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Update Google Nexus 4 with Android 4.4 KitKat Custom ROM Firmware

Do you want to test the Android 4.4 KitKat OS on your Google Nexus 4 ahead of the OTA release in order to see what to expect? Well, if so, then I have some great news for you as those of xda-developers had managed to port the Nexus 5 factory image for developing a full and clean custom ROM for your LG Google Nexus 4. Of course, and as I have already mentioned, this ported firmware is based on Android 4.4 KitKat software, so now you will be able to test Google’s latest OS on your own smartphone.

If I have convinced you and if you want to give it a try, then use this step by step guide and learn how to update your Google Nexus 4 with Android 4.3 KitKat custom ROM firmware. But first, it should be clear for you that this update is not the OTA one. As we all know, the KitKat firmware will be released by Google soon (during the following weeks) for all the Nexus devices (almost all, as the Galaxy Nexus will no longer receive OTA updates), including your LG Nexus 4. So, this ROM is only based on a ported variant of the Android 4.4 system, meaning that you will be flashing an unofficial software that has nothing to do with Google or with LG.

That’s why, if you choose to follow and complete this tutorial, root access must be granted on your smartphone. The present ROM will require an unchained system as some internal files and programs must be accessed by the same firmware. Of course, this access can be enabled only via root. Therefore, before starting to apply something on your device, root your Google Nexus 4. Due to same reasons, the warranty of your handset will get void. The binary flash counter will be increased once you will root and install the present Android 4.4. KitKat based custom ROM, so your Nexus 4 will lose its warranty.

Don’t worry, as if something bad happens, you will be able to regain the lost warranty. For doing the same you will have to reset the flash counter. Well, achieve that by downgrading your LG Nexus 4 to stock Android 4.3 OS. Not to forget, on rooted systems the OTA releases can’t be noticed; so when Android 4.4 will be officially rolled out, you will have to manually flash the same on your smartphone.

After gaining root access you still have to perform other operations for preparing your device for the update process that is described during the guidelines from below. And the first thing to do is to install a custom recovery image. Those of xda-developers had tested this ported Android 4.4 KitKat firmware on the Google Nexus 4 that has been installed with latest version of CWM recovery, so we are recommending you to use the same custom recovery image. Do note though that CWM recovery can be flashed only on a rooted Nexus 4.

On the other hand, as a pre-requisite and also as a personal recommendation, backup the data that is saved on your phone. You see, when installing a custom ROM a wipe is strongly recommended; else the ROM will not work on your device. The same is applying when talking about the present Android 4.4 KitKat firmware, so before starting the steps from below, use suitable backup and restore apps from Google Play and save contacts list, call logs, market apps, personal saves, data, info, EFS folder and basically everything else that means something to you.

Finally, you need to ensure the following: your phone must be charged as it might get bricked if it gets turned off in the middle of the update operation; so, first plug in the charger – only if the battery status indicates less than 50% power left. Of course, a computer will be used, but on the same you will first have to deactivate the antivirus and basically the security protection; else the flashing process might be interrupted. On your Nexus 4 the USB Debugging option must be checked because you have to establish a connection between the computer and handset; enable USB debugging from path “menu -> settings -> developer options”. Apply the steps from below for installing the ported Android 4.4 KitKat custom ROM firmware only if you own the LG Google Nexus 4; this step by step guide is compatible only with the mentioned Android based smartphone.

How to Update Google Nexus 4 with Android 4.4 KitKat Custom ROM Firmware

  1. You first have to save the Android 4.4 firmware on your computer.
  2. In order to do so, on your computer’s browser go to this page.
  3. From there download the KitKat software file.
  4. Now, place the update file on desktop; don’t unzip the same.
  5. Next, connect your Nexus 4 with the computer – plug in the USB cord for ensuring the connection.
  6. Then, take the downloaded file from desktop and place it on your phone.
  7. Now, unplug the USB cable for disconnecting the devices.
  8. And turn off your LG Nexus 4.
  9. Reboot your Android device in recovery mode.
  10. Then, the first thing to do is to use the recovery mode menu for selecting the following: “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”; also select “advance” followed by “wipe dalvick cache”.
  11. Up next, return to main menu of recovery and from there select “install zip from SD card” shortly followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
  12. You will be able to pick the update file; do so.
  13. Also, flash the firmware on your device.
  14. In the end, from recovery select “+++go back+++” followed by “reboot system now”.
  15. If the first boot will take a longer time to complete than usual, don’t panic – there is nothing wrong with your Nexus 4.
  16. But, if your phone is somehow stuck in a boot loop, then you have to return to recovery mode and from there you need to select “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”. Then, reboot and you are done.

Good job; now you know how to update your LG Google Nexus 4 to custom Android 4.4 KitKat ROM firmware. Do remember that this is a ported ROM and not an official one. So, there might be some bugs included on the software, but don’t worry as the issues will soon be resolved by the devs. Also, don’t hesitate and use the comments area from below for sharing your experience and impressions with us or with other Nexus 4 users.

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