At long last, Google has made the final version of Android 7.0 Nougat available for those who happen to own a device that is eligible for an update. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include many devices. Currently the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P Android handsets are the only ones on that list. If you’re lucky, there is a chance that you have already received an OTA (over-the-air update) and are running Android 7.0, but the chances are quite slim.
Getting Android 7.0 Nougat early
So if you don’t want to wait for Google to push the update to your device, or for your carrier to give it the OK, thanks to the very nature of Android, there is a way for you to get your hands on Android 7.0 Nougat now! But wait; don’t get too excited. You’re still going to have to be the owner of the Nexus 5X or 6P to take advantage of this. So if you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, read on for how to install Android 7.0 on your Android handset, but there are some essential pieces of information I must tell you before you go ahead with this.
As it has always done, Google hosts factory images for its Nexus mobile devices on its own developer website. Therefore, it is important that you understand that by following this tutorial, you will be required to flash your device. My advice to you would be that you back up all of your data before you wipe it/ lose it.
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In addition, this tutorial assumes that you already have the relevant tools, such as adb and fastboot, installed on a Windows-based PC. If you do not have them, you can get them here and follow the set-up guide before starting this tutorial.
How to get Android 7.0 on your Nexus device
Step 1: Once you have adb and fastboot installed and set up on your Windows computer, start your device in fastboot mode. To enable this, with the device powered on, open up a command prompt window on your PC and run adb reboot bootloader.
Step 2: Unlock your device’s bootloader by running either of this command in a command prompt window: fastboot flashing unlock. (remember, this only works on a Nexus 5X or 6P)
Step 3: You should now see a confirmation screen on your device. It is at this point that your device will be formatted/wiped. (Did you back up your data?)
Step 4: Using the command prompt, navigate to where you have a copy of the unzipped system image folder.
Step 5: Next, run the flash-all script inside (flash-all.bat). However, you must remember that you need to have your computer’s PATH variable for the script to work correctly from this directory.
Step 6: When it has finished flashing your device, it will reboot. Now you can unlock your device’s bootloader again. To do that, you need to start the device in fastboot mode again, just as you did in step 1. Next, in the command line, type: fastboot flashing lock
Depending on what device you have, this process could format your device again. So be sure to do this before installing and configuring anything after the first update to Android 7.0 Nougat, or you may end up having to start again.
Now if nothing went wrong during this tutorial, you should have a new, fresh install of Android 7.0 on your Nexus device.
Please let us know how you get on and your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.