If you’re expecting me to provide a file with Jelly Bean update, and you’ll just install it like an app to get the latest Android version – get ready to be disappointed. It’s not “exactly” an update for phones running Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich, but it’s the closest you can get to JB without voiding warranty.

Android Jelly Bean, ICS

You device may be on the waiting list for getting Android v4.1 update, or may not be anywhere on it at all. Most of the low-end phones didn’t even get ICS update, and will not get it anytime soon. Too bad, manufacturers care about high-end devices only. Thanks to developers, ANYONE can get JB on their phone. Doesn’t matter which phone you’re using. Though using this way to use JB on Froyo might not be a charm, but most of the Gingerbread and ICS devices will work without any problem.

If you have a rooted phone, and fellow developers at XDA have released any custom ROM for it – it’s the best you can get (provided that ROM works). But not everyone can root their phone. Some don’t do it to keep manufacturer’s warranty intact, while others lack enough knowledge and willingness to take the risk involved. Nonetheless, this is something anyone can do and there is almost zero risk – install apps.

Get Jelly Bean Without Rooting

There are some apps, which provide the features of Android v4.1. Like a launcher, which replaces the stock launcher with JB launcher. Similarly, there is status bar, wallpapers and lock screen. Oh, and Google Now too! Is there anything else left? Certainly not. In fact, you have the option to install just the features you need. For example if you don’t need JB wallpapers, just don’t install that app – as simple as that!

Launcher

holo launcher hd

The stock launcher of ICS is almost the same as Jelly Bean’s (provided you’re not using TouchWiz, HTC Sense, etc.). For older versions, including Froyo, and ICS with custom launcher, there is Holo Launcher and HD version of the same. It will give your device the JB look and feel, with many great features. There are up to 9 home screens supported with custom grid and scrollable dock. A lot of customization, custom app icons, colors, it supports ADW and LauncherPro icon packs too. You can backup the launcher settings, and restore them after a data wipe. So you don’t need to change setting every time. First see if your phone is compatible with the HD version, otherwise install the non-HD version.

Install Holo Launcher HD or Holo Launcher

Lock Screen

holo locker

Although you will get a lock screen after installing the launcher, but it’s not completely similar to Android Jelly Bean’s lock screen. Thus, Holo Locker is what you need. You can say it’s “almost there” – but it looks exactly like JB. Just go to the link and install it, simple.

Install Holo Locker

Status Bar

jb statusbar

Google has done a considerable improvement in the status bar since Gingerbread. Unfortunately, Gingerbread’s status bar is not good enough. So there’s an app to convert that boring bar to JB status bar, with all the exciting new features. It’s also task-killer safe, even if the OS kills the process, it’ll reboot right after it. You can choose which icons to show, and not to show. Hence, it’s completely under your control + useful.

Install Jelly Bean StatusBar

Keyboard

jb keyboard

Another big improvement in JB is the new keyboard. It has awesome text-prediction and better key spacing. Thanks to the developers who ported the keyboard for older Android versions, and let anyone install it for free from Play Store. Plus, there are some new features added in the ported version, to make it even better. The more you use this keyboard, the text prediction gets better using your typing history. It’s compatible with Android v1.6+ but to make speech recognition work you need Android v2.2+. All the non-English languages are removed to make the app smaller, but you can install individual languages which are available as separate downloads.

Install Jelly Bean Keyboard

Static and Live Wallpapers

jb live wallpapers

Do you like the wallpaper set of JB? Well, I do. At least the live wallpapers are cool. You can get all the wallpapers just by installing a small application, or two. The apps for static and live wallpapers are separate, so you’ll need to install both to get all JB wallpapers.

Install Static Wallpapers or Live Wallpapers

Are we there yet? Did I miss something? Certainly.

Google Now – There’s a Catch!

google now

The developers at XDA have ported Google Now for ICS devices only. So, anyone using Gingerbread or earlier versions will have to depend on the voice assistants available in Play Store only. Plus, the Google Now ported version is for rooted devices only. If everything is favorable for you till now, jump to the thread at XDA for more details and installation instructions.

Also Read: Best Free Antivirus for Android Phones

Conclusion

Apparently, we cannot get complete Jelly Bean without rooting (if there are no official updates). If you are willing to root your device, you can install custom ROM, like CM9 to get new features and Google Now compatibility. There are many advantages of rooting, but there’s a lot of risk involved too. So think before you do it.

If you want to suggest something better than what we’ve mentioned above, let us know in your comments.