The Google Nexus 4 will not receive any more official support from Google. Thus, that means only one thing: you won’t be able to receive OTAs and any other new features and capabilities. So, if you aren’t planning in buying a new device any time soon, I might have something really great for you: a way in which you can update your Google Nexus 7 to Android 7.1 Nougat without problems. Yes, that’s right, during the following guidelines I will teach you how to tweak your phone’s performance by using a new custom ROM firmware.

This custom ROM is the new built of NitrogenOS, a great alternative for the stock Android firmware. The NitrogenOS runs on latest Android 7.1 Nougat system and comes with everything that’s new on the stock Android platform and more – yes, you will get features, apps and capabilities that can’t be usually used on the default Android system. Overall, with the Nitrogen OS flashed your Google Nexus 4 should run better and faster while you will enjoy an upgraded battery life. And, in addition, you can use further custom procedures in order to tweak your device – so you can customize, optimize and personalize the Android OS by your own taste.

Being a custom ROM firmware the Nitrogen OS software is developed by third party devs and not by Google. The ROM is based on stock Android 7.1 Nougat firmware but it represents only a free aftermarket distribution of the same ROM. In fact it is a ported and improved / customized variant of the default Android platform. Therefore, the update has nothing to do with Google and shouldn’t be associated with your OEM.

Well, that aspect is introducing a major downside (for the Nexus 4 not so much as a downside since the phone is already on the market from a long time): the warranty of your handset will get void if you will choose to update its internal system with an unofficial Android software. Thus, after completing this tutorial you won’t be able to reclaim the warranty of your phone any more – taking it back to service to resolve issues will imply in paying for the technical assistance (that’s why you should also learn how to manually address software related problems on Android).

You can install the Android 7.1 Nougat Nitrogen OS firmware on your Google Nexus 4 only if you first make a hard reset and clear app data cache – otherwise, the new and unofficial software won’t run smoothly on your phone. So, you can lose all of your personal files unless you first make a general backup by syncing your data with your account or by using similar other cloud storage services. Overall, you should save almost everything from your handset: contacts, call logs, texts, images, saved passwords, calendar info, internet settings, EFS folder, IMEI / NVRAM data and more.

Along with the classic backup you should also save the current Android ROM that powers your Nexus 4. In this way if the new Nougat system will not run properly you will be able to easily go back to stock. The current Android firmware can be easily saved if you can make a Nandroid backup.

A custom ROM can be flashed on Android only if root access is first ensured and only if a custom recovery image, such as CWM or TWRP recovery can be used. With root access you will unlock the internal Android system of your Google Nexus 4 and with the custom recovery image you will install the ROM which is coming in form of a .zip file.

Of course, this is a manual update operation. So, there are a few pre requisites that must be considered:

  • A computer must be used as there you will save the required files.
  • Your smartphone and its USB cable must be near you.
  • You must enable Developer Options on your phone – tap 7 times repeatedly on Built Number (under “menu – settings – about phone”) until you get the ‘you are a developer’ message.
  • On your smartphone you need to check the USB Debugging option – this section can be found under “menu – settings – developer options”.
  • You have to charge your phone’s battery before installing the Android 7.1 Nougat NitrogenOS software – otherwise your device can get turned off in the middle of the flashing process.
  • Plug in the charger only if the power left is currently lower than 50% - do note that if your Google Nexus 4 gets turned off while you use this tutorial, various software related problems can be issued.

How to Install Android 7.1 Nougat on Google Nexus 4 with NitrogenOS

  1. Download the firmware file from here. Also download compatible Google Apps from here.
  2. Save both files on your computer. If possible save the files on desktop as you need to have access to them.
  3. Power on your smartphone and remember to charge the battery if that’s required.
  4. Connect your Nexus 4 with your computer. Ensure the connection by using your phone’s USB cable.
  5. Once the connection is established, select the downloaded files from desktop and transfer them on your phone.
  6. When done, unplug the USB cable. We are done using your computer, so concentrate only on your phone.
  7. Power off your device completely – also wait while the shut down process is completed.
  8. Then, enter recovery mode on your Android device.
  9. From recovery the first thing to do is to wipe everything as already mentioned above – remember to backup your data first.
  10. So, select “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvik cache”.
  11. After doing the wipe, go back to main menu of recovery.
  12. From there now select “install zip from SD card” and “choose zip from SD card”.
  13. Pick the NitrogenOS firmware file and install Android 7.1 Nougat on your Google Nexus 4.
  14. Don’t forget about Google Apps – just repeat the step from above and load the Google Apps package.
  15. When done, go back to main menu of recovery and choose “reboot system now”.

That was all. You can now run the Android 7.1 Nougat system on your Google Nexus 4. However, keep in mind that you are using a custom ROM (the NitrogenOS) and not the default software. So, just test the new firmware and share your experience with us by using the comments field from down below. Enjoy.

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