What Mods Have You Applied to Your Verizon Galaxy Nexus


So with the device being out in the United States for just over 24 hours now, we’re wondering what you new and even existing Galaxy Nexus owners have been doing to your phones? Personally, I’ve already unlocked the bootloader, applied Paul’s superboot script for one-click root, installed a custom recovery and even installed a custom ROM (though I did roll back to my stock rooted build after a few hours).

More than ROMs, there are a few little things you can apply to your device to make your experience that much better. We’ve got the search  button embedded into the navigation bar, constant  menu buttons in the navigation bar, a mod that lets you get rid of the constant Google Search bar on the homescreen, custom kernels and a whole lot more. Let’s hear what you’ve done in the comments section below!

[polldaddy poll=5766793]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Just a thought. Do any of you rooters worry about your warranty? I waited till after my first year to root my Nexus One. Just wondering your thinking…

    1. It’s so easy to unroot if you need to.   Also I assume most people with a phone of this caliber have Asurion or Squaretrade insurance which doesn’t care at all about rooting.   I have returned many a phone to Asurion loaded with LIberty/CyanogenMod etc.

      1. wait. what? what us asurion? can I get the LTE nexus through it?

        1. Its Verizon’s preferred phone insurance company

          1. But Verizon is completely anti root….

          2. but their independently contracted phone insurance company does not, so we win. 

          3. so how do you go about this insurance then?

          4. Verizon is completely Anti-Root??  They sold the Xoom and now the Galaxy Nexus both Google Flagship devices with no root protection on them at all. Admittedly they would prefer if you didn’t root and install custom software but they are not going to give you a hassle if you do.

          5. I don’t know what you mean by that. They don’t care if you root, they just want to reduce customer service calls from people bricking so they make it hard to root. That’s what any reasonable carrier would do despite how much the dev community hates it. If they were actually against people using root responsibly they wouldn’t have been the first carrier to ship a Vanilla 2.0 device (Droid) a Vanilla 3.0 device (XOOM) and a Vanilla 4.0 device (Galaxy Nexus). As much as we all shit on Verizon they have been the one to bring us every major Android update.

      2. Doesn’t Assurion have like a $450 limit on smartphone replacement? So you’d still have to drop a couple hundred bucks for a new one.  At least that’s what I thought I read a couple weeks ago when I got my Dinc2…

        1. I *think* (don’t quote me on this one) that the $450 is for dumb phones/multimedia phones.  I believe for smart phones it’s a $1500 limit.

        2. No for “advanced devices” the limit is $1500 per claim with 2 claims per year max. You pay $6.99 per month and the deductible is $99. When I got my OG Droid it was $4.99 a month and $50 deductible but sadly when I upgraded phones they made me switch to the new insurance plan. Stinks.

    2. don’t worry about it.

    3. sigh… yes we are thinking. I wish people would quit asking.

    4. Want your warranty back? Unroot.

    5. as long as you can get flash back to stock…i wouldn’t worry about it.

      i rooted my D1 and D2 MANY times over. even 1 of my mods caused significant damage to the OS. i returned to the store and just said “uh, i dunno what’s wrong” and the techs there didn’t know the difference and i got a refurb  replacement on at least 5 diff occasions. it probably also helps to have phone insurance. :)

      1. I was under the impression Samsung is now using internal binary flash counters to detect rooting/flashing. Once you root or flash a custom ROM the internal counter changes and your warranty is void. Flashing back to stock does not reset the counter.

        Maybe someone can clarify.

        1. you’re probably right, but remember….your job is to convince the SALES person that you need a new phone. put him/her in a rush and act all panicky. :)

        2. There is nothing in the warranty that says anything about rooting or custom software voiding the warranty.  

          see here http://www.samsung.com/us/support/service/warranty/SCH-I515MSAVZW

          Franky Verizon has always been very good regarding hardware issues and usually is very quick to offer a replacement. Heck usually they will just ship you another one without even bothering to come into the store.

    6. The community is your warranty. Better than samsung/verizon anyway!

    7. I understand all of you saying how easy it is to unroot – I’ve gone back and forth between CM and stock several times. But I know as far as the nexus one is concerned and I believe most other phones, you can return to stock but you can’t re-lock the bootloader. Whenever they turn on your phone they’re gonna see that little unlocked icon…whether you are rooted or stock. Agree with you though +Jayrock , the android community is awesome for trouble shooting.

      1. http://www.droid-life.com/2011/12/16/how-to-unroot-the-galaxy-nexus-re-lock-the-bootloader-and-return-to-a-factory-state/

        (step by step to unroot, re-lock bootloader & return to factory state the G-NEX in just 10 ADB commands)
        :) problem solved

      2. Think of it as a good excuse to buy a new phone. You know something else awesome will be out by the time we obliterate our phones.

        1. Yeah, because we all have a spare $600+ laying around to drop on a phone whenever we want.

  2. Question for you Gnex users:

    If you use application specific passwords on your google account, do you need to set up a password to login to the phone too? Or just use the regular gmail password :S 

    1. think you can do reg gmail passworl then it’ll ask you for a generated code by google authenticator or one of the pre set passwords

      1. Actually, you will need to create a new application specific password for your new phone, as you cannot recover previously-used application-specific codes (unless you wrote it down at the time)

  3. The first thing I did was replace my back cover that came with the phone with the HSPA+ version. I couldn’t stand the verizon branding on the Nexus. Got my cover off ebay for $10 a week ago. Other than that I have rooted and unlock the bootloader, but have not installed custom roms. Loving this stock one for now.

    1. Any reports I have read say that the GSM battery cover does not work on the LTE. Any proof yours did?

      1. The one I purchase doesn’t fit all the way I manage to get down the top and left side. The right and bottom is still a little out. The bottom contacts might need some cutting. The one I have is not OEM. Didn’t see the i9250 label near the bottom side.  I think this one made as a generic version to replace the LTE version. I might played with the extra Verizon cover I got with extended battery. I might use some WD-40 or nail polish removal on the Verizon logo and see if it works.

  4. i see no reason to root this phone. It doesnt need a performance boost like my OG Droid did so what’s the point? If anything the custom roms and kernels out now will crash and slow the phone. Prove me wrong. Only downside so far is very poor battery life when using it non-stop 2 hours i lose over 50%.

    1. No major reason with a nexus, but TiB to backup/restore your app settings. If you want to ROM once good roms like CM9 come out. Edit system files. Maybe if you want to theme. Install Google Wallet

    2. Getting rid of ads in apps and webpages is my number one reason to root

      1. How do you get rid of ads while in root? (sorry I’m a nube at rooting)

        1. adfree on the market once rooted

        2. some ROMs enable ‘ad block’  in the phone settings—-or you can download an app called, ‘adfree’, or similar and enjoy disabling ads in apps.

        3. Use “AdAway” instead of AdFree. AdAway blocks the same ad servers that AdFree does, and is open source.

          Also, AdFree’s developer had often refused to supply a Changelog with updates, which is unacceptable for an app with root privileges.

          1. Thanks so much for this!

    3. I said the same with my Nexus S until Google released an update that literally cut my battery time in half. Rooted and got better battery than before Google’s update. Then I was sorry because I had to wipe my phone and backing up everything without TiB was a pain.

    4. It may not *need* a performance boost, but if you can give it a performance boost, then why not?  Overclocking the CPU alone, is reason enough for me to root.  Underclocking while idle, will improve battery life, as well.

    5. Is anyone using the 2100 mah extended battery? I’m wondering how much performance it adds? 1 hour? 1850 > 2100 isn’t a very large increase, though I saw a phone with it at the VZW store and it barely enlarges the phone.

      I’m also really really curious if the new battery door for the 2100 mah will still allow you to swap in the old 1850 battery or if you need to carry around a spare battery and spare battery door if you want to have the extra one handy. This is pretty important.

      I’ll be able to answer this myself in a couple of days when the extended battery I ordered arrives.

      1. I got the extended battery today. Still charging it up. It really doesn’t add much thickness at all. In fact it still fits in the same rubber case they sell at the store. I’m thinking the smaller battery will fit in the same door for the oversized battery.I may fold up a post it note or something and stick in there if I have to though. It’s gotta be easier than carrying another battery door.

        1. Awesome. I’m with you on that.

      2. I can confirm that with the 2100 battery door on you can swap the stock battery in with no problems. I ran both batteries with the extended battery back yesterday. I like the fact that it boots up so fast. Makes switching batteries easy. My DX would take over a minute and then would be laggy as hell for a couple of minutes. Don’t miss that at all.

        1. You the man. Thanks for the confirmation.

    6. “Because I can” is more than enough reason for me to root, but I also use a lot of great apps that require root access. Without root I feel a bit like if I didn’t have admin on my comp. It’s just not the same.
      BTW: Root in itself does not have anything to do with custom ROM’s and kernels, even if they go hand in hand in many circumstances. It just gives you “admin” access.

      1. +1

    7. So you can wifi tether. Right now, the phone checks with Verizon for your tether service subscription. 

    8. I think at a minimum it should be unlocked right away because unlocking will do a complete wipe. Right now you don’t know what you will need in the future, maybe no need to root ever but then again maybe you will need to root at some point. And if that some point does happen at least the bootloader is already unlocked and you don’t need to do a complete wipe. Better to wipe early when you don’t have much stuff on it.

      1. Excellent point.

    9. tethering

    10. TiBackUp and WifiTether right off the top of my head but theres plenty more root only apps.

      1. Nexus has tether built in

    11. Don’t all modern smartphone batteries have a burn-in time frame of a few days + before they reach their full potential?

      I agree overall though, I rooted the crap out of my Evo but with this device I see no reason to at all.

  5. I first unlocked it, so I wouldn’t have to wipe.
    Then I decided to root it, because everyone loves root.
    Then I installed Clockwork Recovery. I haven’t gotten to use ROM manager since my OGDroid.

  6. I installed GO Launcher and customized to my liking.  Love it!

    1. Same. But I do kind of miss the ICS feel of the stock interface. GO launcher has a distinct 2.x feel, IMO.

  7. I also added TouchPal Dialer….much better than the stock dialer.

  8. I’ve unlocked and rooted…love how easy it is on nexus devices. Going to get google wallet put on here pretty soon. Didn’t realize there was a way to get the google search bar to disappear. I may look into that as well.

  9. Loaded Google Wallet…I think I will probably wait for CM9 beta before I put a different ROM on it.

    1. I tried several times but couldn’t get it to work using the method on XDA messing with XML file. What did you use?

      Edit: Nevermind. I ended up getting it. Just have to try it out tomorrow.

      1. I was living a little dangerously as this appears to be for HSPA+ version, and to be honest I haven’t been able to physically test it (though the app runs fine and I got the free $10 gift card)…I did have to reboot again after the first reboot and fix permissions in CWR as I was getting tons of force closes..but I followed this process:


  10. From Engadget…”Interestingly, the differences are enough to make the near-identical
    looking backplates non-interchangeable. So, if you were hoping to pick
    up an HSPA+ cover to get rid of the Verizon branding, you’re out of
    You should contact them with a picture so they can update their GNEX review with correct info.

  11. i tried the ui changes ei. the search button and menu and soft bricked my phone thank god i a back up i running 4.0.2… i also have a problem with recovery i have to flash it everytime before i go to it

    1. hi, is there a way you can send me your stock 4.0.2 backup? i completely forgot to backup my stock os before flashing a custom rom.

      1. Yeah email me at [email protected] hopefully i can.email it to you

  12. I haven’t done a damn thing since it does everything and more than I every could want from it.

    Rooting kills important services like google movies.  Not worth it for me.

    1. Rooting doesn’t kill anything. However, flashing a custom ROM might disable some services, but can easily be retrieved with some basic knowledge of .apk/.jar files.

      1. IIRC rooting does kill Google Movies. Some apps won’t allow themselves to run on rooted phones. Then again, some apps only work on rooted phones. It’s a trade-off.

        1. People use Google Movies? lol

          1. I use just about everything Google…except for Movies. Ha!

          2. A lot

    2. Actually it kills nothing, movies still work. Not sure I’d call movies “important” though. If don’t root your phone we wouldn’t be friends in real life, even my 56 year old mom rooted her phone, by herself following a 14 step xda guide. Go mom!

      1. Ask her if she’ll adopt me plz.  

  13. Ugh I hate you all! I want one so bad! I desparately want to dump this P.O.S. Sensation.

    1. Look at it this way. When its your turn to upgrade whatever is available then I’m 99.99% sure is much better than anything out now. Envy gets shared by everyone every few months.

  14. None. I don’t NEED to. That’s kinda the point. ICS FTW!

    1. kinda not the point of a dev phone :P

      1. good thing its not a dev phone then? it makes a good dev phone yes, but its purpose is to show what stock android can do IMO

      2. Yeah, this can work as a dev phone, but it sure as hell is meant for the masses. My point was more that ICS doesn’t need to be fixed, like all previous versions of the OS.

  15. Does the Samsung Galaxy Nexus use the internal binary flash counter? Meaning once you root/flash your Nexus your internal counter changes and your warranty is void. Even if you flash back to stock the counter does not reset.

    Galaxy SII uses this to detect warranty voids, does Nexus also?

    1. No.  Your warranty is NOT void on your phone if you install a custom ROM (at least with Verizon, I have no idea about other carriers). That a common misconception.  They used to say that about the original Droid (didn’t void your warranty), then the Xoom (didn’t void your warranty).  Verizon may not offer you software support on custom roms obviously but if you have a hardware issue they will still cover it.  Especially on this phone which is almost a given that people are going to install custom software. 

      It’s not like they really even spend any time checking out your phone when you complain it has a hardware issue.  Generally it’s a 20 second conversation that goes something like “ok where do you want us to ship your replacement”.

  16. Is wireless together out yet? If so does it require root? That’s the only reason I’d root right now.

    1. You mean wireless tether?

      You don’t need to root to use wireless tether through Verizon Wireless on the up-and-up, but you will have to pay them to do it ($20 monthly, IIRC). You will need to root, however, if you want to use a wireless tethering app without paying a monthly fee.

      1. I’m unlocked and rooted and it still doesn’t work. Comes up with a few errors.

  17. I’ve rooted my previous phones, but they were both Motorola phones so I’ve never unlocked the bootloader.

    Does doing that void the warranty? Or is there an exception because this is a Nexus device?

    1. It still voids the warranty, but if you relock it before having it serviced, no one will ever know.

  18. Wait-Verizon sold it with  a locked bootloader? Fuck…

    1. All versions of the Nexus come with unlockable (though by default locked) bootloaders. It’s easily unlockable through adb. Just connect device, run “adb reboot bootloader”, then run “fastboot oem unlock” and then complete the on screen instructions. Reboot and you’re good. See Droid-Life for full instructions.

      1. Just be sure to backup your phone before unlocking, as it will wipe your device.

  19. The speaker booster mod using Volume+. It’s an absolute must. The speakers out the box were so weak and that was my only gripe with the phone. Now, it’s perfect :)

  20. Phanboys are finally happy!

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