Google recently launched the much awaited next-generation Android operating system, Android 4.4 KitKat, for its Nexus line of devices including Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.
Though the company is yet to release Android 4.4-based official firmware to its smartphone and tablet users, third-party Android developers have already stepped in to help users through the release of Android 4.4 AOSP ROMs and CyanogenMod 11 ROMs for Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (both 2012 and 2013 models).
Contrary to the fact that CyanogenMod ROM is usually the first to get new platform updates for Android, Android 4.4 KitKat was initially launched on Nexus 4 via Paranoid Android (PA) ROM. The PA ROM also ships with its own customised Google Apps package that can be installed with AOSP ROMs as well as CyanogenMod ROMs.
Nexus 4 had earlier received custom Android 4.4 AOSP ROM via the original factory image based AOSP ROM for Nexus 5. Nevertheless, Nexus 4 users can now enjoy faster and more stable KitKat experience, thanks to the release of CyanogenMod 11 (CM11) ROM by the CM team.
According to XDA Developers senior member, micku7zu, all the native KitKat features seem to be fully functional with the CM11 ROM; but it has no features from CyanogenMod as it is still an alpha build.
Users who wish to install Android 4.4 KitKat can follow our step-by-step guide given below. IBTimes UK reminds its readers that it will not be held liable for any device damage during or after firmware installation. Users are advised to proceed at their own risk.
- The CyanogenMod 11 ROM and the instructions given in this guide are meant for the Nexus 4 E960 model only. Verify device model number by navigating to Settings > About Phone.
- Back up data and settings using a recommended custom recovery tool, like ClockworkMod (CWM) or TWRP, as it creates a complete image of the existing phone setup.
- Verify correct USB drivers for the phone are installed on the computer (download Nexus 4 USB drivers).
- Ensure USB debugging mode is enabled on the phone, by navigating to Settings > Developer Options (NOTE: Tap the phone's Build Number seven times to unlock or reveal the hidden Developer Options under Settings.) Then select the checkbox to enable USB debugging mode under Settings > Developer Options.
- Make sure the phone has at least 80% battery charge to prevent unexpected device shutdown (due to battery drain) while installing the ROM.
- If the device is stuck at booting or experiencing boot loop issues, perform Wipe Cache Partition and Wipe Dalvik Cache a few more times before rebooting.
- Allow newly installed ROM to stabilise for five minutes before you start working on it.
Steps to install Android 4.4 KitKat on Nexus 4 with CyanogenMod 11 ROM
Step-1: Download Android 4.4 Kitkat CM11 custom firmware for Nexus 4 to computer.
Step-3: Connect the Nexus 4 to computer via USB cable. Without extracting any file, copy both downloaded zip files to the phone's internal storage (in a separate folder).
The CyanogenMod Android 4.4 KitKat ROM can be installed on the Nexus 4 using either CWM or TWRP recovery. Follow any method based on the recovery mode installed on your device.
How to Install via CWM Recovery
Step-1: Disconnect the phone from computer and then power it off. Wait for four to five seconds until the device completely shuts down.
Step-2: Boot the Nexus 4 into CWM recovery mode. To do so, press and hold Volume Down and Power buttons together and then release the Power button once the Google logo appears while still holding the Volume Down button. The phone should enter Bootloader mode now.
Tap Volume Down two times so that Recovery option will appear and then hit the Power button to reboot into recovery mode.
Note: In recovery mode, use Volume buttons to navigate between options and Power button to select the desired option.
Step-3: Perform a Backup from CWM recovery. So that you can restore your data and settings in case something goes wrong during firmware installation.
Step-4: Perform a Factory Reset (This will delete all apps and their settings). To perform a Factory Reset, choose Wipe data/Factory reset then select Yes on next screen to confirm the action.
Step-5: Select install zip then select choose zip from sdcard. Now browse to the Android 4.4 CyanogenMod 11 ROM zip which was earlier copied to the phone. Select it and then choose Yes on the next screen to confirm.
Step-6: Once the ROM is installed, repeat step 5 to flash Google Apps package.
Step-7: Once the installation process completes, return to the recovery menu and reboot the phone by tapping reboot system now. The phone will take some time for first boot.
Once Nexus 4 boots up successfully, it should be running Android 4.4 KitKat via CyanogenMod firmware.
How to Install via TWRP Recovery
Step-1: Boot the phone into recovery mode. To do so, power off the phone and wait for about four to five seconds until the device shuts down. Press and hold Volume Down and Power buttons together and release the Power button once the Google logo appears but continue holding the Volume Down button. The device will now enter Bootloader Mode.
Step-2: Tap the Volume Down two times so that Recovery option will appear and then hit the Power button to reboot into recovery mode.
Note: In recovery mode, use Volume buttons to scroll between options and Power button to select the option.
Step-3: Perform a Backup from TWRP recovery. This is helpful if something goes wrong during the firmware installation and users want to restore back to original settings.
Step-4: Perform a Factory Reset (This will delete all apps and their settings). Tap on Wipe then scroll to the bottom of screen and do a Swipe on the Swipe to factory reset option.
Step-5: Click Install. Browse and select to the Android 4.4 KitKat CyanogenMod 11 ROM file which you saved earlier. After selecting the file, go to the bottom of screen and perform a swipe on the Swipe to Confirm Flash option to begin flashing.
Step-6: Once the ROM flashing is completed, repeat the step 5 to install Google Apps.
Step-7: After the installation process is done, return to the main recovery menu and hit Reboot. Now tap on System to reboot the phone. The phone will take some time for first reboot.
Once the Nexus 4 boots up to home screen, it should be running Android 4.4 KitKat via CyanogenMod firmware.