Google releases manual update for Android Gingerbread 2.3.3 (Update)

With Google releasing Android 2.3.3 for its Nexus S and Nexus One smartphones a couple of days ago, Android fans the world-over have been sat (im)patiently waiting for the update to be pushed to their phones. Reports from Google suggested users could be waiting as long as a matter of weeks for the over-the-air update to land on everyone's handsets, but now the search giant has decided to allow eager punters to download the update and apply it manually.

Not already lucky enough to be blessed with Android 2.3.3? Here's how you get hold of the latest version of everyone's favourite mobile OS without waiting.

NOTE: We're hearing reports of the Nexus S update not working - it seems Google may have given us the incorrect update file. Hopefully the issue will be corrected ASAP!

  1. Download the relevant update for your device: Nexus S and Nexus One.
  2. Rename the downloaded Zip file to 'update.zip' - Nexus One owners MUST do this, while interestingly the Nexus S can flash from any file name.
  3. Copy the renamed file to your phone's storage.
  4. Turn your phone off. Now turn it back on while holding the volume DOWN (Nexus One) or volume UP (Nexus S) button.
  5. Press the volume DOWN button to highlight 'recovery' and press the power button to select it.
  6. Next you should see a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark - press the volume UP and power buttons simultaneously.
  7. This last step depends on your phone - Nexus One users: use the trackball to select 'apply sdcard:update.zip”. Nexus S - Choose 'apply update from /sdcard and choose the update file.

After the above steps and a restart you should now be running Android 2.3.3. Welcome to Gingerbread, Nexus One owners!

Update: As pointed out in the comments, it appears Google hasn't so much released the update files as someone's managed to get hold of them. Either way the end result is the same, but it's still worth remembering that this isn't strictly 100% official!

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43 Comments

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I had an issue here at home that seems to be resolved from this update. It use to take forever to connect each time I tried to use WIFI. With this update it is takes only 2 to 3 seconds

Whether or not 2.3.3 actually fixes any of the N1's wifi problems (does not automatically reconnect to wifi; requiring wifi fix tools), i will give it that credit since after updating, my wifi connections do not drop and it reconnects to remembered wifi locations without issues.

Hallelujah!

sullysnet said,
updating now!!!!

loaded fine Nexus One and seems to be snappy. I removed Go Launcher EX for now. It seemed to be confused on a few icons. At some point I will probably reload it. Thanks for the great post!!!

Oh, and iPhone users, your update will be along in a year or so

Is it a typo ? you mean Samsung, HTC. LG, Dell.. users :-)

iOS 4.3 is already Gold.

Please remember, people, that this is for the Nexus S & One only so far, don't try flashing this on your HTC Desire etc. - there's some interesting work happening already on the xda forums - Oxygen is now working with this, 46mb rom instead of HTC Sense's 250+mb...

Great work Google, GB really is pretty awesome. Oh, and iPhone users, your update will be along in a year or so

The article neclected to mention the most important factore of Android 2.3.3 : Google has REMOVED Facebook contact sync.

Google : "We believe it is very important that users are able to control their data. So in the over-the-air update for Nexus S, we have a small change to how Facebook contacts appear on the device," according to a statement provided by a Google spokesperson. "For Nexus S users who downloaded the Facebook app from Android Market, Facebook contacts will no longer appear to be integrated with the Android Contacts app."

"Since Facebook contacts cannot be exported from the device, the appearance of integration created a false sense of data portability," the spokesperson statement continues. "Facebook contact data will continue to appear within the Facebook app."

"Like all developers on Android, Facebook is free to use the Android contacts API to truly integrate contacts on the device, which would allow users to have more control over their data," according to the spokesperson statement. "We are removing the special-case handling of Facebook contacts on Nexus S and FUTURE LEAD DEVICES."

alexalex said,
The article neclected to mention the most important factore of Android 2.3.3 : Google has REMOVED Facebook contact sync.

+1. This is beneficial for me though. The Facebook contacts have messed up for me several times.

SuperHans said,

+1. This is beneficial for me though. The Facebook contacts have messed up for me several times.

I wish they would just allow you to link your FB contacts to phone numbers manually. Even though I don't want 300 + friends in my contact list, I still would like to link my closest friends and family's contacts to their FB pages. I am missing that feature on Cyanogen 7 RC1

ObiWanToby said,

I do not think so. You'd just think someone would have modified the rom for the Nexus S to be compatible with the Galaxy S by now.

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Nexus-S-Teardown/4365/1

The teardown is remarkably similar to the Galaxy S. Both use the ARM Cortex A8 1GHz CPU...

Storage is quite different though, and the Nexus S has NFC.

I thought the Nexus S ran vanilla Android while the Galaxy S has Samsung custom UI. That is the hold up. Samsung has to bless the update for their branded phones.

Xerxes said,
Yeah I heard that too, to be honest I wasn't expecting the HTC Desire (I have one too) to get 2.3 but that little slip from HTC gave me a glimmer of hope...hope it turns out to be true

Far too late really, they better include the new sense stuff.

jeff_pony said,
Still on 2.2, I doubt I will even see 2.3 until the end of this year (HTC Desire)

Cyanogenmod 7 RC1 is available to bring your Desire up to 2.3.2. I have been using it on my Desire for over a week now and it is rock solid.

johnnyftw said,
Even though I already have Gingerbread (VillianROM) on my HTC G2, I hope they release it for the G2 soon.

Never going to happen. HTC said the Hero is dead as of 2.1.

morebaker said,
Crap i am still on froyo 2.2 never mind ginger bread.
Get it together samsung.

Yea 2.2 just came out today for my phone...

Anyways I got it back to where I want it for now. It has 2.2 goodness on top though including Mobile AP and USB Tethering. Stuff that I wanted on 2.1 but could never get working...

morebaker said,
Crap i am still on froyo 2.2 never mind ginger bread.
Get it together samsung.

And how exactly you are suffering? gingerbread is a minor update.

Beastage said,

And how exactly you are suffering? gingerbread is a minor update.

Minor??? The changes to the keyboard alone are worth it!

morebaker said,
Crap i am still on froyo 2.2 never mind ginger bread.
Get it together samsung.

Just imagine how cool it would be for your phone OS version to be updated by only Google, so you didn't have to wait for Samsung to build 2.3 for your device? This would be like SP1 for Win7, HP and Dell doesn't have to build it for your computer and then deliver it to you.

(And this is why WP7 is gathering a lot of support behind the scenes in the industry, as only Microsoft is responsible for WP7 updates and neither Samsung or ATT have to do anyting but maybe test their apps before signing off on the update.)

thenetavenger said,

Just imagine how cool it would be for your phone OS version to be updated by only Google, so you didn't have to wait for Samsung to build 2.3 for your device? This would be like SP1 for Win7, HP and Dell doesn't have to build it for your computer and then deliver it to you.

(And this is why WP7 is gathering a lot of support behind the scenes in the industry, as only Microsoft is responsible for WP7 updates and neither Samsung or ATT have to do anyting but maybe test their apps before signing off on the update.)

This is the reason I really like the iOS and WP7 devices as the updates will get pushed out a lot quicker. It's kind of funny though on the Blackberry side as generally none of them have any extensive customization if any at all by the carrier, yet the carrier still is the major pain in new OS's, as RIM doesn't release them themselves. I just wish there was a CDMA Nexus branded phone, at least then some CDMA users could enjoy official updates faster for Androids instead of loading ROM's up on their handsets.

Quick note to the update, this is 100% official. The zip file you download is the exact one that all OTA upgrades will use. The only difference is it's not OTA but rather manually applied. The end result is the same.