As I mentioned yesterday, Google is rolling out an over-the-air Android 2.3.3 update for the Nexus One and Nexus S smartphones. But it’s a phased rollout, which means you may have to wait a few days or weeks before a message pops up on your phone letting you know an update is available. Fortunately for the impatient, members of the xda-developers community have tracked down the URL for the installer files.

You can find download links for the Nexus One and Nexus S at the xda-developers forum.

Once you’ve downloaded the file, you should rename it to update.zip and copy the file to the root directory of your microSD card.

If you have a Nexus One, the next steps are:

  1. Turn off your phone.
  2. Hold down the trackball while pressing the power button.
  3. Select Bootloader from the menu, using the volume keys to navigate.
  4. From the next menu, choose Recovery
  5. Your phone will reboot and show you a triangle with an exclamation point inside
  6. Hold the volume up button while pressing the power button.
  7. Use the trackball to scroll down to “Apply sdcard:update.zip” and in a few minutes your phone should reboot into the updated operating system.

The process for the Nexus S is similar, but since there’s no trackball, you’ll need to hold the power button and volume up button at the same time.

If you’ve rooted your phone you might want to hold off on applying the update for a little while, since it will remove your root privileges. You may be able to use an existing tool such as SuperOneClick to re-root the device, but I’m still waiting to hear which rooting methods work with Android 2.3.3 on the Nexus One and Nexus S.

Update: It looks like the update breaks SuperOneClick. If you absolutely must have Gingerbread on your Nexus One right away, but you still need root privilege you might want to look at installing a custom ROM based on Android 2.3 instead of the over-the-air update.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing.He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...