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Custom ROMs bring Android 6.0 to old Nexus devices

It’s an exciting time for Android fans: New Nexus devices are available, and a fresh version of Android 6.0 is rolling out. Unfortunately, not all of Google’s Nexus devices are on the list to get the latest version of the operating system.

Luckily for those holding on to their older Google devices, developers are doing what they can to bring the Marshmallow experience to everyone. Of course, these custom ROMs are often unstable, so download them at your own risk.

Android Authority reports developer Dmitry Grinberg has created an Android 6.0 Marshmallow ROM that is available for the Nexus 7 tablet and Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The Nexus 7 was originally released in 2012, while the Galaxy Nexus, which was made in a Samsung and Google collaboration, arrived in late 2011. Grinberg previously created a Marshmallow ROM for the Nexus 4, another Google handset from 2012.

Related: When is your phone getting Android 6.0 Marshmallow?

As for the Galaxy Nexus, XDA forum user Ziyan has created an experimental build of the latest operating system from Google. The build is in the early stages of its development and appears to be afflicted by some bugs. Additionally some features are not yet working, including NFC. The build isn’t stable enough for the developer to recommend it for day-to-day use yet.

Still, if you’re desperate, you can go ahead and take the leap by downloading the current builds of the emulated operating system. The Nexus 7 version is available from the developer’s website, while the Galaxy Nexus build can be found on the XDA forums.

If you own any of the newer Nexus devices — including the Nexus 5, 6, 7 (2013), and 9 — you’ll get to enjoy the real thing and won’t have to deal with the potential problems that arise from unstable builds. And of course, the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P come with Android 6.0 pre-installed on the devices so you’ll be good to go as soon as you open the box.