At the Google I/O 2014, Google announced the next version of Android, codenamed as Android L. Since all previous versions of Android have been named after a sweet edible, like gingerbread, ice-cream sandwich, jelly bean and latest one was kitkat. There have been lot of rumours surrounding the name of upcoming Android version name. Since every new name starts from an alphabet which comes later, it has been suggested that next name will be Lollipop. Android L almost confirms it but there are many other possibilities for it.
The launch of Android L has made Nexus 5 owners excited about installing it on their devices. Google has released Android L developer preview already and it is available for anyone to install. Its name indicates it very clearly that it is a testing firmware and not meant to be used as a daily driver. However many Nexus 5 owners have reported great fluidity with Android L developer preview. It seems that there are very few or unnoticeable bugs in this testing firmware for Nexus 5. If you are willing to install Android L on Nexus 5, then this is the guide for you. Follow all the steps closely. Thanks to google for releasing the factory image, the installation is very easy.
1. ADB and Fastboot Tools:
ADB is basic tool for any Android related operation and fastboot is one of its applications. ADB installs all the necessary ADB drivers for Android powered devices and activate the developer mode on device. Various tools require ADB and other components to be installed on the PC for proper functioning. Fastboot is used to issue various commands like for flashing a recovery or a kernel. It is also used in commands related to bootloader unlocking. You can use any of the two tools listed below for ADB and Fastboot commands. First one is a full custom guide, and requires heavy installation while Minimal ADB and Fastboot Installer require a mere ~2MB install. However, the first one is more stable and long-lasting. Choose the one suitable for you.
Complete Guide here.
2.Google Nexus 5 USB Drivers:
Since the installation is done using Fastboot or bootloader mode, USB drivers are not completely essential. The above guide installs all necessary fastboot drivers. If you still face any kind of issue of connectivity in fastboot/bootloader mode on Nexus 5, then download and install drivers from the link given below.
3.Battery must be charged over 50%:
This is one pf the most important precautions and requirements. You must be aware of the fact that most OTA updates can be installed only if battery is charged more than 50%. This is for the safety of device. The device must not turn off during the whole process. Since these are custom methods, phone may enter a bootloop or may plunge into some other problem. Low battery can be a critical issue in these cases. Therefore, you must charge your phone above 50%.
4.Check your Phone Model:
Many times I have seen people bricking their devices because of their negligence. Note that there are several model numbers, with prominent changes for almost every device out there. Therefore, you must confirm that the given guide is for your device’s model number. As an additional precaution, you must also check that the guide is for your phone’s Android version. This is not necessary in all cases. You can check model number and Android version by navigating to Settings > About Phone.
This guide is only for Installing Android L Developer’s Preview on Nexus 5 GSM and LTE Versions
5.Do not turn off Computer during Installation Process:
If either your phone or PC goes down in the mid of process, you might end up bricking up your precious device. Therefore, make sure that your PC will not turn off or restart during the process. If you are using Windows, make sure that there are no pending updates to be installed in, for example ten minutes. PC will restart automatically, disturbing everything. Therefore, make sure that your PC will remain turned on during the whole process.
Also note that devices are not bricked in every case. It is very rare indeed. however, we must always choose the safe path.
6.Backup all your important Data:
Most custom methods will wipe all data stored on the device. Some methods might not do so but a custom method can make your phone end up in a bootloop and then a factory reset will be essential. Therefore, always make a backup of your device before anything custom. Here is a guide for non-rooted phones, which guides your through all steps to back up a non-rooted device.
You must backup all media files stored in internal storage. As a safe precaution, you might remove SD Card while doing it, however it has never caused anyone any kind of issue. All deleted applications can be installed from Play Store My Apps tab.
6.Use correct file for your smartphone:
Using a wrong file can potentially brick your device. Every file is listed below and all the supported models are listed as well. Use the file made for your phone. Do not try anything you do not know about. Follow the guide to the letter to avoid any damage to phone.
7.Enable USB Debugging:
Developer Options are, as the name indicates, for development purposes. They are available in all Android devices. The most used and talked about option is USB Debugging. It allows your phone to be handled by PC. You can execute direct commands to your phone via PC. Here is the list of ADB commands, which can be used with USB Debugging enabled. You can also recover data using ADB commands. Here is complete guide.
To enable USB Debugging, navigate to Settings > Developer Options and enable USB Debugging. Note that in Android 4.2.x and higher, developers options are hidden by default. To unlock these, navigate to Settings > About Phone and locate the build number. Tap is 7 times and you will see a pop up message saying “You are now a developer”.
8.Unlock Bootloader of Nexus 5
Since this is not an official build, you will have to unlock the bootloader of your device. Note that unlocking bootloader will wipe everything stored on device so make a backup before doing it. If you have already unlocked the bootloader, then there is no need. Follow the guide given below to unlock the bootloader of your Nexus 5.
How to Install Android L on Nexus 5
- First of all, make sure that you have unlocked the bootloader of Nexus 5, this is very important
- Now copy the downloaded factory image to Minimal ADB and Fastboot Installer folder or Fastboot folder (Depends on which guide you followed for ADB and Fastboot Tools)
- Inside the fastboot folder, or Minimal ADB and Fastboot Installer folder, hold shift button on keyboard and right-click on mouse
- Now click on Open Command Window Here
- Connect your Nexus 5 with USB Debugging turned on
- In command window, type adb reboot bootloader and press Enter
- Your Nexus 5 will enter fastboot mode now
- Now type flash-all.bat and press Enter
- Now Android L will be flashed on Nexus 5
- It will take long time
- Once it is done, it should reboot automatically
- Note that first boot may take more than 5 minutes so keep patience!
- Once rebooted, give it some time to settle down
- That’s all! Enjoy and share your experience with us