Motorola has been very impressive lately with software updates to their devices. The Android 4.4.4 KitKat was rolled out to most of its devices much quicker than flagship devices of other manufacturers. It has been doing a great job with the Android 5.0 update as well and has rolled out the update to select Moto G 2014 and Moto X 2013/2014 models. Moto G 2013 models would be getting their Lollipop update soon as well, but it might take a few weeks’ time for all models to get updated. But if you’re impatient and would want to explore Android 5.0 Lollipop features on your Moto G today, you can do so by installing the CM12 ROM that has been posted for Moto G 2013 models on XDA.
The ROM has been tested by the developer on the XT1032 model but it will work on the XT1033 model as well with a trick. The ROM is based purely on the CyanogenMod 12 sources and doesn’t include any additional mods and tweaks. So you will get a stock Android experience similar to Google Nexus devices. That doesn't really mean much for Moto G users though as Motorola’s Android skin is already very close to stock Android. Surprisingly for an early Nightly, the ROM is largely stable and almost everything works except the Wi-Fi hotspot feature. Calls, SMS, audio playback, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Low-Power Mode, Voice notes, Camera, GPS, Mobile Data, MTP Mode, and USB OTG all work absolutely perfectly. Only the default camera app could cause some issues, so you will need to install the Google Camera app to get rid of any issues. Other than that the ROM is working fine for the most part and you can use it as a daily driver ROM without having to worry about any issues. In a few days the Wi-Fi hotspot issue could also be fixed and perhaps someone would find a workaround and post it in the official thread for the ROM on XDA.
In this tutorial I am going to walk you through the steps involved to get this ROM running on your Moto G. But do make sure you follow all the steps correctly and take care of all the prerequisites that are required to be met before you can move forward with the installation of this ROM. There are chances you might brick your device if you do something wrong during the installation process, so please do follow the guide and do not try to do anything differently based on your own judgment.
Before we get on with the installation, there are a few things that you need to take care of. The first thing that you need to do is take a backup of all your data as well as your ROM. You can do this by taking a Nandroid backup of your current ROM and you can use third-party apps from the Google Play Store to back up your data and apps. I would say performing a Nandroid backup makes sense as you can easily revert to your current ROM in case anything goes wrong during the installation process.
Since the CM12 ROM requires you to have root as well as a custom recovery installed, you must first get root on your device if it is not rooted already. An unlocked bootloader is also a must, so you must unlock the bootloader on your device before you can install the ROM. Unlocking the warranty does void your warranty, so do keep that in mind. If you decide to go ahead, install a custom recovery after you’re done with the rooting and bootloader unlock. A custom recovery is critical as you will be installing the ROM via custom recovery. You can install any of the popular custom recoveries like CWM, TWRP or PhilZ recovery.
Performing a ROM installation when your phone is low on battery could be risky as you don’t your smartphone to turn off while the ROM is installing. This could brick your device and you would then perhaps need to take the device to service in order to get it fixed. And since your warranty is now void, you would need to pay for it too. So make sure you have at least 60% charge left on your battery.
Also make sure the USB Debugging option is enabled on your device. You can find this by going to Settings – Developer Options – USB Debugging.
Now that you have taken care of all the requirements to install the ROM, we can proceed to the installation process.
How to Install CM12 Android 5.0 Lollipop on Motorola G
- The first step for the installation involves downloading the ROM ZIP file that you can download from this link. You would also require downloading the Google Apps ZIP Package as CyanogenMod ROMs do not come with any Google apps pre-installed. You can find the GAPPS package at this link.
You would also require downloading the music playback fix ZIP that is required to fix the music playback issue with the ROM. If you do not flash this ZIP, you might not be able to play back music on your Moto G like earlier. So make sure you do download this file as well from this link.
Now connect your Moto G to the computer using the USB cable that came with the device.
Once the device has been connected, transfer the three ZIP files that you downloaded in the above steps to the internal storage of your Moto G. Make sure you save it to the internal memory and not the SD card as that will not work.
When the files have been transferred, unplug the device from the computer. Now turn off the device and enter recovery mode.
Once you’re in the recovery menu, select the “wipe data factory reset” option and then tap on advanced options and clear cache, data, system and dalvik cache as well.
Once you are done wiping everything, return to the main menu of recovery and tap on “Install zip from SD card” option, followed by “Choose zip from SD card”.
Choose the CM12 ZIP file that you transferred to the internal storage of your device to flash it. In a few minutes the ROM should finish installing.
When the ROM has been installed, choose the music playback fix ZIP and flash it too.
Finally you would need to flash the Google Apps (GAPPS) ZIP package.
Return to the main menu of your custom recovery and tap on “reboot system now” option.
That’s it. When your device boots now, you will have Android 5.0 Lollipop running on your Moto G. You can explore all the new features that are available and help the developer find bugs in the ROM by reporting them on the official thread on XDA.
If you have installed this ROM on your Moto G, do share your experience with us in the comments section.