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!

There are 102 comments

People will be happy with this, i assume the Nexus 7 LTE wont be far behind

blackroseMD1 says:

Looks like it's already up.

L0N35T4R says:

Hell I'm still waiting on my Wifi N7 to get the OTA update

rserda says:

same here in Ohio bro.. no 4.4 love for my N7 2013... :/

Troothdotcom says:

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!!!

Posted via Android Central App

Update android 4.3 samsung galaxy grand 4.2.2 to 4.3

Posted via Android Central App

jmbburg26 says:


Posted via T-Mo N3

hurte1 says:

I'm looking forward to the transparent bars.

btgrave says:

Sadly, you won't get that without the GEL home.apk

littleemp says:

It's not so bad, since all you have to do is install one APK to get it.

Ryandroid86 says:

Or just Root and Flash an AOSP 4.4 ROM with the Launcher, Transitions, and everything else on the N5

survivorevil says:

what room would you recommend? Theres dozens literally and i dont know what to install

Hi @btgrave, where can I download the home.apk you've mentioned?

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?

daniel2744 says:

GPe one update can't be too far now.

Posted via Android Central App

jmchatton says:

The link is up for the Nexus 7 (WiFi) too, but it's not working. Hopefully that'll get fixed soon.

Ramses Gomez says:

Both Nexus 7 images were posted but the Nexus 7 WI-FI is missing the image file :(

perhac181 says:

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 :)

You have to modify the flash call.bat. go here...

Posted via Android Central App

Awesome!!!! Just in time! just bought my N4 a week ago, and now im with KitKat!!! well when i get home from work anyway!! LOL.

And I'm guessing this won't enable LTE for the n4. Lol.

misaacs6516 says:

He can flash nexus 4 v2_LTEenabler (something like that) to enable LTE on Tmo. Works perfect.

ConTejas says:

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.

vansmack says:

Have you tried this on KitKat yet? Because I haven't gotten it to work on 4.4....

vansmack says:

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.

which one did you use? 33 or 27?

vansmack says:

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.

ok thanks. will give that a try.

does your phone say H or 4GLTE? mine still says H.

never switched to 4g!!!

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.

Thank you!! Will do.

chiweed says:

I know this is for OCCAM but does it work for the MAKO as well?

vansmack says:

Phone is Mako, software is Occam.

chiweed says:

Ah so!
Thanks for the info!

KrisC123 says:

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.

TonyHoyle says:

It's the original image your device is shipped with, rather than an upgrade.

Posted via Android Central App

Rehzonance says:


Posted via Android Central App

fuzzylumpkin says:

All the ugly (IMO) parts of KitKat, with the good looking bits taken out! Nice!

Posted via Android Central App

Jlav78 says:

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

Posted via Android Central App on my nexus 4

Quasar says:

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. :-)

fuzzylumpkin says:

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.

Posted via Android Central App

joramteusink says:

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

Posted via Android Central App

joramteusink says:

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

Posted via Android Central App

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.

Posted via Android Central App

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?

Posted via Android Central App


I've swapped out the picture with a proper one. :)

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.

Posted via Android Central App

Thanks for swapping it. I know the wrath of the internet was about to come down.

RustyU says:

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.

Oskiee says:

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.

That is a lot of anger about a transparent navigation bar.

ConTejas says:

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.

Elwin1010 says:

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.

Posted via Android Central App

moustafa rai says:

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

Posted via Android Central App

Waterdroid says:

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.

moustafa rai says:

Ok thanks so much

Posted via Android Central App

fuzzylumpkin says:

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

Posted via Android Central App

wolfpack64 says:

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

Posted via Android Central App

CoolBeit says:

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

ConTejas says:

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.

TheMimic12 says:

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.

Posted via Android Central App

I'm a little bit (a lot) disappointed that N4 didn't got all visual effects that was shipped in the N5. No donuts for us, N4 owners. =(

salah123 says:

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

Posted via Android Central App

Thirte3nt says:

Hope you're right

Posted via Android Central App

vansmack says:

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...

Thirte3nt says:

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.

Posted via Android Central App

tdizzel says:

Because you thought it was a good phone for a good price?

Posted via Android Central App

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

vansmack says:

See my note above.

drhere says:

Upgrade time...adb style.

Where do I get this apk exactly?

Posted via Android Central App

Aaronage says:

"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!

ConTejas says:

^^God forbid you search for it? I'll give you a'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.

Posted via Android Central App

rupam95 says:

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.

joramteusink says:

fastboot oem unlock
fastboot erase bootloader
fasboot flash bootload bootloader....img
fastboot erase radio
fastboot flash radio radio.....img
fastboot reboot-bootloader
fastboot -w update
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.

Posted via Android Central App

jdbii says:

I got an error after file sideloaded : E: signature verification failed. Installationa aborted.

Me too... Any suggestions?

joramteusink says:

Redownload it.
Probably corrupted.

Posted via Android Central App

Took me 5 mins, installed the factory image... Downloaded the GEL from AndroidPolice and BAM. Even have the Google Now page to the left. Not a big deal guys.

rupam95 says:

Nice! How did you push the image files to your phone?

CoolBeit says:

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)

Beamboy420 says:

Will I get transparent notification bar with the new nova launcher beta?

Posted via Android Central App

Steve Box says:

Yes, I believe the option is in Nova settings

Posted via Android Central App

Anarchaoz says:

About to flash. Any way to root yet?

cheechoz818 says:

Nexus root toolkit, I'm all rooted on 4.4 kitkat, just root the same way you did for 4.3

Then it's a waste if so many key things missing

Posted via Android Central App

vansmack says:

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....

hmmm says:

Out of curiosity does 4.4 get rid of the stock messaging app on the Nexus 4?

sdmackie says:

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

Posted via Android Central App

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.

Posted via Android Central App

FearTomi says:

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?

I got an error "E: signature verification failed. Installationa aborted." while updating using adb sideload

Kirankumar N says:

Same here buddy!!!

Let me also know if u get the and !!

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?

Ryde04 says:

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

Posted via Android Central App

L0N35T4R says:

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 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!