This guide will explain how to easily install Android 7.0 Nougat right now for those still waiting on an update. After the beta kicked off in March and five updates were released, Google officially released Android N for Nexus devices in late August. Here’s how to install it yourself, and all the most up-to-date download files.
As of right now most users should have already received the over the air update to Android 7.0 Nougat, but if not we can still install it. One quick way is to sign up for the beta program which is auto-updating to the official release. We got it on the Pixel C and Nexus 6P that way, and manually updated the Nexus 9. However, Google also released the factory images which we’ll be using below.
The best method is to download the Android 7.0 Nougat System Factory Image which contains all the files needed to install a stock version of Android N on the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Pixel C, Nexus Player, and select Android One devices. Sadly the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 are no longer supported. Read on for the quick instructions.
Those who’ve already signed up for the beta can expect an over the air update notification to arrive any moment now, which is the easiest way. The first devices to see Android 7.0 were in the beta program, most notably the Nexus 6P. That said, the factory images allow for anyone and everyone with a compatible Nexus to install it right now.
A factory image is essentially everything that you would download as an OTA update for regular Android updates, and is the complete update.
In Android 7.0 Nougat Google has made a lot of changes on the surface, and behind the scenes. Meaning owners will notice lots of improvements, but many won’t be visual. Some noteworthy new features are native multi-window support for tablets and smartphones for improved multi-tasking, recent app switching, direct reply to notifications right from the pulldown bar, bundled notifications for a cleaner look, seamless updates, Android instant apps and significant improvements to Android Doze, which saves battery life. Doze puts Android into a deep-sleep low-power mode to save battery, and with Android N this will happen whenever the screen is turned off, not just when untouched for extended periods.
This guide will show you how to install the just released Nexus Android 7.0 Nougat update right now, instead of waiting. This is something you can do from Windows, Mac, Linux or ChromeOS. There are multiple ways this can be done, and lots of things that can go wrong, but below are the easiest steps without spending hours setting up all of Google’s developer software. Lets get started. First you’ll need ADB, some files, factory images and then you’ll be running Nougat in a matter of minute.
How to Install ADB on Windows, Mac, Ubuntu & ChromeOS
Before you can install the Android 7.0 to the Nexus 5x, Nexus 6p, or others you will need to install ADB and Fastboot to your computer. This is a program that runs on your PC/Mac to connect to your Android device through a USB cable and flash Android software to a device.
Installing ADB and Fastboot is one of the most annoying parts of installing Android factory images, but several tools make it incredibly easy.
How to Install ADB on Windows
If you are using a Windows machine you can use the 15 second adb installer to streamline the process and get up and running in a few minutes.
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 7.0 Nougat release to a Nexus smartphone, tablet or player.
How to Install ADB on Mac, Linux & ChromeOS
Nexus Tools makes it easy to install ADB on a Mac, Linux or even ChromeOS. Simply open Terminal on the computer and past in the code from xda. Open terminal by going to search, and just typing Terminal to open it. Then copy/paste and we’re nearly there.
This will install ADB and Fastboot on Mac, Linux and Chrome OS without the need to do anything else. It’s extremely easy, and avoids all the ADB package mess that typically takes much longer to complete.
After the script finishes type ADB or Fastboot to start running either process. This is where you’ll need to be to flash the new official Android 7.0 system images provided by Google onto your device. Remember to head into settings > developer options and enable USB Debugging first.
How to Install Android 7.0 Nougat Right Now
The first thing you need to do is download the just released Android 7.0 Nougat System Image for your device, which have been pasted in the links below for your convenience. You’ll have to agree to the terms to proceed. Now that we’re no longer on the beta these are the actual factory images from a new page, rather than the developer preview site. Click the links below to download the Android 7.0 image.
So far Google has released the image for almost all supported devices, but for whatever reason the original Nexus 6 is still missing. All the links below are the latest releases, except for the Motorola Nexus 6. Check back later for an updated download link.
- Nexus 5X Android 7.0 Image
- Nexus 6 Android N DP5 Image (7.0 Coming soon)
- Nexus 6P Android 7.0 Image
- Nexus 9 Android 7.0 Image
- Pixel C Tablet Android 7.0 Image
- Nexus Player Android 7.0 Image
Next you will need to unzip these files to a folder you can access, we just unzipped it to our Mac desktop. After you have the Android 7.0 Nougat system image unzipped you will need to find this folder and type cmd into the address bar on Windows, or open terminal and direct the folder to this new 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 is not bootloader unlocked you should do that first. We could not install the Android 7.0 N System image and update with the device locked. This will wipe your device and erase all user data, settings, pictures, etc. Repeat, this will erase everything!
Open a Terminal in the adb folder and type the command below 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.
Nexus 6P users will need to use “fastboot devices” and then “fastboot flashing unlock” to unlock the bootloader. Then proceed.
Flash the Image
Now open the folder containing the unzipped Android 7.0 System Image file you just downloaded. Type cmd in the address bar. Type the multiple commands posted below and hit enter, or copy/paste to avoid mistakes. 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 Android N to your Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, or even the Nexus Player.
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 and update your device to the latest official release of Android 7.0 Nougat right from Google. The same one that is coming as an over-the-air update. The files will start pushing and installing and your Nexus device may reboot. Take a look at the new updating animation, and wait for the process to complete. The logo screen may stay for a long time. Don’t unplug the device. This may last 10 minutes or longer. When Android prompts you to complete setup you can unplug the Nexus. It took less than two minutes for us.
It’s worth noting that some users may experience a “missing system.img” error and the installation will be aborted. This is because the way you’re trying to flash the update. Instructions on how to get around this can be found right here. Essentially users will need to unzip the update.zip folder and move all the images to the original folder we mentioned above, then manually flash them one by one, vs the flash-all command we’re using here. Only do this if you run into issues with missing images. It takes a few more steps, but works all the same.
When the process finishes you can enter your information or Gmail account and start using Android 7.0 right now on your Nexus devices. As soon as the rest of the factory images are posted we will add the download links.
Android 7.0 Nougat Over-the-Air Update
For those who’d rather not toy around with all this stuff, we have good news. For one, Android 7.0 Nougat was released on August 22nd, and at this point most or all devices should have received the update. That means no messing with the scary stuff above, and accepting an over the air update like any other previous update. Google will even be using the beta program to push maintenance releases (MR1, MR2, etc) this fall.
As of right now we’ve received the over the air update for our Nexus 6P and Pixel C tablet, but I had to manually flash Android 7.0 on the Nexus 9 using the steps above. For more details on whether on not you should install Android 7.0 N click here.
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