Do you want to update your Sony Xperia Z to latest Android OS? Even though the Android 4.4 KitKat firmware is currently available only for the Nexus devices and for the Moto X, you can receive the latest feature and apps on your Xperia Z and this without waiting for the OTA to be released (as we know, the official update will be rolled out during February or March next year). Of course, for being able to do so you will have to flash a custom ROM. And which custom ROM to use if not CM 11?
As you can already tell, during the present step by step guide I will teach you how to update your Xperia Z with CM 11 Android 4.4 KitKat custom ROM firmware. Don’t worry as the tutorial can be easily completed, the required steps being explained during the lines from below. Also, completing this guide will only take a couple of minutes from your free time, so you will be back on track before noticing it. The best is that in the end, your Xperia Z will be running on Android 4.4 KitKat software.
What is CM 11? CM11 is the latest release of the CyanogenMod platform and it is based on official Android 4.4 KitKat firmware. So, you are dealing with an unofficial port of the Android OS, which means that CM 11 is coming with its own looks and with both stock and extra features, apps and capabilities. Actually, this variant of the firmware is not the official update provided by CyanogenMod team. This CM 11 OS has been developed by those of xda-developers so there might be some minor problems included on the system; don’t worry though as these issues will soon be resolved.
Also, don’t worry as according to those who have installed CM11 on Xperia Z, the ROM is stable and works without problems (you can try the software for a daily use). Anyway, keep in mind that this update represents only a free distribution of Android 4.4 and not an official release provided by Sony or by Google. Because of that the warranty of your handset will get void while flashing the firmware. Well, actually that’s not entirely true as the warranty will get void once you will root your smartphone.
Yes, that’s right; for being able to complete this step by step guide root access must be achieved. So before doing anything else, root your Xperia Z – else you won’t be able to run CM 11 Android 4.4 ROM on your handset. Related to the warranty, you can restore the same by: downgrading to stock Android Jelly Bean OS or by updating with official KitKat software (when the system will be OTA rolled out). Anyway, remember that on rooted handsets the official updates can be only manually installed.
As soon as your device is rooted, you can proceed to the next section of this tutorial. The same is referring to the following operation: install the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery on your Sony Xperia Z. Don’t skip this part as without CWM or TWRP recovery this guide can’t be completed.
Finally, after performing the procedures from above you need to backup the data of your Xperia Z. Why? Because a wipe will be required and when wiping the system the data which is saved on the internal storage memory will be erased or will get corrupted. I am also recommending a Nandroid backup for storing the current OS – if CM 11 will not be on your taste you will be able to return to previous OS in a minute.
Also for this tutorial a computer will be required. On the same you will have to download the CM 11 firmware file and the Google apps package (it is not included on the Android 4.4 platform). Since we are dealing with unofficial firmware, first you will have to deactivate or disable the antivirus protection that is currently running on your computer. Then, since you will have to connect your Xperia Z with the computer, on your phone you have to go to “menu -> settings -> developer options” for enabling the USB debugging option. And since the flashing process will take a few minutes before heading to the proper steps charge your smartphone – only if the battery power is less than 60%.
You need to know that this tutorial is compatible only with the Sony Xperia Z. So don’t use the steps from below for installing CM 11 Android 4.4 on a different Android based handset as you will probably end up in bricking your device.
How to Update Xperia Z with CM11 Android 4.4 KitKat Custom ROM Firmware
- Download CM11 from here.
- Download Google apps package from here.
- Save the files on desktop.
- Don’t unzip the files as you need to transfer the same on your phone.
- In order to do that, first use the USB cable and plug it in for establishing the connection between the devices.
- Copy-paste or drag and drop the files on your phone’s SD card.
- Remove the USB cable as the computer isn’t useful anymore.
- Enter your Xperia Z into recovery mode – learn how from here.
- From recovery select “wipe data factory reset”.
- Then choose “wipe cache partition”.
- Also pick “wipe dalvick cache”.
- Up next, from recovery select “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
- Pick the CM11 firmware file.
- Install the update.
- Do the same if you want to flash Google apps.
- Return to recovery menu and select “reboot system now”.
Good job, you have successfully completed this step by step guide which means that now your Sony Xperia Z is running on CM 11 Android 4.4 KitKat custom ROM firmware. If you want to talk with us, or if you want to share something with other users that might want to use and complete this tutorial, use the comments area from below.