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Update 2012 Google Nexus 7 GSM to Android 4.4 using OmniROM KitKat Nightly

The GSM variant of the Nexus 7 2013 tablet can now be updated to Android 4.4 using a custom ROM, the first official OmniROM Kitkat Nightly build. Read this entire tutorial and you will learn how to successfully update your device without losing any important data.

OmniROM is a new project that is based on AOSP Android 4.4 KitKat, it has been created by Xplodwild, Chainfire and Dees_troy. On this project are working other contributors too. More about this custom ROM can be found here.

Before starting the installation you will first have to take a look at the guidelines below:

  • use this post only with the Google Nexus 7 GSM 2012 model.
    – don’t attempt to update any other tablets nor phones with the files that you find in this article.
  • your tablet has to be rooted with an unlocked bootloader and running the CWM Recovery.
    – make sure that the latest CWM Recovery image is installed.
  • during the installation you will be forced to apply a ‘factory reset’ for your device, this means that you will lose all data stored on the system partition.
    – factory reset shouldn’t be skipped, unless your device already runs on a previous official OmniROM KitKat Nightly build.
    – in case you skip this step but the phone doesn’t boot in normal mode, then you will have to repeat the entire tutorial.
  • backup data from applications that are installed on your device using Helium tool — Google Play Store link here.
  • backup SMS text messages and APN Internet Settings using the following Android apps:  SMS backup & restore | APN Settings Backup & Restore.
    – root access is required for these apps.
  • sync your Contacts info with your Gmail account before starting the updating process.
    – guide here for those of you who don’t know how to do it.
  • enable USB Debugging from Developer Options menu.
  • this is a guide for advanced users and you shouldn’t skip any steps.
    – if you don’t know what you’re doing then it would be best not to attempt to flash these files on your device.
  • in the tutorial you’ll find the step that tells you to create a full NANDROID Backup for the installed ROM, do not skip it.
    > that step will create a restore point for your table, one that you can use in case the new ROM doesn’t boot.
  • check your tablet’s battery charge level and make sure that there is enough left before the device switches off.
  • in case you cannot complete the tutorial then you should ask for more help in comments.
  • also, do not blame us in case you brick your phone or lose any important data in the process.

These were all the guidelines that you had to read before continuing to the next part of this article.

How to install OmniROM Android 4.4 Nightlies for 2012 Nexus 7 WiFi GSM:

  1. Download the custom ROM from here.
    – make sure to download the latest build.
  2. Download Gapps for this Android 4.4 custom ROM from here.
  3. Connect the tablet to your PC, then move both zip files to its internal storage.
    – after the files are transferred you should disconnect your tablet from computer.
  4. Power off the 2021 Nexus 7 now.
  5. Next, boot the tablet in CWM Recovery mode.
  6. First thing that you need to do is to create a full NANDROID Backup for the installed ROM.
    – select ‘backup and restore’, save the file on your internal storage.
    > it is recommended not to skip this step.
  7. Now you can apply the Factory Reset:
    – select ‘wipe data/ factory reset’, confirm.
    – don’t skip this step.
  8. Next, flash the new custom ROM files:
    – select ‘install zip from sdcard’, then ‘choose zip from sdcard’, find the OmniROM KitKat Nightly zip.
    – confirm the installation and don’t press any buttons until the process is complete.
  9. After the ROM is installed, you need to repeat step 8 and flash the Gapps KitKat zip.
  10. When both files are installed, disconnect your device from your PC and then return to the main custom Recovery screen.
  11. Reboot your tablet now in normal mode.
    – the reboot process shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to complete, don’t press any buttons until you see the home screen of OmniROM.
  12. Enter your Google account details when the home screen of your device shows the welcoming screen.

Now that you’ve managed to complete the installation of OmniROM Android 4.4 KitKat custom ROM on your Google Nexus 7 2012 device, you can start testing its new features.

Note: if the first boot process takes too long to complete, then you will be forced to repeat the entire tutorial once again. In case you do choose to repeat the entire tutorial once again, then you need to make sure that you won’t skip any steps.

These were all the instructions that I had for you, I hope that you did manage to update your device and that now you’re testing the ROM.

In case you don’t like this new custom ROM or you think that the tablet doesn’t work as good as you’d expect it to, then you can choose to restore your device to its previous ROM using the custom Recovery screen and the NANDROID Backup file.

If you have any other questions, then you should ask for extra help in comments. Make sure to leave a detailed comment so that we will be able to come up with a viable solution for whatever problem you might encounter during the installation.

Keep in mind that you can continue updating your device with new OmniROM Android 4.4 Nightlies using the download link listed in the tutorial part of this post.

Google Nexus 7 Articles