Yesterday, Google announced the kickoff of the KitKat OTAs for the Nexus 7 and 10, though we haven't seen the update for the 2012 N7 actually pop up until a few minutes ago. (If you have a 2013 Nexus 7, head over here.)
2012 Nexus 7 Wi-Fi (not 3G yet) owners, listen up. You can now flash the 185MB KRT16O Android 4.4 build without waiting any longer, no matter what your rooting/bootloader situation is. Of course, if you've modified the system partition in such a way that the OTA won't apply cleanly anymore, you have to either revert those changes or wait for the factory image.
Boring stock launcher
As before, the latest Nova Launcher beta enables transparency and works like a charm. In fact, Here's How To Try The Google Experience Launcher With Translucent Bars And Google Now Once You Get Your KitKat Update [APK Download].
Nova Launcher beta
In order to complete the steps below, you need to have the Android SDK installed. The SDK contains the latest version of adb and fastboot, which you will need for flashing. You will also need a MicroUSB cable to execute adb sideload, fastboot flash, and other commands. You don't need a USB cable if you're just planning to download the OTA zip directly to your device and flash it from recovery.
Note: This method, just like the native OTA update procedure, does not wipe your data.
Note: If you're using SuperSU v1.69 with OTA Survival enabled, you need to disable it first, otherwise the update may not flash.
adb sideload the zip you downloaded above by following my earlier guide here. If something fails, try to fix it by restoring the system files you've changed or wait for the factory image.
Here's what you should expect to see if you're using the stock recovery:
adb sideload using stock recovery
And now that you've flashed yourself some KitKat, go read up on what's new and enjoy!
Update: The Android Runtime switcher seems to be missing here, so no ART for us 2012 N7 users. Curiously, it's there on the 2013 N7.
Rooting a Nexus 7 is very easy but requires an unlocked bootloader and a custom recovery. I recommend using TWRP.
- Flash TWRP from here (fastboot flash recovery FILENAME.img).
- Reboot into recovery (adb reboot recovery or hold Power+VolDn, then select Recovery).
- Flash the latest version of SuperSU.
- You should be rooted.
Thanks, Andrei Voica and TheManii!