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Install and Test Android L Developer Preview on HTC One M7 with ease

Android L is out and even though for now only Nexus based devices can experience the developer preview of this major Google update, those of xda-developers managed to release a custom ROM based on Android L for the HTC One M7 smartphone. Therefore, if you want to test the redesigned and improved Android platform on your own HTC One, don’t hesitate and use this step by step guide for learning how to easily and safely install the developer preview of Android L by using a compatible custom ROM firmware.

As mentioned, all this is possible thanks to those of xda-developers, where senior member “ssrij” managed to port the Android L factory image for the HTC One M7. For now, Android L has been tested only on Nexus based devices, so this is a major advantage for the HTC users. Anyway, don’t expect to receive a stable and full optimized and customized firmware, as for now we are dealing only with a developer preview of Android L which can be anytime installed on the HTC One M7 by using a custom recovery image such as CWM or TWRP recovery.

According to the developer and to those who have already installed Android L on HTC One M7, the firmware can’t be flashed for a daily use as there are various issues such as: camera, Wifi, Bluetooth, sellular data, sound and sensors. Even though you will not be able to experience Android L on a daily basis yet, you can still test the same for noticing what is new on this new and redesigned Android update. As we all know, Android L comes with revamped design, 5,000 new APIs, improved behavior for multitasking, ART runtime as default, a new design philosophy called Material, lockscreen notifications, enhanced Quick Settings, and lot more.

Of course, since we are dealing only with the developer preview of Android L, this guide is recommended only for the advanced users of HC One M7. Of course, the installation process can be applied even by a newbie, but switching between a custom and stock ROM is not easy and save especially if you are not used with these types of operations. Basically, before doing anything else and before completing this tutorial you need to make a Nandroid backup for saving the current firmware of your phone – in this way you can restore the stable Android OS after testing the Android L based custom ROM.

In addition to the Nandroid backup you should also save everything that you might need or use afterwards – a wipe will be applied so all of your data will be erased. So use compatible backup and restore apps from Google Play and save your personal data, info and accounts along with your text messages, call logs, market apps, internet settings, images, videos, contact list and audio files.

Thus, it should be clear for you that HTC hasn’t released the Android L update for your HTC One M7. This is the developer preview of the firmware which has been developed by a third party dev – therefore this step by step guide isn’t official which means that you will update your Android smartphone with an unofficial OS. Due to same reasons, the warranty of your HTC One will get void – if you think that you can brick your device by using this guide maybe the best will be to stop going any further.

Of course, since we are dealing with a custom ROM root access must be ensured and a custom recovery image installed. You need to root your phone because a custom ROM firmware can be flashed only on an unlocked handset while the custom recovery image (I recommend you to use the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery) will be used on the installation process in matter of flashing the .zip file through the same app. These are also unofficial operations which will void the warranty of your phone so be careful when applying the same.

A computer or laptop will have to be used during the steps from below since some files will have to be downloaded on the same. Of course you will also have to establish a connection between your devices so your HTC One M7 USB cord will have to be near you. On your computer you should deactivate the security tools – do that only temporarily because the antivirus tools might interrupt the download process. Then, on your smartphone you have to check the USB debugging option from path “menu – settings – developer option”. And finally, you need to plug in the charger as your phone might get bricked if it gets turned off in the middle of the update operation.

Of course, this tutorial is compatible only with the HTC One M7 since the Android L developer preview has been ported only for the mentioned handset. Installing this custom ROM on any Android device might soft brick your phone or tablet.

How to Install and Test Android L Developer Preview on HTC One M7 with ease

  1. Go to this page and download the Android L custom ROM firmware for your HTC One – save the file on your computer, preferable on desktop.
  2. Don’t unzip the download file; just save it and complete the steps from below.
  3. Connect your smartphone with your computer by plugging in the USB cord.
  4. Transfer the downloaded file on your phone and then unplug the USB cable as the computer is no longer useful to us.
  5. Turn off your HTC One and enter recovery mode on your device.
  6. From recovery first of all, wipe the system and clear cache; thus select “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”. Then, from main menu of recovery select “advanced” followed by “wipe dalvick cache”.
  7. Go back to recovery and from there now select “install zip from SD card” and “choose zip from SD card”.
  8. Pick the firmware file and flash the same – wait while the installation process and in the end unplug the USB cord and reboot your phone.
  9. If a boot loop is being issues, go back to recovery and from there select “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition” once more.

Good job, you have successfully completed our step by step guide, which means that Android L developer preview has been installed on your HTC One M7. So, test the new Android system and see how it performs on your handset. Do note that this is not a stable ROM, so after checking it out, go back to your Android OS by using the Nandroid backup.

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