How to download and install the Android L beta update on your Nexus 5

How to download and install the Android L beta update on your Nexus 5
Google outed the Android L developer preview images just as promised, so that devs can start hacking away at the SDK package, tinker and tweak until their apps are prepped for the new Material Design paradigm, or take advantage of the upgraded notifications system in Android L, for instance. With the new Android edition we got a thoroughly revamped interface with the fashionable "flat", but colorful demeanor that many Android manufacturers have opted for already. 

In addition, Google finally overhauled the aging notifications and multitasking menu systems, boosting them with a Google Now-style cards, plus there are plenty of other visual changes to go around, marked by the new Material Design language that Google plans to use across devices - from smartwatches, through phones and tablets, to cars and TVs. The most delectable visual changes are the redrawn navigational buttons, PlayStation-style, and the color-coded interface sections, but we will also get new default apps, new battery management system, and true 64-bit compiler, named ART.

As usual, the Google Nexus devices, like Nexus 5 and Nexus 7, are getting first dibs at the new Android version, but since the update is still not ready for prime time yet, it's not available as a finished OTA download, so the process of installing it is a bit more convoluted. Here's what you need to do, in order to install Android L on your Nexus 5:

1. Needless to say, you have to have a rooted Nexus 5, with recovery, like TWRP or CWM, installed. If you don't know how to do those, go here to root your Nexus 5, and here on how to to install custom recovery on it.

2. Boot into recovery, and unmount system, then choose the option to wipe the system, data, Dalvik, and cache - you will definitely need a completely clean install, if you are going from Android 4.x, to the new Android L, as we are getting a brand new 64-bit compiler, and tons of changes under the hood that have nothing to do with all versions so far;

4. Flash the modified kernel that let's root in, the SuperSU mode, and a new radio - all these are optional, but we'd advise getting them, in order to make your life with the phone easier after the L install;

5. Reboot your Nexus 5, and you are done. Be patient, as the first loading of Android L will take a while, but afterwards you can tinker and play around with it to your heart's desire.

source: Vomer (XDA-Devs) & ArsTechnica

Related phones

Nexus 5
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.3 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2260 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 2300 mAh(17h talk time)



1. modyt

Posts: 30; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Works with MultiROM as well!

2. hipnotika

Posts: 353; Member since: Mar 06, 2013

custom root flash suu muu tuu puu bla bla bla... you can install iOS8 Beta to iphone in one click ... :)))))))))

4. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

How can I ban you from this page with one click?

19. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Looks like you don't like your iPad anymore :p +1 BTW I agree with him, Google should make this easy like iOS & WP.

29. markj73

Posts: 5; Member since: Jan 21, 2010

Yah so easy - especially when you get one ore more of these errors trying to update/restore the iDevice. http :// So many vague causes I would rather just do the two commands adb reboot bootloader ./flash-all much easier... even if you have success with iOS still have to click the device, click restore iphone/update click next, click agree, and pray...

5. peace247 unregistered

IOS is for kids like u who just like to press colourful buttons...

6. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013


7. Reeyawn

Posts: 66; Member since: Apr 21, 2013

Wish I could install a new brain in your head in one click

9. eldyagustius

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

Nope. This tutorial taught how to upgrade from existing kitkat OS, so the data wasn't deleted. But remember in Android, there are many CHOICES,(unlike iOs) to do this upgrade. This morning, I flash it using my computer in single one-click (flash-all.bat), but the whole data was deleted. Single one click same as iOs 8 beta. Because you had pulled me in this thing about the beta version installment, I'm sure you upgraded your iPhone/iPad unofficially by using the iOs 8 IPSW so you could bypass the UDID developer account check. The illegal way doesn't count.

12. hipnotika

Posts: 353; Member since: Mar 06, 2013

no you can upgrade from iOS 7 to iOS8 beta in one click via upgrade button on itunes without data loss ;) and also i have an udid registration ;)

13. eldyagustius

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

what is the essence of one click in installing the beta version of OS? if you talked about the simplicity, let's talk about the data transfer. How much clicks do you need to transfer your songs using iTunes when you could do it only by copy-paste?

16. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

LOL... Have you ever had an android device? So many times I've upgraded my Note 2 from Jelly Bean 4.1 to 4.2 to 4.3 to KitKat with one click and without data loss too. Now I'm waiting for Android L update from Samsung. Does iOS have a sub $100 phone for developing countries? I'm still waiting the day when Apple can make a brand new sub $100 phone.

20. hipnotika

Posts: 353; Member since: Mar 06, 2013

just waiting hahaha :))))

17. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

( insert Apple Maps jokes here )

15. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

Can you install iOS 8 in iPhone 4 in one click?

21. hipnotika

Posts: 353; Member since: Mar 06, 2013

can you install kitkat to one year old an android device ?

22. mynameis

Posts: 5; Member since: Jun 27, 2014

YES. i have latest android version ( 4.4.4.) on my alomost 2 years old nexus 4

23. dougiefresh181

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 12, 2012

hahaha i have it on my epic 4g touch from 2011 and even the htc hd2 has it and thats from 2009

24. fireblade

Posts: 717; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

yes, there are many old android devices that can be installed with kitkat. Someone from the XDA can install kitkat in Samsung Galaxy Ace which come out at 2011 and only have 384 MB of RAM. So what?

25. Volcra

Posts: 21; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Yes, my Samsung Galaxy S1 Has kitkat... It came out in 2010

26. hipnotika

Posts: 353; Member since: Mar 06, 2013

it is illegal but..

27. dougiefresh181

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 12, 2012

It's not illegal at all. It may void your warranty, but on a two year old device it's already up

30. TouchWiZSucks

Posts: 53; Member since: May 12, 2014

You're Talking about a 4-year old flagship that was supported till mid 2014 Samsung Galaxy S3 didn't get KitKat even though it has the power. Even many capable droids just hang on Jelly..

31. dougiefresh181

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 12, 2012

The s3 was garbage when it came out and Samsung was always garbage with updates. Flash cm and you can have the latest 4.4 stock rom

28. desnewell

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Thanks for the info. Just reinstalled MultiROM and flashed the L rom. very smooth.

3. josephnero

Posts: 780; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Awesome.wish i had a Nexus

8. nodes

Posts: 1159; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

the status bar icons on the preview are a bit different with images from Google, aren't they?

10. eldyagustius

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

Yeah, the screenshot shows a bit different. In the google factory images, there is no Volta.

11. Zomer

Posts: 361; Member since: May 31, 2013


14. eldyagustius

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

hold on a sec. this is a dev preview while the google factory images is a beta, isn't it?

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