Posts Tagged ‘nexus s’
I recently upgraded my Nexus S from ICS (Android 4.0) to Jellybean (Android 4.1). This worked smoothly until I was trying to install a game and the device rebooted suddenly. And kept doing so in an infinite loop that I couldn’t break out of. I thought I’d bricked it somehow but I found out how to reset the device back to factory settings. This will “wipe” the phone but still allow you to keep Jellybean on the system.
Yank the battery out and reinsert. Before hitting the power switch, hold down the volume UP button and then press power. When the system menu comes up, use the volume up/down buttons to navigate to “recovery” and then press the power button to select.
You’ll be greeted with a graphic of the Android mascot lying on it’s back with a red exclamation mark above it. Press both the volume button and the power button until the second system menu appears. From here, choose “wipe user data” using the volume control to navigate up and down and the power button to select. Choose “yes” and wait whilst the system restores itself.
Your Nexus S should now be restored back to it’s original state (with whichever version of Android you had installed). It’s also worth noting that this procedure does not affect any data held on the SD card.
So you can’t wait for the over the air (OTA) update to Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” on your Nexus S? Well, you can do it manually. Before you do though, keep in mind that as of today the reason you might not have gotten the OTA update for the Nexus S is because many people are reporting a bug that leads to increased battery drain. I’m still getting about a day’s usage out of my Nexus S, but only just barely with light usage. You may want to wait.
The only pre-requisite for this update is that your Nexus S must be the model with the AMOLED screen, not the SLCD screen. This means it must be model number GT-I9020 instead of GT-I9023. The AMOLED screen model is more common anyway, but it’s good to check. To find out which model of Nexus S you have, power it off and pull the battery and read the model number from the barcode label on the back of the phone under the battery. If you have the AMOLED model version, you’re good to go.
Anyway, if you do want to go ahead with the manual update, you’ll need the Android 4.0.3 ICS update build from here. Download the file and use your USB cable to copy the file (called ‘VQ8PQk_V.zip’) to the root of your SD card directory – so that’s directly under “/sdcard”. If you put it in a sub-directory, Android won’t be able to find it.
Next, power down your phone whilst holding down the volume up button and power it on again without taking your finger off the volume up button. When the boto menu comes up, use the volume up/down controls to navigate up and down. Select the Recovery option and press the power button to select it. When the exclamation icon comes up, press the power button followed by volume up. Select the “VQ8PQk_V.zip” file from the file system again using the volume up/down buttons and press the power button to select it.
The update will now install automatically. When it is done, select “Reboot” and you will now be at version 4.0.3 of Android 4.0. That’s it. However, on the Nexus S, there appears to be more of a drain on the battery that you would like. My battery usage shows the Android OS using between 28% and 35% of the available power. This may be because something is preventing the OS from sleeping properly or the load on the CPU is too high. Which is a shame, because the new ICS interface is much more responsive and smoother than it was under Android 2.3.6. There is also a tighter integration with Google+ now and a saner way of organising your apps on the home screen.
I’ll keep you updated with any patches to 4.0.3 on the Nexus S when they become available.
Update: In case anybody wants to know, installing the ICS update manually does not mean you cannot receive any future updates OTA from Google. Any future updates to ICS 4.0.3 will be pushed to your device as normal. If and when Google patch the battery drain problem (4.0.4 perhaps) you can either get it OTA if it’s being rolled out normally or use the above procedure on any future patched images and install manually.
Android has had a very successful 2010, despite heavy fragmentation that has brought to the fore the different ideologies of both Google and Apple. On the one hand you have the walled-garden approach of Apple which controls everything from the hardware up to what mobile apps are deemed acceptable and on the other you have the corporate champion of “open source”, Google. While this is obviously a biased blog towards a free and open Internet future, it’s hard not to have a certain sympathy for Apple’s approach when looking at the chaos of the Android platform. However, while you get a stress-free Apple experience on iOS, you also lose some of the charm and innovation that Android’s Linux kernel roots bring to the table. With this in mind, I bought myself the “official” Google smartphone for this generation – the Google Nexus S.
Unlike the HTC-built Nexus 1 – the first generation “Google phone” – The Nexus S is manufactured by Samsung and is based on the successful Galaxy S. Hardware-wise the only difference between the Galaxy S and the Nexus S is the notable absence of an SD-card slot on the Nexus, although the 16GB of storage should mean this isn’t much of a problem. Both models run the 1Ghz Hummingbird processor which makes the Nexus far faster than the N1.
Software-wise however, the Nexus S boasts the distinction of being the first smartphone to run Android 2.3 Gingerbread and will doubtless be the only Android device to run it in it’s pure “Google form” without the added bloat of carrier-added overlays.
The Nexus S is a fine smartphone in it’s own right but (more importantly) is the current-generation Google Android reference device. I’ll be adding tutorials, articles and code on Android when I’ve played with the thing a little longer – in the meantime, check out the videogames for Android developed by Hexage, pretty much everything they’ve coded for Android is pure gold :-)