Google has introduced Android M at the Google I/O 2015 conference just a few hours back. Following the last year’s strategy, Google has released the Android M developer preview images for Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player as well. The Android M Developer Preview images are available live for download on the Android Developer’s website for the aforementioned devices. Google also promises OTA updates for the devices flashed with Android M images, so this is a great news for Nexus users.

Android M brings a lot of new features to the Android ecosystem like the Granular permissions which improves handling the permissions at a granular level which installing and upgrading apps, App Links, which allows app developers to associate an app with a domain they own. Now on tap that offers contextual information just a tap away in Google Now, Android Pay & Fingerprint integration, Doze and App Standby power-saving features, new assist technology and more to be revealed.

The Android M preview images can be installed like any other Nexus images but users have reported ‘missing system.img’ error while flashing. So, you need to dirty flash the images for a error free installation of Android M on your device. Grab the Android M preview images from the below links and the follow the simple procedure to install Android M on your Nexus device.

Android M Developer Preview Images

Prerequisites

  • Charge your Nexus device above 60% battery level to avoid shutdowns during the process.
  • Backup your device storage, Contacts, SMS etc. using Google Sync service or any third-party app as the entire device will be wiped clean.
  • Enable USB Debugging option on your phone: Settings> Developer options> USB Debugging. If you do not find the developer options, you’ll have to make it visible manually. See the instructions here.
  • Download and install the latest Google USB Driver on your Windows PC. Since the USB drivers is not an executable file but a zip, it requires special steps to install it. Download and extract the zip to your desktop. Connect your device to the computer. Press Windows+X keys on the keyboard and click on Device Manager option. Now click on the “Other Devices” expander button. Right click on Nexus 5 (with yellow triangle sign) and select “Update Driver Software”. Then click on “Browse My Computer for Driver Software”. Locate the “latest_usb_driver_windows” folder and select Install option. When the driver is installed, you device should show in device manager as“Android Composite ADB Interface”.nexus-5-usb-driver
  • Download and setup Android-SDK on your computer, or simply download the Minimal ADB and Fastboot tool: adb-and-fastboot.zip (rename mfastboot.exe to fastboot.exe for convenience)

Install Android M Developer Preview on Nexus 5, 6, 9 and Player

  1. Download the Fastboot zip from above and extract the files to a working folder on your PC.
  2. Download the Android M preview image and extract it to get a bunch of files along with a zip file which contains about 4-6 image files like:
    • boot.img
    • cache.img
    • recovery.img
    • system.img
    • userdata.img
  3. The initial .tgz image you have downloaded contains .img files for bootloader, radio. The vendor.img only appears in the Nexus 9 preview images as this img file contains the drivers for Nexus 9, so don’t worry if you don’t find this for other devices.
  4. Copy all the .img files to the folder where you have extracted the ADB and Fastboot files.
  5. Navigate to the folder where you’ve extracted the ADB and Fastboot files and open a command prompt by pressing Shift + Right-click on any empty space inside the folder, and select Open command window here from the context menu.
  6. Connect your Nexus device to the PC using a USB cable and reboot into bootloader mode by executing the following command in the command prompt:
    adb reboot bootloader
  7. Flash the bootloader.img and radio.img one-by-one using the following commands:
    fastboot flash bootloader bootloader.img
    fastboot flash radio radio.img
  8. Reboot the bootloader once you flashed the new bootloader and radio images. Don’t skip this step.
fastboot reboot-bootloader
  • Once the device boots into new bootloader, flash the rest of the images one-by-one using the following commands:
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
    fastboot flash boot boot.img
    fastboot flash system system.img
  • If you want to do a full wipe of the device, issue the following commands one-by-one (Recommended):
    fastboot flash cache cache.img
    fastboot flash userdata userdata.img
  • Nexus 9 users have to flash the vendor.img as well. So, flash it with the below command:
    fastboot flash vendor vendor.img
  • Finally, reboot your device using the below command:
    fastboot reboot

That’s it, your device will now boot into the latest Android M. Be patient and excited at the same time.

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