This guide will show you how to install the Android L Beta so that you can try out the Android L Release on your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7.
Google is offering an Android L Developer Preview, which is essentially an Android L Beta that comes complete with Android L factory images for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 5. You will need these Android L factory images to install the Android L Beta on your device. In addition you will need to install the Android SDK or at least ADB and Fastboot.
The Android L System Image is a download that contains all the files needed to install a stock version of Android L on the Nexus 7 and Nexus 5. This is essentially everything that you would download as an OTA update for regular Android updates.
The Android L Release, which may be Android 5.0, is due to the public later this year. There is no official Android L Release date at this time, but Android Auto will require this new version of Android and the first cars are coming by the ned of 2014.
If you want to try the new Android L features before it arrives later this year you can try the Android L Beta on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7. Android L will come to other devices, but for now it is only available as an Android L Developer Preview on two devices. Although unconfirmed, it is very likely that a Nexus 4 Android L release is in the works when the new version of Android is ready for the public.
It is possible that developers will adapt the Android L Beta into a version that will run on the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10, but the official Android L Developer Preview is limited.
This guide will show you how to install the Android L Beta on Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 devices. This is something you can do from Windows, Mac, Linux or ChromeOS.
How to Install ADB on Windows, Mac, Ubuntu & ChromeOS
Before you can install the Android L Beta to Nexus devices you will need to install ADB and Fastboot to your computer. This is a program that runs on your computer to connect to your Android through a USB cable and flash the Android L Beta to your device.
Installing ADB and Fastboot is one of the most annoying parts of installing Android factory images, but several new tools make it incredibly easy.
How to Install ADB on Windows
If you are using a Windows machine, including up to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 you can use the 15 second adb installer to streamline the process.
Download the ADB installer for Windows. Find the file, right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator. When prompted you need to give the app access to run as an administrator. After the app launches type a Y and enter to select yes to Install ADB & Fastboot, to intsll ADB/Fastboot systemwide and to install Drivers. When a new window pops up follow the steps to install the drivers.
After this is installed you should be ready to install the Android L Beta on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.
How to Install ADB on Mac, Linux & ChromeOS
Nexus Tools makes it easy to install ADB on a Mac, Linux or even ChromeOS. All you need to do is open Terminal on your computer and past in the code from xda.
This will install ADB and Fastboot on Mac, Linux and Chrome OS without the need to do anything else.
After the script completes you can type ADB or Fastboot to start running either program.
How to Install the Android L Beta
The first thing you need to do is download the Android L Preview System Images. You can find the Android L beta system images at the links below.
You will need to unzip this file to a folder you can access. After you have the Android L system image unzipped you will need to find this folder and type cmd into the address bar on Windows, or open terminal and change the folder to this folder on Mac, Linux or Chrome OS.
If your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 is not unlocked you should do that. We could not install the Android L System image with the device locked.
Open a Terminal in the adb folder and type then hit enter.
adb reboot bootloader
In Fastboot type:
fastboot oem unlock
Then hit enter. Follow the on-screen instructions and choose to erase the device. Wait a minute or so for it to unlock. This removes everything on your device.
Now open the folder containing the unzipped Android L System Image file. Type cmd in the address bar. Type the following and hit enter.
This will flash all of the needed files. If you are on a Mac or other computer you will need to type;
This will push all of the files to your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7. The Nexus device will reboot and you will see an Android figure and then a moving Android logo. The logo screen may stay for a long time. Don’t unplug the device. This may last 15 minutes or longer. When Android prompts you to complete setup you can unplug the Nexus.
When the device finishes you can enter your information and start using Android L on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.