At Google’s I/O developer’s conference 2014, Google shown off its upcoming and the latest and greatest version of Android, the Android L. The name isn’t known yet, however Google believes in bringing up the best OS for Android devices so far. There’s quite a lot stuff, that is going to make its way to the Android with Android L for the very first time. The Android L UI, as stated by Google is the Material design, that let’s the users interact with the elements on their Android device just like they do so with the real objects. Android L also promises new and improved notifications, great battery life, speed and security remains atop.
As off now, Google has just shown off the OS, the complete name and the complete list of features isn’t known so far, however, to calm down the Android enthusiasts, Google has released a beta version of the Android L that you may download and install on your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 devices and taste the preview of Android L. If you own of these devices and you’re looking to give your device a whole new look, you may follow this guide we’ve explained below in order to get Android L on your Google Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 right now.
Before you move ahead, you need to keep in mind what Google states about its Android L.
The Android preview system image is not a stable release, and may contain errors and defects that can result in damage to your computer systems, devices, and data. The preview Android system image is not subject to the same testing as the factory OS and can cause your phone and installed services and applications to stop working.
But that isn’t really a thing to worry about, when you know that you can return to your device’s previous OS anytime by following the instructions properly. So, you just need enough confident to move forward and flash the Android L on your Nexus device.
Here are the pre-installation instructions:
- This guide is only for Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 7. Do not try this on any other device, please check your device’s model in Settings > About Device > Model.
- You must have installed Google USB drivers. Get here.
- You must have installed Android ADB and Fastboot Drivers. Follow our Quick Guide here.
- You must have installed 7 zip, in order to extract the necessary files.
- Enable USB debugging mode on your Nexus device. If you haven’t done this already, go to Settings > About Device > Tap the build number for 7 times and you will get the developer options enabled, no go to Settings > Developer Options > USB debugging > Enable.
- Your device’s battery should be charged at least over 60%. This is highly recommended in order to prevent any power issues during the flashing process.
- Make sure that you backup your important media content, Contacts, Call Logs & Messages. This is highly recommended just in case something goes wrong and you need to reset your phone.
- If you already have rooted your device, use Titanium Backup to back up all your important apps + system data. Also if you are using a custom recovery, it is recommended that you backup your current system using that first. [Just for the sake of safety]. Here’s our full Nandroid Backup guide.
- You will have to go through Data Wipes during installation of this ROM, so make sure that you have backed up all the mentioned data.
- Alright! Go ahead and flash the custom firmware, follow this guide to the letter.
How to Install Android L on Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 7:
- Download Android L image for your device:
- Unzip the files twice. e.g. there’s a .tar file and there’s a .tgz file inside that, you will need to extract both in order to get the .img file according to your device.
- Once you’ve got the .img file, copy it to the Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder, that’s probably here C:\Program Files (x86)\Minimal ADB and Fastboot
- Now connect your Nexus device to your PC in fastboot mode. In order to do so, power it off and connect it to your PC. Now turn it on by pressing and holding Volume Up and Volume Down + Power Key.
- If this doesn’t work for you, simply open the Minimal ADB and Fastboot.exe file that should be on your desktop and type:
adb reboot bootloader
- Once the device is in bootloader, checkout if the bootloader is unlocked or not. In case the state says “Locked” you need to unlock it first by typing:
fastboot oem unlock
- It should now ask you whether you want to unlock the bootloader or not. You can switch between the Yes or No options by using Volume Up and Down Keys and make a selection using Power Key.
- Unlocking will wipe your device, so make sure that you’ve already backed up everything as mentioned in the pre-installation instructions.
- Once the bootloader is unlocked, you’re set to flash Android L on your Nexus device.
- To do so, push this command in the Minimal ADB and Fastboot Command Interace:
- This will being the flashing process and you will have the Android L installed on your Nexus device in a while.
- You can lock the bootloader again by booting up your device in the bootloader mode and issuing the command:
fastboot oem lock
- Locking the bootloader won’t cause any harm, but unlocking it again will wipe the device once again, so lock it if you wish so.
- That’s all with the Android L installation! Good Luck
How to uninstall Android L and return to the stock Android on your Nexus:
Just in case you don’t like the Android L and you want to get back your stock Android on your Nexus device now, you may follow these steps.
- Download the stock firmware image file from Google’s official page carefully for your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7.
- Delete the Android L image file from the Minimal ADB and Fastboot folder, and copy the newly downloaded .img file there now.
- Connect your device in fastboot mode to your PC, open the Minimal ADB and Fastboot Command Interface and type: flash all
- This will restore the stock Android on your Nexus.
- That’s all!
If you’ve installed Android L on your Nexus device, let us know about your experience. Just in case you’re stuck with anything regarding this post, feel free to reach us through the comment box below. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank You!
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