There are those of us who still cherish their Nexus 4 phones and are unwilling to move past to get a bigger device. While Google is leaving the phone behind in terms of the Android 6.0 update, it is still possible to get the latest Android on the Nexus 4 if you’re into flashing custom ROMs.

This is only for device owners who have unlocked their bootloaders and rooted their devices. Developer Dmitry Grinberg is the first to provide the custom ROM for the Nexus 4, and also works for the 2013 Nexus 7 since both devices share very similar hardware. Being a Nexus device, the custom ROM also fully supports the installation of Google Apps from the AOSP image for the full Android Marshmallow experience on the phone.

Team Win Recovery Project is required for flashing the ROM onto the Nexus 4. Here’s a quick guide on how to proceed with manually installing the Marshmallow ROM onto the phone. Proceed at your own risk:

  • Extract the downloaded ROM to get fastboot files such as system.img, boot.img and the radio folder containing two modem files
  • Choose the modem file you want to flash on Nexus 4. Select the normal one in case you don’t want LTE. Then rename the file to modem.img
  • Create a folder named Nexus 4 update (whatever name you want) and move all the .img files into it
  • Connect your Nexus 4 to the PC via USB cable. Copy the Gapps file to the phone’s storage and remember the location. Then disconnect the phone
  • Boot the phone into bootloader mode. Use Quick Boot app to boot into bootloader mode, if your phone is rooted. Alternatively, do the following steps to manually place it in bootloader mode
  • Switch off the phone
  • Press Volume up and Power buttons together until you see some text on the screen. This is bootloader mode and on top of the screen you should see FASTBOOT written on it
  • Use the Volume down button to go to recovery mode and Power button to select it and boot into recovery
  • Open a command prompt that opens the device’s update folder with the .img files
  • Type in the following commands to install the ROM
    • fastboot flash boot boot.img
    • fastboot reboot bootloader
    • fastboot flash radio modem.img
    • fastbpoot reboot bootloader
    • fastboot flash system system.img

Finally, to flash Google apps onto your phone, use TWRP to boot into recovery mode and select the folder of Google apps you moved onto your phone, and install them.

For more information on installing Marshmallow onto the Nexus 4, head over to the developers site for more instructions.

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