Galaxy Nexus
The Galaxy Nexus can be upgraded to Android 4.4 KiKat using custom ROMs. Here is how to do it. Reuters

Thanks to the Android development community, users of the Galaxy Nexus will now be able to upgrade their devices to the new Android 4.4 KitKat as a set of custom ROMs based on the official Android 4.4 build have been released for the public.

After the announcement of its new Nexus 5 last week, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) revealed that the Android 4.4 KitKat would be rolled out for existing Nexus devices in the next few weeks, except for the Galaxy Nexus, which would not receive an official firmware update.

However, that has not stopped new Android 4.4 custom ROMs built from Android Open Source Project, or AOSP, to power the Galaxy Nexus. An Android developer, who goes by the pseudonym of “baldwinguy77” and known for his OTA-like ROMs for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, released a new Android 4.4 custom ROM for the device once again.

Within the custom ROM -- “Shiny” Android 4.4 KRT16M ROM -- the developer has made very few changes with the Android source code published by Google, the reason why he calls the custom built an "OTA-like" update. The developer also has included the standard set of Verizon apps and Google apps that can be found on an official update.

Although baldwinguy77 claims that the custom firmware includes “no bugs,” users should keep in mind that Android 4.4 custom ROMs are fairly new and there are likely to be some hiccups along the way.

You can download the Android 4.4 KitKat custom ROM by baldwinguy77 here. For installation tutorial and other instructions, click here.

In addition, there are two more custom ROMs built from the Android 4.4 source that have been released. According to SamMobile, both the ROMs seem to be working fine, except for a few issues such as some animation and graphical glitches.

For more information, click on the following links to XDA Developers forum:

- [ROM] [4.4] [KRT16M] A taste of KitKat [Alpha]

- [ROM] [4.4] SlimKat (Maguro) [Alpha Builds]

With Android 4.4 KitKat, Google has incorporated many user interface and app updates. The company has also slimmed the new OS down by removing unnecessary background services and reducing the memory consumption of features that are regularly used, allowing KitKat to be run on devices with as little as 512MB of RAM.