When owning a Nexus device everything is about getting the latest updates and enjoying the pure Android firmware. But, sometimes that isn’t enough, especially if you are an advanced Android user who wants to use its device on full power. And if we are talking about the 2013 version of Google Nexus 7 then there is a lot of power to deal with. Because of that, during the guidelines from below I will show you how to get the best from your Android tablet by installing the Milestone 1 build (M1) of CM 11 custom ROM software.
As you know, CyanogenMod is the most popular Android based custom ROM, the firmware being used by worldwide Android users. The CM software is also behind other custom ROMs as features ported from this firmware can be spotted on platforms like AOKP, SlimBean, Paranoid Android and lot more. But why is CyanogenMod so popular? Well, first the system is available for almost all the Android smartphones and tablets out there and second because it comes with great features, apps and capabilities that cannot be found on the default system of Android.
The best is that Milestone 1 build of CM 11 has been finally released by the CyanogenMod team. Furthermore, the same can now be easily installed on the Asus Google Nexus 7 2013 edition, this being the purpose of the present tutorial. So, if you choose to apply the steps from below, you will learn how to install CM 11 M1 on the WiFi and 3G models of Nexus 7 2013. As mentioned, this is the Milestone 1 release of CM 11 which means that the firmware is not yet fully stable though, those who have tested the same on the Nexus 7 declared that there are no bugs or things that aren’t working as expected.
Anyway, you should know that the Nightly CM 11 build is still under development, so for now, the M1 launch should be just perfect for your new Google Nexus 7. Now, you should know that CM11 is based on Android 4.4 KitKat OS and as mentioned before, by using this firmware you will be able to use your tablet on full power, without dealing with factory or default restrictions. First of all, this is possible because your tablet must be rooted; then the CM11 M1 features and capabilities will help you obtain more from your Asus Nexus 7.
Basically, with Milestone 1 CM 11, you will be able to gain speed on your Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi and 3G) while at the same time the battery life will be improved. Also, the web browsing experience will be updated and the power upgraded. Finally, you will be able to enjoy a new theme manager, new looks and basically and new Android 4.4 KitKat user interface that has nothing to do with the pure Android 4.4 one. And all that can be obtained once CM11 M1 is flashed on your Nexus 7.
It should be clear by now that CM 11 is not an official Android 4.4 update that has been rolled out by Google or Asus. CyanogenMod is developed by third party devs so the Milestone 1 release of CM11 represents just a free aftermarket distribution of Android 4.4 KitKat that is now available for your Nexus 7 2013 edition. Because of that, for being able to apply this update root access must be provided on your tablet. Without rooting your Nexus 7 you will not be able to flash a custom ROM, so this is a general but essential pre requisite.
The same can be applied when talking about a custom recovery image. For these kinds of operations (unofficial ones) the stock recovery image isn’t useful. Because of that, before going any further you need to install the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery on your handset. Use these apps because the CM 11 M1 firmware has been tested by the devs only by using the same. In order to make things easier, you can use this guide: “Install CWM Recovery and Root Nexus 7 2013 on KOT49E Android 4.4.1 KitKat Firmware”.
Good, now after completing the tasks from above you need to consider in backing up your Nexus 7 data. Why? Because a wipe will be performed a little bit later, and when that happens you will lose everything that’s relevant for you including text messages, images, personal data, info and accounts, internet settings, market apps and so on. Since CM 11 M1 is not a stable version of CyanogenMod, in order to avoid unpleasant situations, you should also make a Nandroid backup for saving the current ROM. Don’t worry, saving the current Android 4.4 firmware will only take a minute as the same can be applied via custom recovery image.
On the other hand, also for being able to complete this tutorial a computer, your Asus Google Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi or 3G models) and its USB cable are being required. A connection between your tablet and computer must be established, so because of that on your device from path “menu – settings – developer options” USB debugging option must be enabled. Furthermore, the best will be to deactivate the antivirus protection that is running on your computer, because the security protection might interrupt the update operation. I recommend you to charge your handset especially if the battery status indicates less than 60% power left.
It is important to install Milestone 1 (M1) CM 11 Android 4.4 KitKat firmware by using this guide only on the WiFi or 3G model of the Google Nexus 7 2013 edition. The steps from below are compatible only with the mentioned tablet, so try not to mess things up as you can end up in bricking your Android device.
How to Install Milestone 1 CM 11 on Google Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi and 3G models)
- Download the CM 11 M1 update file suitable with the version of Nexus 7: for the WiFi model get the Android 4.4 firmware from here, while for the 3G model, go to this page.
- Also, download Google Apps from here as this package isn’t included on the update file.
- Save these files on your computer first – on desktop if you want.
- Don’t unzip the files.
- Connect your Nexus 7 with your computer.
- Of course use the USB cable for establishing the connection.
- And then copy-paste the downloaded files from desktop on your tablet.
- Finally, unplug the USB cord as we don’t need the computer from now on.
- Turn off your handset.
- Reboot it in recovery mode.
- Wipe the data (select “wipe data factory reset”) and also clear the cache (select “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvick cache”) before starting the installation procedure.
- Now, from main menu of recovery select “install zip from SD card”.
- Also select “choose zip from SD card”.
- Pick the CM11 M1 update files and install the Android 4.4 KitKat custom firmware on your 2013 Google Nexus 7.
- Then repeat that process for flashing Google Apps package on your tablet.
- In the end, return to recovery menu and select “reboot system now”.
- The first boot will take longer to complete than usually; anyway, if instead of that a boot loop is what you get, return to recovery and select “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”.
- From recovery select “backup / restore” if you want to restore the old ROM back.
Good job guys, you are done. So, there you have it; that was the how to procedure that can be used when trying to update your Asus Google Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi or 3G) with Milestone 1 CM 11 custom ROM Firmware. So test the new version of Android 4.4 KitKat OS on your tablet and if you notice bugs or issues, use the comments area from below for sharing the same or for talking with us and with other users who might want to try this step by step guide.