How to Install Android 2.3 Gingerbread on Google Nexus One: Complete Guide

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How to Install Android 2.3 Gingerbread on Google Nexus One

The Google Nexus One was the first “Pure Android” smartphone which ran Android in its purest form, as Google intended it. No annoying customizations by manufacturers or carriers. It had excellent hardware specifications and a superb design. It was the best bet for an Android phone, especially because it was expected to get any updates to the Android OS first, directly from Google. However, it wasn’t a great hit in terms of sales, as it was a bit expensive, not being subsidized by the carriers.

When the Google Nexus S was released, it came with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the latest version of the Android OS. Google also released the Android 2.3 Gingerbread source code officially, and it was expected that manufacturers would start rolling out Android 2.3 upgrades soon. However, none of them have done it until now. Thankfully, we have an awesome community of Android developers and hackers who have put together a build of Android 2.3 Gingerbread for the Google Nexus One as well as many other phones like the Motorola Droid X, HTC Droid Incredible and the Samsung Galaxy S.

In this tutorial, I will explain how you can install Android 2.3 Gingerbread on your Google Nexus One.

How to Install Android 2.3 Gingerbread on Google Nexus One

1. Download the Android 2.3 Gingerbread ROM for the Nexus One build from the website of Chris Soyars, an Android developer. It has been built from the latest Cyanogen Mod source and works quite well.

It doesn’t include any proprietary Google apps though and works only if you have hboot version 35.0017 (if you have the latest OTA update installed, you are good to go). It also doesn’t support the camcorder. But it is well worth trying.

2. If you are using a stock Nexus One which doesn’t have a custom recovery already, you will need to get a custom recovery image to flash the Android 2.3 Gingerbread ROM.

You will need to download Amon Ra’s recovery image for your Google Nexus One.

3. You also need the Android 2.3 SDK to proceed further. Download the official Android 2.3 Gingerbread SDK from Android Developers.

Install it on your PC and then copy the recovery image to the /tools folder in your Android SDK folder.

4. Switch off your Google Nexus One, and press the Power button and the trackball to restart it into the bootloader mode. Connect your Nexus One to your PC and type the following command.

fastboot flash recovery recovery-RA-nexus-v2.1.0.img

Or whatever the name of the recovery image is.

5. Next, enter into the recovery by choosing Bootloader and then the Recovery option.

Select Wipe Data and Cache.

6. Now just flash the Android 2.3 Gingerbread image that you downloaded in step 1. In a few minutes, Android 2.3 Gingerbread should be installed on your phone. Just reboot the phone and you should be running Android 2.3 on your Google Nexus One.