[GUIDE] Nexus 4 Android 4.4 OTA Rolling Out, Download & Update Manually

While Google has rolled out Android 4.4 OTA to the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, the Nexus 4 isn’t left behind. Though a few users seem to have received the update Over The Air, most of you wouldn’t be getting it as of now. OTAs are rolled out regionally and might take some time before it reaches you. However, geeks who aren’t afraid of manual flashing can go ahead and flash the stock factory image to their device right now as Google has posted the Android 4.4 binaries online.

Nexus 4 Android 4.4 stock

Android 4.4 build number KRT16O was posted earlier for Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 which has been updated and the latest build is KRT16S which is now available for download. Keep reading if you wish to update the device manually.

Update: The Android 4.4 OTA zip for Nexus 4 has been captured and can be flashed to your device without having to unlock the device or without having to wipe data.

Please note that you need to be running Android 4.3 JWR66Y or Android 4.4 KRT66O for this OTA to work.

Download the 239MB OTA zip and place it in your device’s storage. Boot into recovery mode and select “apply update from zip” and select the zip file you downloaded. You can also apply the update via ADB by connecting your device to the PC and following the steps listed in this tutorial (first section).

The tutorial consists of the following sections:

  • Creating backups
  • Installing Android SDK and device drivers
  • Downloads and Extracting Files
  • Unlocking bootloader
  • Flashing files to the device

Creating Backups

This process requires and unlocked bootloader because you can not use fastboot command when the bootloader is locked. Also, unlocking the bootloader wipes all data on the device including the data on /sdcard/ Even if your device has an unlocked bootloader, the data on your device will be wiped when you update it. It is optional to proceed without wiping data on an unlocked bootloader but in case you are stuck in a bootloop, you will have to wipe it anyway. So creating backups becomes necessary. If you have a rooted device, you can use OBackup to create a nandroid backup without having to boot into recovery mode (easiest way to create nandroid backup). Nandroid Manager will help you restore individual apps + data, SMS, call logs and Android ID after you have updated your device. If you don’t have a rooted device, you can follow our backup guide.

Installing Android SDK and Device Drivers

Make sure you have installed Android SDK and the necessary platform tools that are required for you to run the ADB and fastboot commands. You can read our guide on installing Android SDK or read how to use ADB and fastboot commands without installing Android SDK, though I am not sure if the latter would work after your device has been updated to Android 4.4. The tutorials provided by me also instruct you on how to execute ADB and fastboot commands so kindly make sure you read them before you comment below saying that the terminal says that it doesn’t recognize the ADB command. Since this process requires a PC to device connection via USB, you need to install the drivers properly. Please do not install LG Drivers or PDAnet drivers. The best place to download and install the drivers is developer.android.com. The drivers are installed twice – once when you have booted the device normally with USB Debugging enabled and once when you have booted it into fastboot mode. Windows 8 users kindly read this before installing the drivers.

Downloads and Extracting Files

Download the latest factory image for Nexus 4 mako (the software is codenamed occam) from developers.google.com. Use 7-zip to extract the files from the .tgz file to get 6 .img files. You can place all of them in the same folder where you have ADB.exe and fastboot.exe files. You can ignore the remaining files.

Unlocking the bootloader

After you have a backup of the data on your device’s system and /sdcard/ you can go ahead and unlock the bootloader. Turn off the device and boot it into fastboot mode  by holding the volume down button and power. Connect your device to the PC via USB cable. You may see the fastboot drivers being installed on your PC – let this complete. Up next, you can open the command prompt in the location where you have the ADB.exe and fastboot.exe files. This should be in the platform-tools folder if you have installed Android SDK Manager. Execute the command fastboot oem unlock to unlock the bootloader. Accept the warning you get on the device by navigating using Volume buttons and select using Power button. This will wipe all data on the device. Reboot into bootloader using the command fastboot reboot-bootloader.

Flashing Files to Device

Your device is already in the bootloader mode and make sure you have changed the directory in the terminal where you have ADB.exe, fastboot.exe and the 6 img files. Execute the following commands one by one.
fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-mako-makoz10o.img (enter the name of the bootloader file you have extracted from the .tgz file)
fastboot reboot-bootloader
fastboot flash radio radio-mako-m9615a-cefwmazm-2.0.1700.48.img (replace the file name with that if the radio file you have extracted)
fastboot reboot-bootloader
 fastboot flash system system.img
fastboot flash userdata userdata.img (This wipes all data on the device)
fastboot flash boot boot.img
fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
fastboot format cache (or fastboot erase cache – whichever works)
fastboot reboot
After your device reboots, you should be good to go with Android 4.4 running on it. Note that the first boot will be longer. You can relock  the bootloader using fastboot oem lock but it doesn’t make any sense doing that because re-locking doesn’t affect anything related to the ROM/GoogleWallet/OTAs.

If you face any issues, feel free to comment below and I’d be glad to help you out.