The dedicated Android community has a way of tracking down OTA update files almost before the rollout begins. This is again the case for the newest Android 4.1.2 update for some variants of the unlocked Nexus S. Waiting for updates is for chumps, so get your Nexus S in hand, and proceed with caution.


To use this update file, your Nexus S has to meet the following conditions:

  • The device must be the Soju variant with model number i9020T or i9023. In case you don't recall, the i9020T has T-Mobile 3G, and the i9023 is one of the overseas versions.
  • The device must be running JRO03E (Android 4.1.1). There are some very similar versions of the Nexus S that have different software revisions right now, but the current OTA file is only going to successfully install over top JRO03E.

If your device qualifies, grab the update file from the link below, rename it update.zip, and drop it on your SD card. Turn off your phone, then boot into the bootloader by holding the volume up and power buttons as the device starts up. From the stock recovery, just choose to install the update file, and you're done. Other versions of the Nexus S might get their updates soon, including the i9020A which is usually a few weeks behind. Sprint's WiMAX Nexus will probably be waiting longer.

[XDA Forums, Update link]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Dustin Higginbotham

    I got the OTA this morning! I usually get impatient and grab the update links from you guys, so this is a first.

  • Johnathan Rodriguez

    The Nexus S was the best Nexus phone. Look at it. It's so sexy.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I personally think the Galaxy Nexus is far sexier. And when you hold the two, there's no contest.

      • Johnathan Rodriguez

        I can agree with you. I'm mostly saying this because I'm biased. The Nexus S was my first Nexus phone and I've never loved another phone more than this one.

  • Iucidium

    Bugger, I'm on JrO03L

    • http://twitter.com/SumanjiWorld Suman Gandham

      Yeah me too. I flashed the JRO03L factory image a few weeks back - looks like they have since pulled this image?! Does this mean we now have to flash the new 4.1.2 factory image??! :(

      • pete

        the update from JRO03L is about to roll out in the next few hours. it was waiting on testing to comply with australia regulations

        • http://twitter.com/SumanjiWorld Suman Gandham

          Sweet, thanks for the heads up Pete :)

  • itline

    i treid to flash this with cwm but i got status 7 error!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      That means you have some modification the update script borked on or not the right build.

      • itline

        what should i do now?

        • Subra

          use nexus toolkit...

  • selonmoi

    I haven't received the update yet. Anyone noticing any differences, beyond the one-finger notification expand/collapse?

    I always hope point releases might bring some performance or battery life improvements. Anything on these fronts?

  • PS

    If you want to get OTA then You have to go to Apps then All Apps and Google Service Framework Clear data and force stop and check for update ..by trying 2 -3 times its usually work but depends only for the above models

  • Александр Моисеенко

    already received update yesterday
    automatically OTA

    Launcher feels little bit smoother

  • thomm

    got OTA yesterday. the root was gone but restored with RootKeeper and SU app. also, the custom recovery was gone.

  • Tee

    And the original SGS wasn't supposed to cope with ICS let alone Jelly Bean. Sammy, Sammy, shame on you...

    And look how smootly the 4.1.2 runs in my SGS Classic!

    • http://twitter.com/derFunkenstein Ben

      Well, it wasn't going to cope with TouchWiz ICS or JB, which is what Samsung insists on doing to their Samsung-branded devices. Same goes for the HTC Desire - no ICS because they didn't make the system partition big enough for ICS + Sense 3.6.

  • ernie

    thanks to AP's report, i flashed the factory image the day it went out.

  • JH

    Or you can just force update

    1) Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Apps’ and select the ‘All’ tab

    2) Scroll down to ‘Google Service Framework’ and first ‘Clear data’

    3) Then, ‘Force Stop’ the application (order is important)

    4) Go back then From ‘Settings’ scroll down to the bottom to ‘About Phone’

    5) Select it and then select ‘System Update’

    6) Update then starts - If it doesn't start then repeat staps 1 to 5. It will eventually update

  • http://twitter.com/SumanjiWorld Suman Gandham

    Surely this makes the Nexus S the longest supported Android device of all time? It's seen three major versions of Android and continues to be supported almost 2 years after release!

    I love my Nexus S!! :D

    • selonmoi

      For sure. Just think of all the long-abandoned phones that preceded and followed the Nexus S. Without doubt, Nexus is the way to go for anyone who cares about software.

      You just have to make sure it's a real Nexus, with software direct from Google, not some manufacturer/carrier-mangled mess, like several Galaxy Nexus models.

      • Subra

        ya Google should release all Nexus models OTA together... I'm daily checking OTA for my i9020A :(

    • Subra

      My Nexus S i9020A not yet got the 4.1.2 OTA :( it's only available for i9020T ! why Google doing delay in OTA for Nexus family i9020A??

  • julesOZ

    I just received OTA 4.1.2 for my nexus s and already installed it. Seems nice. But I noticed that "What's this song?" widget is disappeared. Does anyone also experience this and know how to fix that?

  • Subra

    My Nexus S i9020A not yet got the 4.1.2 OTA :( ... waiting for that, almost 2 weeks over ;( why Google doing delay in OTA for Nexus family i9020A??

  • nel

    i cant install this