Google I/O 2015 has been full of interesting announcements for both developers and consumers alike. One of the most important announcements was the release of the latest operating system, Android M. Even as the full version of the OS is not set to release until later this year, Google deployed the preview builds of Android M for developers to test out for any bugs.
Currently, the preview build of Android M is only available for Google's flagship Nexus line including Nexus 5, 6, 9 and Nexus Player. Anyone can get the new OS, which is packed with new features as discussed in a previous article among other highlights of the event.
If you are curious to try out Google's latest operating system on your Nexus smartphone, it is worth advising that you use a secondary handset. The preview builds of a new OS are usually filled with bugs that need to be ironed out before a full release.
Before going ahead with the installation, make sure you take a full back-up of your Nexus device as everything will be wiped out during the manual installation. Below are the steps to manually side-load Android M preview safely:
[Disclaimer: The procedure of manually installing a new OS involves tricky steps and must be performed by someone who has good knowledge of the technicalities involved. IBTimes India does not claim any responsibility for any damages encountered during the process. Hence, readers are advised to proceed with caution.]
Steps To Install Android M Preview On A Nexus Device (Via Google)
- Download and install the latest Android Studio bundle on your Windows PC. Mac and Linux users can find the links to supported Android Studio bundles on the same page.
- Add the SDK folder to the PATH: Go to "My Computer" properties, click Advanced System Settings > System Properties > Advanced > Environment Variables > Select Path > Edit and type the name of the directory where the SDK is installed by separating each entry with a semi-colon.
- Enable USB debugging on your smartphone: Settings > Developer Options > USB debugging.
- Download and extract the correct factory image for you device. Below are the direct download links or you can find the links at Android Developer page.
- Connect your Nexus device to the computer
- Start the device in fastboot mode
Nexus 5: Press and hold both Volume Up and Volume Down, then press and hold Power
Nexus 6: Press and hold Volume Down, then press and hold Power
Nexus 9: Press and hold Volume Down, then press and hold Power
Nexus Player: Press and hold Power
- Make sure the device's bootloader is unlocked. Erases all data on your device.
- Open a terminal then go to unzipped system image directory, execute the flash-all script, which installs the necessary bootloader, baseband firmware.
- The device will reboot once the script completes.
- Lock the bootloader for security. Use the command terminal to execute: fastboot oem lock.
This completes the installation process on your Nexus device. Google will push out monthly OTA updates with minor bug fixes until the final version is released. Further updates will not require the hardships of sideloading as it will be pushed over-the-air.