How To Install The Android L Developer Preview On Your Nexus 5 Or 7

How To Install The Android L Developer Preview On Your Nexus 5 Or 7

Google just released its first developer preview of the newest version of Android. For those of you who are eager to get your hands on the latest and greatest, here’s how to install Android L on your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 (2013) right now.

To begin with, you’ll need to have your device unlocked and ADB and fastboot installed. Then, follow these instructions:

  1. Download the factory image for your device here.
  2. Unzip the file and place it in an easy-to-find location.
  3. Connect your device to your computer via USB cable and ensure debug mode is enabled.
  4. Open up a command line for ADB.
  5. Enter adb reboot bootloader to access your device’s bootloader.
  6. Navigate to the folder containing the factory image.
  7. Enter flash-all to run the installation script.

The script will take a minute to run and your device may linger on the boot animation for a while (in my own tests, it took about five minutes for the device to boot). Once the device boots, log in and you’re ready to go!

If you’re not one of the lucky few who owns a Nexus 5 or Nexus 7, you can check out our roundup of all the cool things in Android L here. We’ll also be going hands-on to highlight more cool things Google didn’t announce at I/O yesterday. Android L will officially launch later this year.

Android L Preview Images [System Image Flashing Instructions [Google]


    • Yes, installing this will reset your phone. You’re not upgrading here, you’re wiping your phone’s current version of Android and replacing it with another. I’d suggest backing up your phone prior to installing Android L, so that if you’re not a fan of a (very limited) developer preview, you can restore the phone to its current condition.

      You can quickly backup your phone while preparing to install L – once ADB is installed and working correctly, simply type “adb backup -apk -shared -all” (without quotes) which will backup the OS, installed apps, and data. If the phone is not rooted some protected data will be missed. To restore the backup later, use “adb restore backup.ab”.

      If you run into problems, a quick google search for adb backup and restore instructions should help you.

  • I’m tempted to install this, but how does it perform? Buggy? Are things missing or incomplete to the point where you’d switch back to stock within mere hours?

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