The first official build of Android N was released last week, and while we’ve still got about 4 weeks until we see another major build like that, Google has decided to push out a small update for the beta to any Nexus 6P, 5X, or 9 on the Android N Beta program. The update weighs in at around 30MB, so you should be okay if you don’t have WiFi and need to use your data connection to download the necessary files.
Google hasn’t decided to publish a changelog with this release, but we can assume that the reason for this update is to address critical bugs found in the previous build, as recent reports have suggested that the current build of Android N could soft brick your device if installed. This could be a fix for that issue, however it’s not confirmed yet.
If you want the update on your Android N-running phone or tablet, go to Settings > About phone/tablet > Software Updates and see if there’s one available. However, if you’re impatient and want it now, you can manually flash the update to your device using the appropriate factory image linked below. However, we must warn you that any data currently on your device will be lost once the process is completed.
For reference, here’s Google instructions on how to flash the system image to your device:
To flash a device using one of the system images below (or one of your own), you need the latest
fastboottool. You can get it from one of the sources below.
- From a compiled version of the Android Open Source Project.
- From the
platform-tools/directory in the Android SDK. Be sure that you have the latest version of the Android SDK Platform-tools from the SDK Manager.
Once you have the
fastboottool, add it to your
PATHenvironment variable (the
flash-allscript below must be able to find it). Also be certain that you’ve set up USB access for your device, as described in the Using Hardware Devicesguide.
Caution: Flashing a new system image deletes all user data. Be certain to first backup any personal data such as photos.
To flash a system image:
- Download the appropriate system image for your device below, then unzip it to a safe directory.
- Connect your device to your computer over USB.
- Start the device in fastboot mode with one of the following methods:
- Using the adb tool: With the device powered on, execute:adb reboot bootloader
- Using a key combo: Turn the device off, then turn it on and immediately hold down the relevant key combination for your device. For example, to put a Nexus 5 (“hammerhead”) into fastboot mode, press and hold Volume Up + Volume Down + Power as the device begins booting up.
- If necessary, unlock the device’s bootloader by running:fastboot flashing unlock
or, for older devices, running:fastboot oem unlock
The target device will show you a confirmation screen. (This erases all data on the target device.)
- Open a terminal and navigate to the unzipped system image directory.
- Execute the
flash-allscript. This script installs the necessary bootloader, baseband firmware(s), and operating system.
Once the script finishes, your device reboots. You should now lock the bootloader for security:
- Start the device in fastboot mode again, as described above.
- Execute:fastboot flashing lock
or, for older devices, running:fastboot oem lock
Locking bootloader will wipe the data on some devices. After locking the bootloader, if you want to flash the device again, you must run
fastboot oem unlockagain, which will wipe the data.