Now that the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean OTA update is finally dropping on unlocked GSM Galaxy Nexus devices, many users are eager to get their hands on the next version of Android. However, the update isn’t rolling out all at once, and is instead going to be pushed to the numerous Galaxy Nexus devices during the following week. Fortunately, if you have a stock device with an unlocked bootloader (which is as easy as running the adb command “fastboot oem unlock” on the Galaxy Nexus) and are even just a little bit anxious to get your hands on Jelly Bean, then there is a very simple way to update your device to the newest official images directly from Google.
Instead of getting the traditional OTA, you will actually have to manually download the OTA file directly to your device. Don’t worry, though, as this is the exact same official OTA image direct from Google, the only thing you do by downloading it yourself is expedite the update process. Things get a bit complicated when picking the right image to download, but that is really the only difficult part. If you have a GSM Galaxy Nexus from Google Play or Google I/O (known as the takju version), then you need to download this file if already on the Android 4.1 developer build, or this file if still on Android 4.0.4. If instead you have the international GSM version, then you should still be on 4.0.4 and use this version of the update.
All of these files are .zip images which can be flashed through the recovery of your choice. Since they are OTA update packages, your data won’t be deleted and you don’t have to do a factory reset. Once you install the update, you should be greeted with an application upgrading screen on first boot, and then be good to go with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. I’ve been running Jelly Bean since the developer preview, and can say that the improvements are quite good, if not drastic. I upgraded to this slightly newer OTA (Android 4.1.1) just today, and so far everything has been going well. Still, if you aren’t clear about any of these instructions I would suggest waiting for the official update just to be safe, but otherwise, have fun with your newly updated Galaxy Nexus with Jelly Bean.