Friday, July 4, 2014

How to install Android L on NEXUS 5 and NEXUS 7

Manual Installation Of Android L on NEXUS 5 and NEXUS 7

Last month Google previewed Android L at I/O, and immediately after, it released the operating system preview to the developers. You however don’t have to be a developer totry out Android L now, and all you need is aNexus 5 smartphone or a Nexus 7 tablet. Hit the break below to check out the step-by-step guide on how to install Android L on your Nexus devices now.
Before we start though, let us warn you that this is a beta version of the OS and has many bugs. Google too warns that this “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.” Having said that if you are still feeling adventurous here are the steps.

Android Debug Bridge (ADB) and Fastboot tools

First off you will need to download and install these two tools, which essentially allow you to send commands to your device from your computer via USB. These tools are generally found in the Android SDK, but the SDK is a huge file and has many things you will not need.
Instead you can download this minimal tool that can be found on the XDA forum. This is a 2MB installer and has both the above mentioned tools. Install the tools in a folder you can easily access.

Android L image

The next step is to download the appropriate Android L image for your Nexus device. You can find the image for Nexus 5 here, and the Nexus 7 here. The image will be downloaded in a .tgz format, and you will need an extractor utility like WinRAR or 7-zip to extract the files from the archive. Extract the files to the same folder that contains the Android ADB and Fastboot tools.

Enable USB debugging

Now, on your smartphone/tablet, head over to the Settings menu and scroll down to About smartphone/tablet. Once inside, tap on the ‘Build number’ tab seven times to unhide the developer options. Press the back button once and you will see the Developer options tab now. Click on the tab and once inside, enable the USB debugging option.

Windows drivers

Once you have enabled USB debugging, Windows will again look for drivers when you connect your device to your computer. To ensure, it uses the latest drivers, install them from here. This step is necessary for your computer to recognize the Nexus device as a developer device.
Head over to Control Panel and click Devices and Printers to look for your device. The Nexus device should be listed there as an ‘Android Composite ADB interface’. If it is not recognized, update the drivers with the one you installed. Check your device as there will be a popup message asking, “Allow USB debugging?” Click on allow and your device is ready.

Fastboot mode

With your device still connected to the computer, power it off. You will need to put it in fastboot mode and there are two methods to choose from. The first method is to press the volume up, volume down and power buttons simultaneously. For the second method double-click on “py_cmd” in the folder you downloaded the tools to open the command prompt. Type ‘adb reboot-bootloader’ — without the quotation marks — to restart your device in fastboot mode.

Unlock Bootloader

By default your device should be in a lock state, which won’t allow you to install the Android L image. To unlock it, type the command ‘fastbook oem unlock’ (without quotations). The device will ask you to confirm if you want to unlock the bootloader, and using the volume rocker move the option to ‘Yes’ and press the power button to select the option.
This step will essentially erase your Nexus device and prep it for the new Android installation.

Installing Android L

Now that the device is prepped, in the command prompt simply type the flash-all command. This will start the process of installing Android L onto your Nexus smartphone or tablet.

About the Author

Prejeesh Sreedharan

Author & Editor

I am a Biotechnologist very much interested in #SciTech (Science And Technology). I closely follow the developments in medical science and life science. I am also very enthusiast in the world of electronics, information technology and robotics. I always looks for ways to make complicated things simpler. And I always believes simplest thing is the most complicated ones.

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