debugging from the Settings > Developer Options. Once you have this running, you should be able to boot into the bootloader and start unlocking and flashing the device. 

Step 3. Download the Android 4.0.4 ROM

Download official Google Android ROM for your Nexus devices

Download official Google Android ROM for your Nexus devices

We could’ve tried to install the Android 4.1.1 ROM directly, but there are issues with the size of the ROM, so having tried it, an over-the-air update after installing the yakju 4.0.4 build seems to be the best way to go. Head over to Google’s official Nexus Android ROM download page and get the yakju 4.0.4 ROM. 

Step 4. Download the flashing utility

The flashing and updating of the device is done remotely using a Windows program. Head over to the XDA Developers thread and download the Platform-tools suite from there. Extract the files in a folder. Next, use 7-zip to extract the ROM image you downloaded from Google’s official page into this same folder. There will be additional archives within this folder, so extract all of the files into this folder.

List of files extracted into a common folder

List of files extracted into a common folder

You should then have the following Android OS files along with Platform-Tools executables in the same folder.







Once done, proceed to the next step.

Step 5. Boot into the bootloader

The bootloader is where you’ll be able to send remote controls to the phone to flash the ROM. To do this, power off the device. Power it back on by first holding down the up, down volume buttons, then the Power button. The bootloader will appear with a large open Android icon and some status text displayed at the bottom stating FASTBOOT MODE. 

Step 6. Flashing the device to Android 4.0.4 (yakju)

All these commands need to be typed in a DOS prompt. Open the folder in Windows Explorer, then hold down Shift and right click in it. You’ll get the option to Open command window here. 

If you’re using older versions of Windows that don’t support this, you’ll have to manually start a command prompt by pressing down Winkey+ R and then typing cmd. 

If you aren’t aware of DOS commands, type CD <Directory name> to enter a directory or CD .. to go down a directory. Navigate to your folder and proceed. Drive letter followed by : changes partition.

Then, follow these steps in this order. 

fastboot devices

This will check whether the device is connected. You should see a complex alpha numeric product code.

fastboot oem unlock

fastboot reboot-bootloader

fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-maguro-primela03.img (filename may differ based on ROM)

fastboot reboot-bootloader

fastboot flash radio radio-maguro-i9250xxla02.img (filename may differ based on ROM)

fastboot reboot-bootloader

fastboot flash system system.img

fastboot flash userdata userdata.img

fastboot flash boot boot.img

fastboot flash recovery recovery.img

fastboot erase cache

fastboot reboot

In short, by following the steps above, you’ve unlocked the device, then flashed the various components of the Android 4.0.4 (yakju) ROM into it. You're also rebooting the bootloader as required.

Step 7. Booting into Android 4.0.4 and enabling Wi-Fi

The phone should be rebooting by now and it will enter Android 4.0.4. Ignore the personal information steps and head straight over to the Settings to enable your Wi-Fi network. You can also use 3G but remember, that this update is well over 100MB, so you will be charged by your mobile provider depending on the mobile plan you’re on.

Step 8. Updating to Jelly Bean, over-the-air

Before you look for the update, charge the phone beyond 80 percent. Then shut down a particular Google service on the phone. Go to Settings > Apps > All > Google Services Framework. Click on Force Stop and then on Clear Data. 

Once that’s done, head over to Settings > About Phone. With Wi-Fi (or 3G) enabled, click on System Updates > Check Now. You’ll notice that the phone will find the update and start downloading it. Once downloaded, it’ll prompt you to reboot and install. 

And, that’s it. The phone will take a little longer, but it will eventually reboot into Jelly Bean. So enjoy!

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