Yesterday morning, Google announced the new Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update and revealed that it would be rolling out to Nexus devices, including the older Nexus 7, starting that day. Like all Nexus Android roll outs, Google is slowly pushing the software out Over-the-Air but for those Nexus 7 owners that don’t want to wait for Android 4.3 to arrive OTA, there is a way to get the Nexus 7 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update right now.
As expected, Google debuted its new Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update at its Android and Chrome event yesterday. The software remains Jelly Bean but it does bring some enhancements over the previous version of Android, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Android 4.3 brings several likeable features to the table, including one that will be useful for owners of the Nexus 7.
While Bluetooth Low Energy and OpenGL 3.0 support are great, the Android 4.3 update brings something called restricted user profiles for multi-user accounts which gives parents more access to the accounts of their children. It’s perfect for a tablet like the Nexus 7 that may be used as family device.
That said, Google typically rolls out Android updates extremely slowly. And while many are likely content on waiting for the Android 4.3 Over-the-Air update to arrive. many others likely want to get the update on their Nexus 7 right now. And fortunately, there are several ways of doing that.
The first is a simple trick that works with these types of updates though more and more, it has proven to be useless. The second is to download the software straight from Google and manually install the update.
Unfortunately, the first option is the easiest. This method isn’t going to work for every Nexus 7 owner and will likely not work for most people. Some owners use different variants of these steps to force the update so Nexus 7 users should try different combinations of these steps.
1. Go to Settings -> Apps -> All
2. Find Google Services Framework.
3. Tap on Force Stop.
4. Select Clear Data.
5. Head back to the Nexus 7’s Settings, go to About, and check for a System Update.
It’s possible that Nexus 7 owners will see a prompt though again, this method often yields less-than-stellar results so it will likely be that manual installation is the only way to get the update ahead of the OTA. Unfortunately, manually updating isn’t an easy process.
First, this update is only for the Wi-Fi only version of the Nexus 7, not the HSPA+ version. The HSPA+ file hasn’t been found yet. Second, process with the risks in mind. It’s possible that something could happen to the Nexus 7 when installing the update. Third, novices should not be manually installing this update. Those that are not familiar with this process should simply wait for the OTA.
How to Manually Install the Nexus 7 Android 4.3 Update
First, for those who are rooted and on stock software. The first thing to do is get the Android SDK set up and running, something that is absolutely necessary. Second, owners will will also need to be running the current version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean which is Android 4.2.2. The current version of Android 4.2.2 is build JDQ39.
At this point, owners will want to download the Nexus 7 Wi-Fi Only Android 4.3 update from Google.
After downloading this file, Nexus 7 owners running stock software will want to boot the device into recovery, attach the device to a USB cable plugged into a PC, and choose the “Apply update from adb” option. From there, type in ‘adb sideload [Insert Full File Name Here]‘ and it should work its magic. Again, this is how to install the software without custom recovery or root.
For those that need clarification, XDA-Developers has a great guide that will talk Nexus 7 owners step-by-step through this process.
Those who are rooted and running stock can flash through custom recovery. To do this, download that same file to the internal storage, reboot into custom recovery, choose “Install zip from SD card” and then select the update file that was downloaded to the storage space. It will flash and Android 4.3 will then be on board.
Again, for those that seek more clairity, head to XDA-Developers as it will go more in-depth.
Google’s Android 4.3 OTA update should be hitting devices over the next week or so so those who don’t feel comfortable with this process can simply wait for the update to roll out Over-the-Air.
To check for the update, head into the device’s Settings, the About section and check for the update.