Yesterday Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 Android tablets which came with the vanilla rom received the OTA update for the new KitKat upgrade and today Google released the factory images for Nexus 4. For those who don’t know factory images are the flashable .zip files for the operating system which needs the Android SDK to get them running on your device.
Nexus 4 will obviously get the new KitKat update via OTA alike the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 but for those who can’t wait there are these factory images ready. To know more about what’s new in the latest Android KitKat, web developers at Google have built a beautiful web page dedicated to this which can be viewed from the link http://www.android.com/versions/kit-kat-4-4/. FYI in case you are expecting to have the Google Experience Launcher on your Nexus device which aren’t Nexus 5 then you will be disappointed because as of now, the launcher is only exclusive to Nexus 5.
Alright so if you have a Nexus 4 and want to flash the factory image you can follow the instructions as mentioned below. Make sure you backup all your data because this flashable .zip will wipe out everything and return the phone in a factory condition having all the Google apps installed.
- You need to have the fastboot tool in your PATH.
- Your device needs to be in fastboot mode, with the bootloader unlocked.
- You need to uncompress the downloaded .zip file which creates a new directory with that exact download name. The directory contains a ./flash-all.sh script which handles the various operations, installs the necessary bootloader, baseband firmware(s), and operating system.
fastboot is a tool which is used to flash custom builds on your device. On GNU/Linux systems, you should have configured USB access before proceeding. For more information visit https://source.android.com/source/initializing.html.
To know more about unlocking bootloader visit https://source.android.com/source/building-devices.html
Now you are done. After restoring a factory image, Google recommends to keep the bootloader locked for security reasons. However if you do so you need to unlock it again when flashing any custom build but we too suggest it to be kept locked just to play safe. Better not mess with Google.
Obviously there has to be some workaround to save your data from data wipe isn’t it? After all its Android the open source mobile operating system. To save your data to wipe out, delete userdata.img from the zip and edit the ./flash-all.sh script to remove -w when its flashing the zip, and you won’t lose data. Before applying any hack there is one thing you should always keep in mind, you are on your own. Install or Not will not take any responsibility in case of any damage that happens when applying this hack.
Factory images can be downloaded from the link : https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images