Nexus 4 with KitKat

In what should be a pretty clear sign that an over-the-air update is coming soon, Google has posted the factory image for Android 4.4 KitKat for the Nexus 4.

Factory images are  especially helpful if you bork your device playing hax0r — or if you just want an easy way to start from scratch. In the case of the Nexus 4 — which has yet to see an over-the air update — it'll allow you to update without waiting — or wiping.

Also: Don't be surprised when you flash this if you don't have what's been dubbed the "Google Experience" launcher. There's no Google Now on the far left — you'll have to slide up from the home button just like always. Also: No new wallpapers, and no transparency. Weird, but not totally unexpected.

More: Nexus 4 forums; Thanks, Cliff!

 

Reader comments

Google posts Android 4.4 factory image for Nexus 4

102 Comments

I need help people! I have yet to update my N4 to version 4.3 because the last time I tried to it bricked my phone (this is a new device) do I have to update to 4.3 (afraid to at the cost of having my phone brick again) if I want to update to 4.4 (obviously when it comes to the N4) of can I just skip 4.3? Thanks!!!

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I know the transparent bars in the launcher are Nexus 5 only for now, but shouldn't the rest of the OS get it? I mean, Google Maps should get the semi-transparent bar but it doesn't. Or is that a newer version of Maps released only to the N5 and is yet to be deployed to the Play Store?

So when you say " it'll allow you to update without waiting — or wiping." does that mean updating with the factory image will update with erasing any of your data? And if yes how please :)

AIO LTE Enabler (all in one) from XDA is what you want. It's a hybrid of the LTE radio .33/.27 with the latest .84 radio, so you get all of the LTE goodness w/out any Google Now issues. LTE worked as good on my N4 as any LTE device I've owned, including my N5.

Nevermind my question above. I got a little too much Kitkat in me and flashed the wrong radio. The Hybrid Radio's with LTE work on KitKat...I have LTE and Kitkat on an N4 & T-Mo.

33-84, though he's already working on the new radio. I just wasn't bold enough to try it until it's stable.

I lost signal in the car on the way home from the burbs into SF, but it's been strong the whole night in SF, so I think it's pretty good.

Thank you for pointing me out to the AIO....I came across that xda page a little while ago. Glad to know which radio I should use. Thank you.

please dont slate me for asking because im very new to the whole software side of things, but what exactly does "factory image" mean and what is it used for?

Thanks to anyone with genuine, helpful replies.

I know, it's Apple-style fragmentation where both devices get the update but the older version doesn't get all the new stuff. I've flashed CyanogenMod and with the installer I can imagine a lot of people flashing the kit Kat version when it is available if they add GP experience to it

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It's not like Apple at all. The skin you see on the Nexus 5 is just a launcher, similar to many of the other launchers in the Play Store. If Google wants to, they could make the launcher available for older KitKat devices as a download in the future. Other people have already sideloaded the apk on older devices and say it's working fine. Nexus 5 owners like myself are likely a test market. I just hope they update the launcher so we can choose which of the screens we create is the default home screen and also be able to remove Google Now as a screen without turning off Google Now. I really don't mind the way it is now but those two things are the biggest complaints I've seen people make about the launcher.

I wonder if the new launcher's not included because the 'always listening on the home page' Google Now either doesn't work well, or eats too much battery on the N4.

Either way, as others have noted, it'd be nice to have the new launcher without the Google Now integration. I have nothing against Google Now, but the swipe up version's fine with me. They should definitely allow disabling the rest.

This isn't like Apple at all. Google is just ironing everything out on the 5 and then once it's ready, it'll be pushed via a Play Store Update. We just need to be patient. :-)

Ah, the eternal optimist. It's unlikely the transparent navigation and notification bars will come through a play store update. Google could/should release a launcher though.

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Google said they changed some apis to make launchers to be able to adjust more visual parts of the OS.

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Google said they changed some apis to make launchers to be able to adjust more visual parts of the OS.

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I am rocking the beta version of Nova. I have done my own little kit kat mimic on my n4. To my knowledge once I update to 4.4 Nova will enable the transparent nav bars on my home screen :D

I'm doing the same with my N4 as well then. Beta Nova. Dunno why or how hard it could possibly be to include the transparency on the N4.

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What do you mean no transparency? As in, the notification bar and the navigation bar won't be transparent as pictured in the image of this post?

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Ah, okay I see. That's a bummer, this was one of the visual changes I liked the most. Dont know what prevented the transparency from carrying over. Nova it is then.

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Yes and no.

Us it will look like the picture above, but if you install a launcher that supports it, they bars will switch to transparent.

No transparency huh? And no latest launcher as well?

wtf did i buy a nexus for if im not going to get the latest and greatest when updates are release? Dont be fucking Apple, Google. Theres a reason i dont buy their shit.

It's not Apple and you have a Nexus...flash it like a man! BTW I've had transparent status and navigation bars SINCE THE GALAXY NEXUS. Nothing new ans it's ONLY on the home screen with GEL. Roms can remove them completely (till you swipe etc) if you want the full screen real estate everywhere. That said, I'm digging GEL on my N5.

The launcher the nexus 5 has will be on the playstore soon, and you'll be able to enjoy the transparent navigation bars, as the nexus 5 owners can right now. Also, androidpolice already has the apk of the GE launcher, so if you really can't wait you can just download it from there, and you'll be fine.

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Any one tell me . is this for the android 4.4 , i mean , what is the factory images , help please

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The factory image is the software on a device when it comes right out of the box. If you manually install it on your device ("flashing"), everything you've put on and/or changed on your phone since you bought it will be wiped.. so I'd rather wait for the OTA ("Over The Air") update to arrive on your phone (installing this will not wipe your phone). It is Android 4.4 KitKat indeed.

Ah, unless you know the dark arts of editing batch files! (They're very similar to a common technique called "typing") :)

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That's not cool Google. KitKat should be the same across device as long as the device can support it

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You guys realize the launcher will be on the play store soon, right? you will have your transparent nav bars. or you could take the 10 minutes it takes to side load the apk

10 mins?! C'mon. I think people don't realize that sideloading is just freaking downloading the apk from anywhere but the play store. NOTHING to it.

You do realize that Google has released the code for the Google Experience Launcher? Even if it doesn't come to the play store anytime soon, you can easily install the app with a computer, cashed side loading.

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Guys don't worry Google had this planned the whole time I actually expected this Google did this on purpose there gomma make the updates simple and then they relaxed the launcher and Google now on play store because one u get the update Google will make u install the launcher and Google update which will give you THE FULL GOogle experience right from.Google you can download the the official aps Google experience launcher and Google now right now this was a tactic so manufartires can quickly update and the rest with just an apk so DW your getting the full experience but divided into 2 half from.update and half from launched which are both from Google. I installed the launcher and Google now once I get the update for n4 I will have the same exact experience like n5

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For what it's worth, I had the new Search and GEL installed, ADB'd the factory image without a full wipe and still have the new search and GEL. Looks just like an N5 would look...

Google fucked up recently. First it's YouTube with G+ comments, now its N4 owners can't get the Google Experience launcher. Then why the fuck, did i buy a nexus device then.

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Dude it is a Nexus device. If you want the Google Experience launcher, you can absolutely get the Google Experience launcher with minimal effort.

"Also: No new wallpapers, and no transparency. Weird, but not totally unexpected."

Not totally unexpected? I don't understand that comment, was there ever a doubt that it would drop on all Nexus devices?

The new launcher should be on all Nexus devices that support KitKat, there are no hardware limitations preventing it from working.

No excuses!

^^God forbid you search for it? I'll give you a hint...it's ALL OVER the internet. Not you, but damn the rest of you whiny brats sure boil my blood at the end of a stressful workday...

I with you. I can't stand seeing anyone with a nexus bitching about not having a certain feature. Hell, I and many others had 4.4 with all the features from the nexus 5 running on the nexus 4, 2 weeks ago. Come on people, you have a Nexus, flash it.

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archive does not contain 'boot.sig 'recovery.sig' 'system.sig' ??? anyone getting this error?

checking baseband failed

my phone is at the bootloader and won't restart unless it's manually done.

fastboot oem unlock
fastboot erase bootloader
fasboot flash bootload bootloader....img
fastboot erase radio
fastboot flash radio radio.....img
fastboot reboot-bootloader
...wait...
fastboot -w update image......zip
you can lock it again if you want: fastboot oem lock

Make sure that you give the correct filenames for the img and zip files.

This will wipe your entire device including SDcard.

And it is your risc.

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You just need to use fastboot and look for a good tutorial if you've never done it before. There is a guide in these very androidcentral forums under the nexus 4/dev section. It only takes 15 min once you know what you're doing (might take a little longer the first time)

If you can ADB a Factory Image then you're more than capable of replacing the Search and Launcher APKs.

Everything else is the same....

Messaging is still there, you have the option to use it or hangouts (the option is located in hangout settings)

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You can sideload the Google Experience Launcher. Its over at XDA. Trying it out after a month with Aviate. Battery life is in affected on the N4. I would have thought it would hurt battery somewhat.

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Guys! Am i the only one who has issues with the lockscreen? When i pull down the notification bar or whenever i try to open an app from the notification bar on the lockscreen it is just so erratic and laggy. Does anyone experienced the same issue?

Cool - This is side loaded with the Google Experience Launcher. One question: is there a way for me to set up the transparent notification and navigation bars in the lockscreen?

I'm confused with everyone saying there's no wallpapers.. There seems to be new wallpaper no??

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I installed this, along with the Google Search and Google Experience update over the weekend. I must say it brought new life into my N4. I wanted an N5 just to get the new software updates but now that I have the software I don't see a huge need to upgrade.

Battery isn't much better...camera isn't much better. Sure the processing power would be nice but I don't 'need' it...I'm not a power user by any means. So I guess I'll stick it out and wait to see what the GS5 or N6 looks like!