Its been a while since Android L was announced to the public. If you are a lucky owner of a Google Nexus 7 2013 tablet (like me), you probably want to try it out. Its a great leap from Android KitKat and is personally faster compared to its older siblings. Don’t worry, you could still root your device later and perform those power-user actions that you love. If you’re worried where to start, don’t be as I will guide you in this post on how to install Android L in Nexus 7 2013 (wifi) and root it.
A word of caution though, I won’t be held responsible if something happened to your device (including data loss) or if some of your apps won’t work on Android L. Android L (developer preview) is not for the faint of heart. You have been warned!
Preparing for Android L
Before we begin tinkering with our tablet, we need to download the following:
- 7-zip or any file archive utility (http://www.7-zip.org/download.html)
- Adb and Fastboot drivers (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2588979)
- Android L image (https://developer.android.com/preview/setup-sdk.html#top)
These files are optional and are only needed if you wanted to root your device:
- TWRP Recovery Image (http://techerrata.com/file/twrp2/flo/openrecovery-twrp-220.127.116.11-flo.img)
- Updated SuperSU (http://download.chainfire.eu/451/SuperSU/UPDATE-SuperSU-v2.01.zip)
After you have downloaded the files above, place them in a single folder. Install:
- Adb and Fastboot
and proceed to the next stage.
Make a Backup
Installing Android L will wipe everything in your tablet including your internal storage. It would be better if you will backup your internal storage into a separate device such as your laptop or external drive before proceeding.
Be a Developer!
Before flashing / installing the actual Android L image on our tablet, make sure that you have USB debugging enabled. You can enable it via Developer Options. Enable USB debugging via developer options on your device by:
- Go to settings
- Go to about
- Click “Build Number” multiple times until it prompts you that you are now a developer.
- Connect to your PC
- On your tablet, go back to settings
- Go to developer options
- Tick USB Debugging
- Tick allow and click Ok
Now its time to flash Android L!
Installing Android L
Open the “razor-lpv79-preview-d0ddf8ce.tgz” archive and extract its contents to a folder. If you can find “flash-all.bat” or “flash-all” file on the extracted folder, then you have successfully extracted the image. Now follow these instructions:
- Connect your device to the computer powered on and wait for the drivers to install, if it did not install, you might have to download and install this (https://dl-ssl.google.com//android/repository/latest_usb_driver_windows.zip)
- After the appropriate drivers are installed, turn off the tablet and disconnect it from everything
- Turn on the tablet by holding the “Power Button” + “Volume Down” key until you reach a screen something like this:
This is what we call the fastboot screen.
- Now connect your device to your computer
- On your computer, go to the folder where the flash-all.bat / flash-all file was located
Make sure that your have backed up everything in your tablet before going to the next bullet!
- Double click the flash-all.bat or flash-all file, leave your Nexus alone and wait for it to finish
- Follow the Android setup
- Congratulations! You are now in Android L!
Installing a Custom Recovery (TWRP)
Now we have ourselves a stock Android L running on a 2013 Nexus 7 tablet. The next steps are actually not necessary if you don’t want to root your tablet and you want stay with the official or stock flavor of Android L without root privileges.
Before proceeding, transfer the “UPDATE-SuperSU-v2.01.zip” to your device. Just place it in the internal storage. No need to place it in a folder.
To install TWRP, go to the folder where you’ve put the “openrecovery-twrp-18.104.22.168-flo.img” file and follow these:
- First, go to fastboot screen on your device and connect it to your computer
- On your computer, locate and rename openrecovery-twrp-22.214.171.124-flo.img to recovery.img
- In the folder where openrecovery-twrp-126.96.36.199-flo.img is located, click the address bar and copy everything
- Now, click start and type “cmd”
- Once the Command Prompt (or the black screen window with blinking line) appears, type cd and a space after it and right-click anywhere in the black screen and click paste. You will end up with a command like this “cd your-folder-location” without the quotes.
- Once the left part of the command prompt text changed to the address of the folder where recovery.img was located, type in “fastboot format cache” without quotes and hit enter. Wait for it to finish and type in “fastboot flash recovery recovery.img” without the quotes and hit enter.
- After flashing the recovery partition, go back to your tablet and press the volume buttons and navigate to “Recovery Mode”. Once the recovery mode is selected, press the power button and it will boot into the custom recovery that we just flashed (TWRP).
- You have successfully rebooted to the custom recovery if you can see a screen like this:
- Once in the TWRP, click Install and select the UPDATE-SuperSU-v2.01.zip.
- Once selected, swipe to continue.
- Wait for it to finish and click reboot the system.
- Congratulations! You now have a rooted Android L tablet! Enjoy!
If you have questions or suggestions to the guide, kindly make a comment below. Thanks!
- How to root Android L (http://forum.xda-developers.com/google-nexus-5/general/how-to-root-android-l-t2796419)