07
Jul
lg-google-launch-nexus-4-smartphone-available-next-month

Google has only posted official images of the Android L developer preview for the WiFi Nexus 7 and the Nexus 5, but Nexus 4 users want a piece of the action too. That's why folks on XDA have been burning the midnight oil to get Android L running on last year's Nexus. Beta 2 of the N4 port is now up, and it seems to have resolved the showstopper bugs from the first one.

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The first beta had issues with Bluetooth, the camera, and NFC. Those who have flashed the image are saying it's all hunky dory now. SuperSU still isn't working in Android L on the Nexus 4, but Koush's Superuser is functional. Should you decide to flash Android L to your Nexus 4, remember there are a fair number of apps that crash and burn on the developer preview no matter which device you're using.

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Full installation instructions and the download link are available on XDA, but it's a pretty standard ZIP flashing procedure – nothing too unexpected. As usual with this sort of thing, proceed at your own risk.

[XDA – Thanks, XDA users ComputerEngineerMatt, TheDarkDefender, micku7zu, and ramjet73]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    It's fantastic! Even root works now, that's just badass. Now we need builds for N7 LTE and N10 :P

    • 16Bitz0r

      That's lame. If I wanted a port, I'd go for HTC/Samsung.
      There's no reason N4 won't be getting the preview (still unknown if it will be getting the final release).

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        You tell that to Google

      • Phil Oakley

        I don't think they'll release more preview builds, but judging from the fact they released the source for it, we should see the Nexus 4 get the full L release treatment.

      • Christopher Bement

        They've already said they won't be releasing any other previews. So we'd have to wait and see if they actually support N4 on the official L release, which we still won't know until it's announced. Port it is, and the port works fucking great.

        • Adrian Meredith

          I think thats already been confirmed but regardlessm you have to remember that no-one actually bought the galaxy nexus (i did of course) so there was little incentive to keep it supported after 18 month. The nexus 4 however was pretty successful

    • Christopher Bement

      Man, the XDA forums for N7 LTE are a ghost town. So sad. I kinda wish I checked that before spending the money on it, I usually have some due diligence.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        Personally I didn't care for that as much since I am using stock + xposed anyway, though google still disappoints me with lack of 4.4.4 for LTE version.

        But it's to be expected, N7 3G also doesn't have as many roms as WiFi version does

        Cellular versions in general aren't really popular among XDA devs it seems, especially the latest tablets like Tablet Z2 and GTab Pro line

      • Shafted

        Same here. I figured there'd be little to no difference.

        Boy was that a mistake...

        Still prefer having the ability to use LTE/cellular data on this thing though. Still worth it - but declining quickly/

    • Yes, 1000 times -

      This!

  • philknall

    2012 Nexus 7 is also running pretty well!

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2799011

    • Well – kinda…

      From OP in topic:

      "First of all, this is fairly useless as Wi-Fi and other critical features are not working."

      • Dr.Space

        Looks like WiFi got fixed but he did not update the OP.

      • philknall

        For some reason the OP hasn't updated that part of the post. If you check out the update log (also in the OP in topic) it shows that they applied a fix a bit ago. Wi-Fi is working fine,
        I can't find any major issues with it except that a lot of apps are still incompatible (which is presumably the same with every L ROM?). Dropbox and Kindle don't load at all, Gmail crashes frequently, but a lot of other stuff works pretty smoothly.

  • Jack Bauer

    old story but always a big fan of Mahdi rom.. great rom.

    • Christopher Bement

      Actually since the bug-free beta just came out around 11pm EDT last night, it's not really an old story. What the hell does Mahdi ROM have anything to do with Android L?

      • Jack Bauer

        yes it's by Mahdi ROM developer sir. please check before you bash anyone

  • Zyre

    These people always do the impossible!

  • Christopher Bement

    Flashed this last night, I'm in tears with how wonderful it is.

    • flosserelli

      ...

    • Jose Calderon

      do you have CMW or TRWP

      • Christopher Bement

        Twrp

  • David Jones

    Us N10 users are feeling a bit left out :(

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      at least there are sources for it

    • Shafted

      Haven't we always been? It's a ghost town on XDA - much like the Nexus 7 LTE.

      Between these two devices and the Galaxy Nexus (toro), my Nexus experiences have been somewhat ... unflattering.

  • https://google.com/+LateefAlabiOki Lateef Alabi-Oki

    XDA showing Google how to do it right since 2009.

    • Colin Richardson

      Yeah, but could you imagine the uproar is Google released L and it bricked someones phone. (Even if they warned people first). They would get so much crap thrown at them. XDA can say "This could brick your phone" and people will be upset with a bricked phone, but knew the risk more. Google would have to do SO SO SOOO much more testing. Obviously more testing than was worth it.

      • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

        Of course! XDA is Google's testing field :P

      • A Skylit [S]unjΔy

        I'm sure that Google would've been able to release it for the Nexus 4 if they wanted to. They just didn't want to.

    • MJ

      You don't think Google couldn't release a Android L developer preview for Nexus 4 if they wanted to? It's just not a priority for them right now...

      • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

        I wonder what is then... Because what I learned their priority are not customers, and fixing Android fragmentation neither.

        • archercc

          Don't be an idiot, its a freaking beta. Liberate your panties and go on about your day. If Google doesn't release it for the N4 WHEN THEY ACTUALLY RELEASE IT then you can commence whining.

          • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

            Haha, now you made me laugh. What a good sense of humor. Or not. Where did I write I doubt they will release it for N4? It doesn't mean they care about customers though.

        • AOSPrevails

          Google's priority is to get more people to use the internet. The more people actively use internet, the more money they make. I don't see how putting Android L preview on Nexus 4 connects with that priority?

          • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

            Exactly. And it does mean no customer, nor fixing Android fragmentation. If they would no care about how much money they make, Android would be even better, and they would earn even more.

          • MJ

            Why do you keep talking about fragmentation? Google releasing a Android L developer preview for the Nexus 4 does NOT address that! It's not even really a big issue anymore as I explained in my previous comment.

          • AOSPrevails

            Fixing Android fragmentation gets Google no extra money, you seem to not get that point. Google makes money from playstore app sales,ads and data collection, none of those would increase if Google strong armed every OEM to provide AOSP experience. They might even lose money if Samsung went Amazon and took away the majority of Android users.

          • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

            Rubbish. If Android was wide available for instalation, and you could have any Android version you would like on your phone, with all services (like Now and others available only for 4.0+), people getting what they want - Android would be now 90% of devices, not 80%. Because what gets you money is customer satisfaction. Google doesn't care about customer satisfaction and that's why they allow for a trash in their own garden. Like Amazon Fire, Kindlefire and Nokia X's for example. I know ANDROID is Open Source, but, it doesn't mean everyone will shit on the OS. Now, when Android is majority, they can simply make OEMS and manufacturers to implement AOSP.

          • grumpyfuzz

            that's not the point, some developers don't have a nexus 5 or 7 (2013), they might only have a nexus 4. the whole point of the L preview is so developers can test their apps for the new platform before the average user has it. for example, they may want to test out material design and make sure their app is ART compatible (some still aren't).

          • MJ

            Have a Nexus 4? Wait, for the final release like every developer has done for every prior Android release. The world will not end if Google does not release a Android L developer preview for the Nexus 4.

          • grumpyfuzz

            I am completely aware that's how it's been for every android release, and that's what devs who own a nexus 4 will have to do (unless they use this...) but as I already stated, with the L preview they wanted app developers to be able to test early. for developers that own a nexus 4 it's not possible.

          • MJ

            I am sure Google realizes that... Android L is not final and it will keep changing (things may even be removed) so it makes sense for Google not to waste resources and limit developer previews to a couple of phones.

          • chris

            It is now actually since google released the aosp code for nexus 4 and old nexus 7 so developers can have it. Also this means android l is confirmed for nexus 4 at launch

          • dev

            AVD should help

        • MJ

          Huh? The Android L developer preview is for developers NOT consumers. You do know all the important parts of Android (Play Store, Google Now, etc.) have been decoupled from the OS for a while now so fragmentation is not much of an issue anymore?

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Fragmentation is not just about Google's proprietary apps, you know

          • MJ

            The reason for Google to decouple the Play store, Google Now, etc is because most 3rd party apps need to interact with those parts. They now update independent of what Android OS version one has so less fragmentation for app developers.

            Your comment made no sense...

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Oh, it made no sense? Tell that to all those people still stuck at older Android versions

          • MJ

            What version are you talking about? Gingerbread? Sorry, you have been left behind...buy a new phone.

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            I'm at 4.4.4, thanks for asking. I meant all the people that are on anything below 4.4.x, and the older Android version you go - the less you get in terms of functionality and even Google's efforts with Play Services does not always help it

          • MJ

            OK, no idea what Thejungle was trying to say in his last comment but you seem sane.

            Sure, in a perfect world there would be no fragmentation but Google allows anyone to release Android phones so this means there will always be some level of fragmentation (due to the lack of all OEMs updating their phones). They can only try to minimize it... They could limit Android phones to their Nexus devices and a few select partners but that market is already owned by iPhones.

            Android --> A lot of choices but some fragmentation

            iOS --> Few choices but little fragmentation

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            That is because there are no limits set as to how many devices can OEM release. I mean, look at Samsung - they make new phones and tablets, like, every week - imagine how many of them get the latest and greatest as far as Android updates go - pretty much none of them if they are not flagship-class devices

          • Nathan Walters

            That's the manufacturer's fault for not rolling out updates in a timely manner. I don't see how Google is at fault here; if anything, as it's already been pointed out, they've done a great job at minimizing it by providing most of the functionality developers need through Play services and their support libraries. Now, maybe if Samsung would stop saturating the market with a bunch of almost identical phones to create the illusion of choice, they could push out updates to the latest version of Android in a timely manner.

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Where did I say it's Google's fault? Oh wait, if we think about it - it kinda is!

            Though not entirely of course

          • Nathan Walters

            Explain your thinking, please. What do you think Google should do to minimize fragmentation?

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Enforce OEMs to properly updates devices across the board

          • MJ

            They could but then OEMs would probably reduce their phone lineups by 80% and iOS would have more market share and/or Windows phones would take off. I would rather have more phone choices then this over-hyped fragmentation issue.

          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Nobody is saying that a specific OEM should suddenly cut all current devices in development, but at least limit them per a certain period of time. That way OEMs would have a smaller array of new devices on market during that period but at least it would mean they would support those models better. Or even enforce them doing so at the risk of getting left without Play Services license altogether. Companies like ASUS know that Android is an everdeveloping and growing market and they would not want to lose it now

          • http://techdissected.com/ Nick Schiwy
          • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

            Do you know the difference between "shipping" and "supporting"? Yes, OEMs have learned to launch devices with latest (at the time of release) Android version, but it still doesn't guarantee your average midranger will get continuous support

        • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

          Nice discussion here. I don't link my statement about fragmentation to N4 at all. I just wanted to say that they don't have right priorities. They should concentrate on keeping customers satisfied and Android in good condition. Instead we can only see they make plasma balls out of our brains pushing nonsense updates to the system, multiplying system versions every half a year with updates such as e.g. Lockscreen widgets, or other bs stuff they even remove in another updates. This is a really trashy work. This doesn't fight or (as someone says) minimize fragmentation - it maxes it out. If you want delete fragmentation - you make updates every year, with a big update, lots of big uprages and USEFUL features, highing up the version with one everytime, and what's more important - you take the system under your hood, like they wisely did with this year's TV, Gear and Auto versions of Android. They started to think but a looot too late.

          • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

            They simply should make Android "installable", the same way as Linus and Ubuntu is, it would simply remove all fragmentation problems. Not doing it is being dumb or ........... I won't say this.

          • Nathan Walters

            Given both the sheer variety of hardware they would have to support and the fact that, like it or not, OEMs like to modify the experience, that is unlikely to ever happen.

          • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

            WHAT? What does it have to installing Android? Duh... If there are trillions of PC configurations available, does it mean it is impossible to install Linuks? What a rubbish you say.

          • MJ

            PC hardware manufacturers release drivers for Windows so people will buy their hardware. Linux doesn't have the market share so guess what? A lot of times the vendor doesn't bother so unless they release the specs to the hardware so others can make a driver there may be none.

            Mobile hardware vendors in most cases don't release the specs or license others to include the drivers outside of OEM releases.

            Thejungle, are you trolling this tread or are you just clueless?

          • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

            No. PC hardware manufacturers release drivers because they are needed to install Windows. And it is ONLY because Windows is standalone software you can install at anytime. It is because Windows is such since MS-DOS. And it needed drivers since day one. Please, kid - stop trying to prove me something, because you are wrong. And what is more harmfull is that you are misleading others by posting trashy informations. I won't continue to talk to you because your arguments are not facts. Read, get more information and than come back, and try to convince others to your opinions. Until then you can only call me troll. It doesn't make you smarter btw. Good luck.

          • MJ

            I am a kid? I wish... Please point out one thing I said that is wrong?

            I will make it simple for you (part of the problem here is English is not your first language or you are 14). The PC evolved in a way that hardware manufacturers need to release drivers if they want to sell hardware. What to sell a PC graphics card? You need to release the driver or no one will buy it and this is why Windows is "standalone".

            The mobile phone industry took a different path where all the parties want a locked down device. You want to sell a mobile graphics chip? You DON'T have to release release the driver but just license it to the OEMs who want to use it. You even said yourself one can't install Android because their is no drivers. I wish things were different in the mobile space but they are not...

            Google has no control over this unless you like to buy a Nexus device. You want no fragmentation, then buy an iPhone (but no customization).

            I have to convince others? Everyone else seems to be pretty much on the same page here except you (and I have some up-votes which you have zero). LOL

            Good bye, and thanks for playing...

          • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

            Well.. that's pretty sad. Not for me, but because people like to listen bullshit so much, and they spread rubbish all around, and it goes even further, thanks to those guys like you. Yeah, English is not my first language, but I can understand it without any problem. So, I see you can only repeat the same bs all over again, it looks like we reached the point were continuing this conversation is pointless. Anyways, good luck in life.

          • Nathan Walters

            I'm curious which part of what MJ said you think is wrong?

          • MJ

            Nathan, don't bother... Thejungle is just ignorant or a troll and either way it's a losing battle. I feed him to much myself already...

          • dude

            (I know you know this already, but) Android is installable, but to to redistribute Gapps you need the GMS license.

          • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

            Android is not installable my friend. If this is, why can't you update your phone? Magicians at XDA make just ports, but they can't be optimised to exact devices because of lack of drivers for hardware. It would be snappy-simply if there were drivers widely avaiable and to implement into ROM. It could be, but... Google doesn't care. No one cares, letting people to complain about fragmentation and lack of updates.

          • MJ

            Are you kidding? People can flash custom ROMs already...

            There is never going to be a universal Android "install" because of the proprietary drivers needed for all phones that Google would not be allowed to include. Not to mention OEMs and carriers would be pissed if Google allowed a Android version to be installed that wiped out their custom apps and skins.

          • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

            Arms dropping off... Can you read? I wrote I know you can flash any ROM, but this is not installing bud! It is not optimised, these are only dirty ports, not working properly.

            I don't care about OEMs, carriers, apps, skins, anything. I don't care, noone cares. Noone cares If Samsung is pissed off about that they can't make their custom skins on every laptop they sell with Windows, because Microsoft said NO, which means NO. And Microsoft doesn't care either if Samsung is pissed off. Samsung has to sell and do what MS allows them for. BestBuy, ebay and other electronic shop markets don't care either. They just sell stuff. Carriers are for selling stuff and giving talk-plans. Not for skins and apps. Simple. Period.

          • MJ

            Dirty ports? Never heard of AOSP?

            Sorry, Google does not control the drivers needed on OEM phones. You don't need to care about OEMS and carriers BUT Google does if they want them to carry phones with Android on them.

            Android is not the same as Linux and mobile phones are not PCs.

            The only people who care about fragmentation are people like you who don't know what they are talking about... Pretty much everything you are saying on this thread is wrong so give it up.

          • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

            One word - Laugh.

    • Ian Santopietro

      Uhm....

      Google released L as a developer preview. What reason is there to release an image for a phone that isn't the currently-available dev phone?

      • dude

        I think there are still a few bitter people who didn't get their Galaxy Nexus updated to KitKat.

    • ltredbeard

      Everyone save yourself the time and stop reading the comments here. Just a fight about Google hating customers, fragmentation, etc.

  • yash

    i already tipped you guys yesterday and you guys didn't even give proper credit. way to go androidpolice!!!

  • Shubham Chamaria

    As being one of the people helping with the ROM dev, the partial source released by google hampered the progress so its not like devices without source can't get a port...@sykopompos on XDA can help and guide others on porting it to the Nexus 10 or maybe even other Android devices

  • Guest

    I wish Google made nav bar look like this.No,it's not any kind of theme,just a photomontage I created by myself :)

    • pfmiller

      I wish they would keep it how it's been for years. The meaningless random shapes are awful.

      • ddpacino

        Temporary. I personally hope they change a little and resemble HTC's buttons.

      • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

        Awww please, sit quiet. They're great! Google's gonna change them back because such tasteless *** like you.

      • grumpyfuzz

        some people just don't want change...

        • pfmiller

          I like change for the better, I dislike change for the worse. Change in and of itself is neither good nor bad.

          • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

            Good point! +1

      • Stylus_XL

        I guarantee once you've lived with it for a few weeks you'll stop giving a shit.

      • flosserelli

        Agreed. I am confident a clever dev will figure out how to get "old style" icons back.

    • Zyre

      The current buttons might not be final yet.

    • http://www.thejunglephoto.pw Thejungle

      I must say it is quite a good idea, buddy! :)

    • dude

      That probably violates Nook copyright.

  • Guest

    :)

    • Guest

      Posted it twice,my bad :P

  • Damian

    Dear AP, disable that ugly and slow gallery, if I want to open image in a new tab using middle mouse button, just let me, please.

    • http://dabuxian.com/ Dabu

      just right click -> open in new tab

    • http://tulio.ghost.io/ Túlio Hoffimann

      Damian, you can drag images to a new tab...

      • Damian

        That will open thumbnail, not the full image.

        • Guest

          Actually, the Android Police posts doesn't use thumbnails.

        • http://tulio.ghost.io/ Túlio Hoffimann

          Actually, the link is pointing to the original image.... If you drag, it will work.

  • Alexithymia

    Has there been a fix for the transparent comment blocks in Facebook (and possibly other apps)? That keeps it from being a daily for me as much as I wanna use it for more than ten minutes lol

  • MJ

    I won't run the Android L developer preview on my Nexus 5 let alone run a even more unstable/unfinished version if had a Nexus 4. I can't believe so many people have second phones to play with this...

    • Mobile_Dom

      not saying it'll be the same for you, but since beta 2 came out i havent had a single issue, stability wise it's just like 4.4.4 was for me, except scrolling is smoother the animations are a bit more fluid, it doesnt feel like an unnofficial port of a developer release

    • dude

      I have a main phone for work which I do not flash or root. Only for backup/side phones.

    • Guest

      "Herp-derp, I can't believe people aren't as rich as I am and can't spend a thousand bucks for 2 phones lololol"

    • Thomas’

      Well, I used my third phone for L...

  • Bob G

    Last year's Nexus?

    Don't you mean 2 years ago?

    • flosserelli

      Nexus 4 is becoming the new HTC HD2

  • Nifs

    As a Nexus 4 user, this is delightful. Fantastic work!

  • Mike Boodoo

    Does anyone have a list of apps that are currently acting up with L ?

  • Nilachandan Mohanty

    How to flash a non rooted nexus 4. I know, you people will laugh. But today through ADB command I unlock the bootloader and voila, while flashing the boot.img, it says error.

    • dude

      You probably want to ask at XDA instead of here. Also post the specific error.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      through the custom recovery

      • Nilachandan Mohanty

        I tried to flash the boot.img from the downloaded unzipped folder, which said that it is not the correct one. If you can give me a link where, it is written clearly how android L is flashed in a non rooted nexus 4 stepwise, then it'll be of great help. All those sites mentioned twrp or cwm image flashing. Again I can't ask XDA, as I am a newbie there and they don't give permission to reply a thread unit you are ten post old.

  • dude

    I am going to Swappa to get a Nexus 4 right now. (Shouldn't have sold it in the first place maybe.)

  • Kyle Simmons

    I made a video of it booting because I was bored http://youtu.be/cNemnwrcU7s

    • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

      be careful putting the phone down like that, might crack the back. /s

      • dude

        I used a wet applied screen protector with mine.

      • Kyle Simmons

        eh i'm not really worried about that phone to be honest, it's my spare and i usually have a case on it

  • destrokkk

    Works perfectly except the notification bar. It doesn't go down when I sweep

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      you're doing it wrong then?

      • dude

        You should stop fapping for 2 weeks.

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          What a polite answer to.... wait, I wasn't talking to you

    • Ian Santopietro

      That's something I noticed with my Nexus 5 after not-wiping userdata during the install. It also seems to happen in the emulator. Must be a glitch in the software.

  • Stanley C.

    Ported is not a real deal is it?

    The system core is not from L. Is it? Is just skined everywhere?

    • dude

      I believe its the full OS with all the features, just not optimized for the N4. If you just want a skin, you can install CyanogenMod skins.

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      lol "skinned"

  • Mike Boodoo

    The notification bar wont slide out when I swipe. Am I missing something?

  • deltatux

    As much as I want to flash this on my Nexus 4, I'm going to wait as my phone is also for my work... Wished I had another device that I could play with :(...

    • dude

      Get a Moto G LTE to use a daily device, its a superb budget phone. Use the N4 as your play device.

  • ViperX

    07.07.2014. 7+7=14, 14+14=28. Half Life 3 confirmed.

  • someone755

    ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ GROUPER UPDATE or RIOT ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ

  • TedPhillips

    anyone know if the L build for n4 uses the new camera hal? I checked the thread quickly and did not see.

  • Besnik Rrustemi

    Flashed it Yesterday,so far so good,no bugs detected yet,much faster than kitkat and apps like: Facebook,Twitter,Skype Whatsapp,Viber seems to be working fine,
    My Dailly Driver rom till the official release.

  • Gonza

    I hate those buttons, it looks like a Play Station :(

    • Serge Cebrian

      you are wrong it does not look like a play station.
      and i didnt thought that as well when first presented in the I/O

      /inversemodeoff

      its just missing the X xD

  • Akshay Yadav

    I have also installed it but along with mynexus 4 kitkat Stock Rom... It's really simple and Android L is really amazing .. Specially the UI and Calling Functionality..!!
    http://techposts.org/install-android-l-in-nexus-4-with-kitkat/

  • Midiana

    Flashed 2 days ago, zero problems with any app. It's amazing