Update Google Nexus 7 with CM12 Custom ROM

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Google Nexus 7 received official Android 5.0.1 Lollipop OTA, as like any other Nexus branded device, the tablet embraces latest Android releases from the start. Since Lollipop is out from a while now, third party devs already started to develop new custom ROMs based on stock Android 5.0.1 OS. The most important release is however the unofficial port of CM12, which can be now safely installed on your Asus Google Nexus 7.

So, what do you say, are you ready to test and run CM12 on your Nexus 7? If the answer is yes, then you are in the right place. This tutorial will guide you through the installation process of CyanogenMod on your Nexus device. Do read all the lines from below if you want to learn everything about this update process and also if you want to learn how to safely and easily complete these types of operations.

You must first know that CM12 isn’t yet officially available. So, this firmware version represents an unofficial built of CyanogenMod that is based on stock Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and which is powered by previous CM releases. The best is that those of xda-developers managed to bring CM12 ahead of official launch and that the same devs managed to customize the Lollipop platform for the 2013 model of Asus Google Nexus 7.

That’s why, now you can safely install CM 12 on your tablet. In case you are wondering, the Android 5.0.1 Lollipop custom ROM is stable and can be flashed for a daily use. The users who have already applied the update on the Nexus 7 declared that there aren’t major software issues or bugs included on the Lollipop system. If there are still minor bugs, the same aren’t annoying and according to the devs, all the problems will soon be addressed – you will then be updated with the proper firmware.

Up until now, you should learn that CM12 is not an official Android update released for your Google Nexus 7. You are dealing with an unofficial port of Android 5.0.1 Lollipop OS which can safely be installed on your tablet. It is also important to know that once CM 12 is flashed, you will be able to power up your Google Nexus 7 – improve general performances, speed things up and upgrade battery life.

Since you will apply an unofficial update, you will also lose the warranty of your tablet. That’s why, if something bad happens, you will have to pay for the technical assistance in case you take your handset back to service.

This tutorial can be applied only if your Google Nexus 7 is rooted. CM12, like any other custom ROM can be installed only on unlocked Android systems, so root access is a must. Moreover, on your tablet a custom recovery image must be used. So, you need to replace stock recovery with CWM or TWRP recovery (the latest versions of these software). Android 5.0.1 Lollipop will be flashed through recovery, so these operations are a must.

It is essential, and more than recommended, to backup your Google Nexus 7 data. When installing CM12 a hard reset will be applied and as you know, that operation implies in wiping the internal storage system. Therefore, don’t do anything else before saving your personal data, info and accounts. Since this is an unofficial CM 12 release, before installing Android 5.0.1 Lollipop OS, also make a Nandroid backup for saving the current ROM – then, if the firmware will not be on your taste, you will be able to reapply the stock software.

A computer needs to be near you because you will have to use it for downloading the proper files. On that computer, the best will be to deactivate or disable antivirus and any other similar programs – in some situations security tools might interfere with the download process. On your tablet USB debugging option must be checked out – so go to “menu -> settings -> developer options” and check the mentioned option.

It is important to know that your Nexus 7 might get turned off in the middle of the update process, if the battery status is currently showing less than 50% power left. Therefore, plug in the charger if that’s required. Also note that the CM12 update package from below is compatible only with the 2013 model of Google Nexus 7 so don’t use this tutorial if you own a different or a similar Android powered tablet or smartphone.

How to Install CM12 Android 5.0.1 Lollipop OS on Google Nexus 7

  1. On your computer, from here, download the CM12 package and Google Apps package.
  2. Save the files on desktop and don’t unzip the files.
  3. Connect your tablet with your PC; use the USB cord in that matter.
  4. Copy-paste the downloaded files from desktop on your tablet internal storage memory.
  5. Unplug the USB cable in the end.
  6. Put your Nexus 7 in recovery mode.
  7. First, from recovery, make the wipe; select “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvick cache”.
  8. Return to main menu of recovery and then select “install zip from SD card” and “choose zip from SD card”.
  9. Pick the CM12 update along with Google Apps and complete the flashing process.
  10. In the end select “reboot system now” and that’s it.
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Andy Stevenson

Andy is a senior editor here on Android Flagship and you can surely rely on its experience as the Android subject is more than a hobby to him. Andy is currently focusing on developing dedicated and detailed tutorials, tips and tricks, so you will be able to find its work through the “how to” section of our website. Also, don’t hesitate and contact Andy if you have questions or if you want to hear a second opinion about anything that’s related to the Android OS.