Android N is the upcoming version of Android which is expected to show up somewhere in the last quarter of the year. But unexpectedly, Google released the Android N Developer Preview Images for the Nexus devices. Currently, we don’t have any information on the codename for this version but you can taste the Android N on your Nexus device. The Android N Developer preview images are available for the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Pixel C.
There are two ways you can get the Android N developer preview on your Nexus smartphone. First one is to enroll in the Android Beta program by Google which gives you regular OTA updates of the preview image until the main version is released. Other is to download the Nexus factory images and flash them on your device. The first one would be better as you get to keep your data and you’ll also receive the OTA updates but a clean install is always less buggy. So, choose the way you like to get the Android N on your device.
- Charge your device above 60% to make sure it doesn’t die in the middle of the process which may be fatal sometimes.
- Make a backup of everything on your device so that you can restore the files if something goes wrong. Here’s the usual checklist:
- Install proper drivers on your PC. If you haven’t installed them already, you can follow our detailed USB driver installation guide.
- Setup ADB and Fastboot files on your PC. If you don’t know how, follow our detailed guide on how to setup ADB and Fastboot on your PC.
- Prepare your device:
- Enable developer options: Go to your device’s Settings » About phone » Scroll to the bottom and tap on “Build number” seven times to enable developer options.
- Enable USB Debugging: Go to your device’s Settings » Developer options » tick the “USB debugging” checkbox (sometimes listed as Android Debugging)
- Enable OEM Unlock: Go to your device’s Settings » Developer options » tick the “OEM Unlock” checkbox.
- Download the Nexus factory images from the Google Developer Preview page.
Note: This is an early version and may contain bugs, glitches and performance issues.So, proceed at your own risk.
Download and Install Android N Developer Preview on Nexus Devices
Method 1: Android Beta Program
Enroll your device to Android Beta Program. You can opt-in for this program by going to this link and sign in with your Google account. Now, you’ll see your device listed in the eligible devices category. Select the device to enroll it in the Android Beta program. Once you’re in the beta program, you’ll get an update every 4 to 6 weeks, until the final launch of Android N, which would be in the third or fourth quarter of this year. If you opt out of the program, all user data on your device will be wiped.
Method 2: One-Click Installation
If you choose to perform a clean install of Android N preview image, follow the below guide. If you’ve already unlocked the bootloader on your device, feel free to skip the Phase 1.
Phase 1: Unlock the Bootloader
Unlocking the bootloader on the Nexus device would wipe the entire device, so it’s important that you take a thorough backup of your device before proceeding with this guide.
- Connect your Nexus device to the PC using a USB cable and make sure it’s detected. If not, make sure that you’ve installed proper USB drivers and enabled USB debugging.
- Once detected, tap on the USB icon in the notifications panel and select MTP file transfer mode.
- Open the command prompt in the PC and type the below command:
- To confirm that your device is recognized by ADB, a message will appear “List of devices attached” along with your device serial number.
- Once you find your device’s serial number appearing in the message then type the below command in the command prompt to reboot into fastboot mode.
adb reboot bootloader
- Now, type the below command to unlock the bootloader on Nexus 6P (may be the future devices as well).
fastboot flashing unlock
For devices older than Nexus 6P (Nexus 5X as well), use the below command to unlock the bootloader.
fastboot oem unlock
- You’ll get a confirmation screen on your phone to erase the data on the device.
That’s it. You’ve successfully unlocked the bootloader on your device. Reboot the device once just to make sure everything’s OK.
Phase 2: Flashing Nexus Factory Images (One-Click Method)
All the Nexus firmware come with a batch file/shell script file for one-click installation. So, here’s how to flash it using the one-click installation method.
- Download the Nexus factory images for your device from the download section and extract it to your PC.
- Navigate to the folder where you have extracted these files, and you’ll find the files similar to the below screenshot.
- Connect your device to the computer and type the below command in the command prompt to reboot into fastboot mode.
adb reboot bootloader
- When in fastboot mode, run the flash-all.bat (Windows) or flash-all.sh (Mac and Linux). A command window will launch and you’ll see the on-screen progress.
- Just follow the on-screen instructions and the firmware will be flashed to your Nexus device.
- Reboot the device once the flashing is complete (if not rebooted automatically).
The first boot will take a while as the system needs to build the cache, so be patient and grab a cup of coffee while your device is booting up.
Note: In some cases, users have reported that they are receiving “error: update package missing system.img” while flashing the Nexus factory images using the one-click scripts. In that case, follow the manual installation method to flash the Nexus factory images on your device from the below link.
That’s all! Reach us in the comments section below for any queries or assistance regarding the process in the tutorial. Also, do suggest any modifications or additions to this comprehensive guide, your feedback is important to improve our content and services.
If you find our tutorial useful, kindly share this tutorial with others using the share buttons below. Remember, Sharing is Caring!