I’m sure you’ve heard about Google’s latest firmware version, the Android L. Users have been eagerly waiting for the L update and Google finally showcased the OS a couple of days back at a live event. Even though Android L hasn’t officially been released yet, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 users can install the Android L developer preview on their devices.
If you can’t wait to get your hands on Android L, then continue reading to find out how you can install Android L on Nexus 5. Keep in mind that this is a developer preview, meaning some features in the firmware might not work properly.
What’s New In Android L?
While there are several new and improved features in Android L, here are some of my favorite features:
- Design and UI. Google has done a fantastic job at changing the design completely, adding new 3D texture elements.
- New soft key design. The design is quite similar to the buttons on the Sony PlayStation controller and the buttons look a bit more attractive.
- New popup notifications that appear on top of whatever you’re doing.
- Support for 64-bit CPU. This is likely to improve gaming significantly, and video decoding/encoding should be faster.
- Support for different types of notifications on the lockscreen.
- Improved battery performance with the new Battery Saver mode.
Before Installing Android L
Before proceeding with the installation process, make sure that your Nexus 5 is charged at least 70%. Also, installation will factory reset your phone and you’ll lose all your internal data. Therefore, backing up all your important files is a good idea.
You can either use your phone’s default backup feature or any third party app for backing up your apps as well. You need a Windows computer as well as a micro USB cable for installing the firmware.
Nexus Root Tool Kit
This is probably the easiest way to flash images on the Nexus 5. Even though this isn’t the official method for flashing images, you don’t have to go through any complex procedures or make any command prompt entries.
The Nexus Root Tool Kit is a fantastic PC app that combines several different functions into one single app for doing various things on your Nexus device including rooting, unlocking and flashing images.
Go to the Settings app, tap on Developer options and enable the USB debugging option. If you can’t find the Developer options menu, go to About phone in the Settings app and keep tapping on Build number until you see the You are now a developer! popup message. You’ll now see the the Developer options menu in the Settings app.
Go to this link and click on the Hammerhead option below Download next to Nexus 5 (GSM/LTE) “hammerhead”. Agree to the terms and condition, and click on the Download button. The Android L preview firmware should now start downloading.
Once the installation is finished, you’ll get a Your model type popup. Select the Nexus 5 option as your choice and choose your phone’s build number. You can get this information by going to the Settings app and tapping on About phone. Click on the Apply button after selecting a device and build number. If you get an Allow USB debugging popup message on your phone, tap on OK.
Click OK in the Download File Dependencies popup on your PC. This will download additional files for the Nexus Root Tool Kit.
Once the additional files are downloaded, you’ll be taken to Nexus Root Tool Kit’s main screen. Click on Full Driver Installation Guide.
Click on the Step 3 tab in the Full Driver Configuration Guide popup and view the driver number below Recommended Solution. For example, if it says #2, click on the button below Driver Solution #2. Wait for the driver installation to complete.
Click on Flash Stock + Unroot.
Select the Other/Browse option below Factory Images and select I downloaded a factory… below Choice. Click on OK.
In the file selection popup, select the Android L update file you downloaded before. This will have a .tgz extension.
In the Hashcheck Verification popup, enter the number below and click on OK:
Click on the OK button in the Flash Stock – Confirmation popup message. Wait for the flashing process to complete. It might take several minutes. Make sure you don’t disconnect your phone.
Click on the OK button in the Update Model Type popup. Close any further popup messages.
Disconnect your phone from your PC and wait for your device to boot into Android L. This might take about 5 to 10 minutes. That’s it! You have successfully installed Android L on your Nexus 5 and you can enjoy Google’s latest firmware on your phone.
Android L is possibly the most awaited firmware update from Google. During Google I/O, we got to see some fantastic features that Android L brings. The firmware is much classier and elegant. The OS looks simpler but has some impressive new features. I certainly can’t wait for the Google L update on the latest Android devices and if you own a Nexus 5, then you can get your hands on Android L’s latest features by flashing the Android L image on your phone. If you’re fine with resetting your phone, then you should definitely try Android L on your Nexus 5.
Whether you can’t wait to use Android L or you just want to install the developer preview because you can, you can easily install the preview on your phone using the method mentioned above. Using the default way to flash images is quite tricky and you need to use your PC’s command prompt as well. However, the method mentioned above is extremely easy and you’ll be able to install Android L on your device in just a few minutes. Make sure that you follow all the instructions properly on how to install Android L on Nexus 5, and let us know what you think about Android L in the comments section below! You might even want to find some cool cases for your Nexus 5 once you get Android L.