This guide will show you how to install the brand new Android 5.0 Lollipop update so that you can try out Google’s latest version of Android early on your Nexus 5 or 2013 WiFi Nexus 7.
Google released an early developer preview of what was then called the Android L release back in June when they first debuted the new operating system, and today they’ve finally issued an update delivering the full Android 5.0 Lollipop update for developers. This is still considered a “beta” or developer preview image, and is only for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.
You will need the newly updated Android L (or Android 5.0) factory images provided by Google to install on your device. In addition you will need to install the Android SDK or at least ADB and Fastboot. Below we’ll go over all the details in a simple fashion for those who’d like to try Android 5.0 on the Nexus 5 or 7 right now.
The Android 5.0 System Image is a download that contains all the files needed to install a stock version of Android 5.0 on the Nexus 7 and Nexus 5. This is essentially everything that you would download as an OTA update for regular Android updates. However, this makes the phone stock like it was out of the box (aka factory image) and will wipe all user data and settings.
The Android 5.0 release date isn’t scheduled to start until later this month, or on November 3rd when the first device running it is released, which is the new Nexus 9. We don’t have an official day yet, but continue on to try it today.
If you’d rather not wait for the official updates for your device in the coming weeks, you can get it right now by following the steps below. It’s worth waiting for average users, but if you’re up for the challenge, here’s all the details. This guide will show you how to install the Android 5.0 developer release 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 5.0 Preview 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 device through a USB cable and flash the Android software 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 5.0 Developer release 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. Open terminal by going to search, and simply typing Terminal and opening the program.
This will install ADB and Fastboot on Mac, Linux and Chrome OS without the need to do anything else. It’s that easy, and avoids all the ADB package mess.
After the script completes you can type ADB or Fastboot to start running either program. This is where you’ll need to be to flash the new Android 5.0 image on your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7. Remember to head into developer options and enable USB Debugging.
How to Install the Android L Beta
The first thing you need to do is download the just released final Android 5.0 Developer Preview System Images. You can find them at the links below.
You will need to unzip this file to a folder you can access, we just unzipped it to our Mac desktop. 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. Reminder, if you’re on a MAC you need to make sure terminal is running inside the folder you just unzipped.
If your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 is not unlocked you should do that first. We could not install the Android 5.0 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. On a Mac you can open Terminal in the folder by enabling terminal shortcuts in settings. This is key for Mac users. Head to System Preferences and select Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services. Find “New Terminal at Folder” in the settings and click the box. Now when you’re in Finder, just right-click a folder and you’re shown the open to open Terminal. Or just do it from the desktop where you unzipped the Factory image as shown below.
Once in terminal simply copy and paste the commands below to install the Android 5.0 preview on your Nexus 5 or 7.
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 files will start pushing and installing and your Nexus device may 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. It took less than two minutes for us.
When the device finishes you can enter your information and start using Android 5.0 Lollipop today on the Nexus 5 or Nexus 7. Give the new Tap n Go (automatically restore) a try using NFC to automatically restore and and all apps, settings, accounts and more from another device. It works like a charm in Android 5.0 Lollipop. Enjoy!