Updated GPU drivers breathe new life into the Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Samsung's Galaxy Nexus is almost 3 years old now. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus is almost 3 years old now. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

New GPU drivers released for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus breathe new life into the aging smartphone by paving the way for an unofficial Android L ROM later this year. In the meantime, they bring improved performance for existing KitKat ROMs, making the upgrade even more compelling.

The Galaxy Nexus would almost certainly be dead by now if it was left up to Google and Samsung. Now three years old, it had its nosed pushed out when Google began issuing its official KitKat updates, and it has been up to the development community to keep things fresh.

We’ve seen a number of third-party KitKat firmwares for the device, and some of them are considered good enough for every day use. You can expect them to be even more reliable — and even more functional — with updated GPU drivers from XDA Developers member “MWisBest.”

Built specifically for the Galaxy Nexus’s low-power Ducati cores, the new drivers fix hardware video encoding and decoding, and allow images at 4.5-megapixels in size to be taken with the stock camera app. Third-party camera apps, such as Camera ZOOM FX, are now able to snap images of all sizes.

The drivers not only improve life with KitKat, but they also make a third-party Android L build a possibility, too.

Of course, with KitKat not really meant for the Galaxy Nexus, these ROMs aren’t perfect. The “ForkMyLife” release, which comes with the new GPU drivers, is still considered an alpha build, so bugs and other instabilities are to be expected.

If that doesn’t put you off, you can download the ForkMyLife ROM for the GSM and Verizon Galaxy Nexus variants now.