A stable, though ported, version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS has been made official for the Sony Xperia Z2. As you can tell, it is not the official Android roll out, thus we are dealing with a new custom ROM, which can be installed only in certain conditions. So, if you do want to update your Xperia Z2 to Android 6.0 M, then don’t hesitate and check all the guidelines from below in order to learn how to make things happen.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow for Sony Xperia Z2 comes from those of xda-developers so we must thank them for the present step by step guide. The ROM is ported from the stock and pure firmware, so it is an AOSP build that can now be installed on your own smartphone. Therefore, you will get a Nexus-like experience as the software isn’t pre loaded with Sony’s bloatware or UI. Moreover, being a clean ROM, this AOSP Marshmallow firmware will ensure a better Android experience and with this update running, your Xperia Z2 will run better and faster while it will provide an upgraded battery life.

However, since we are talking about a custom ROM, the Android 6.0 update isn’t yet fully stable – don’t worry, it is stable enough for a daily use. According to the users who have already tested it on their own Sony Xperia Z2, everything is working smoothly, beside the camera app and the video playback feature. All the other Marshmallow capabilities and features are running without bugs or lags, so you have nothing to worry about.

Installing a custom ROM will imply in assuming a few risks – the most important one being that you can end up in bricking your Android device, if you mess things up during the update operation; that’s why you should stay close to the guidelines explained here. Moreover, the warranty of your Xperia Z2 will get void once you start to apply the steps from below – the AOSP Android 6.0 system is only based on stock Marshmallow, but it is developed by third party devs and represents a free aftermarket distribution of the official platform.

Therefore, in case you end up in damaging your phone, you won’t be able to reclaim its warranty, so you will be by yourself. In that situation, you will probably want to learn how to manually fix your Android based device and luckily for you, there are various ways in which you can troubleshoot the most common Android software related issues – I am talking about lags, bugs, force close errors, boot loops, battery drain, heating situations, screen freeze or total blackouts.

Now, if you want to apply the Android 6.0 Marshmallow firmware on your Xperia Z2, first you will have to root your device as the internal system of your phone must be unlocked (the bootloader too) – the ROM must access it and modify, customize, optimize in built settings, features, apps and processes. As you will notice, the system file will be flashed by using dedicated adb commands, so a custom recovery image will not be required in that matter. However, you still have to install CWM, TWRP or any other similar recovery software on your device as Google Apps package must be afterwards flashed.

The custom recovery image is also required for completing a Nandroid backup. Through this operation you can now temporarily save the current firmware that powers your Sony Xperia Z2. So, if in the end the Android 6.0 Marshmallow software will not run as expected, you will be able to use the Nandroid backup and restore your smartphone back to stock, without dealing with any other problems.

Along with the Nandroid backup you have to save all the other data from your phone. I am talking about a general and complete backup as during the installation process you might have to hard reset your phone and to clear app data cache. So, don’t hesitate and download backup and restore tools and use them for saving your contacts, call logs, texts, images, videos, audio files, market apps, internet settings, IMEI / NVRAM data, calendar info and everything else you might need or use afterwards.

A computer is required as the update operation can be completed only manually – on your PC you have to download the ROM file and other useful tools (a good idea is to temporarily turn off the security protection, or else the download operation might get interrupted). Next, on your smartphone you have to enable USB debugging: first go to “menu – settings – about phone” and tap a few times on Built Number for gaining Developer Options and then navigate towards “menu – settings – developer options”.

Now, before doing anything else, on your computer install Android SDK: learn how to flash Android SDK on Windows or how to set up ADB on MAC OS X / Linux. Also, on your computer install the Sony Xperia Z2 USB drivers. Finally, charge your smartphone if its battery power left is currently lower than 60% - if your Z2 gets turned off while you try to install the Android 6.0 Marshmallow AOSP update, your phone might also get bricked.

How to Install AOSP Stable Android 6.0 Marshmallow on Sony Xperia Z2

  1. First, on your computer download the rest of the required files: the Sirius Image modified boot image from here and the Android 6.0 M system image from here. Also, get Google Apps.
  2. Place all these files on your computer, preferable on desktop.
  3. Next, navigate towards the Android SDK folder and from there open a cmd window: press and hold Shift keyboard key while right clicking on any blank space.
  4. Connect your Xperia Z2 with your computer with the help of the USB cable.
  5. In the cmd window type: “adb reboot bootloader”; wait while bootloader mode is being rebooted on your device.
  6. Unzip the downloaded files and rename them into something easy to remember, such as boot.img and system.img.
  7. Now open a cmd window from the folder you have placed the two .img files – just like you did before.
  8. In the cmd window enter: “fastboot devices” – your Xperia Z2 should be listed, or else you must reinstall its USB drivers on your computer before retrying this step.
  9. Good; now flash the modified boot image from Sirius by taping in the cmd window: “fastboot flash boot boot.img”.
  10. Next, flash the system image by entering “fastboot flash system system.img”.
  11. After flashing the Marshmallow system, install once more the modified boot image; so enter “fastboot flash boot boot.img”.
  12. Up next, transfer the Google Apps package on your phone and then reboot your device into recovery mode: enter “adb reboot recovery” in the cmd window.
  13. From recovery pick the Google Apps package and flash it on your phone.
  14. When done, select “reboot system now”.
  15. If a boot loop will be issued, go back to recovery and wipe the system by selecting “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvik cache”.

There you have it; that’s how you can install AOSP Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS on your own Sony Xperia Z2. Enjoy and stay close for further similar step by step guides.

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