Tuesday, July 5, 2022

How to Install Android 7.0 Nougat onto LG G4

Android “N” also called Nougat is the latest Android operating system release. Even if you just updated to Marshmallow recently, there are quite a few reasons why you should install this new upgrade. We are going to tell you the benefits of upgrading and also how you can go about getting Android 7.0 on your device.

Why Upgrade to Android 7.0 ?

Unlike Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 7.0 isn’t a gigantic leap forward in terms of Operating System features or design. But, this hardly means it should be ignored, because what it does lack in innovation in these two departments, it more than makes up for in efficiency, security, and plenty of other minor improvements.
After updating to Android 7.0, you may notice that your phone will use less battery as well as less data from your network. One of the biggest issues to be resolved from Android Marshmallow was the tendency for the phone running it to run “hot” due to repeated callback attempts. This would happen when an app stopped functioning properly, or when synching did not occur in the expected manner. Users who have had short battery lives as a result of this may discover a charge lasting hours longer than before, and those gigabytes of data lasting at least a little longer than they had in previous months.

Despite LGs being the most difficult phones to manually upgrade, the rewards outweigh the efforts.
Despite LGs being the most difficult phones to manually upgrade, the rewards outweigh the efforts.

In terms of security, Android 7.0 Nougat offers two significant upgrades over its predecessor.
The first is that on the development side, more apps aimed at Android Nougat will have less permissions. Instead of letting apps have essentially free reign over your phone, many developers will have their apps limited only to folders within the phone that would be needed. For example, with android Marshmallow and before, if you gave an app permissions to access photo folders, all would be accessible. This would mean if you had an SD card full of photos, and just a few on internal storage you wanted to use for the app, both would be available to said app. In Android Nougat, with what’s called “Scoped Directories”, the app in question would be only able to access the internal storage unless explicitly stated otherwise.
The second is more on the user side, where Direct Boot has been implemented. Direct Boot more or less allows apps to function even after a reboot has occurred and you’ve yet to re-sign into your phone. Now, this does not mean that data encrypted by your login is available for either apps or users, in fact, that’s the major improvement for both security and functionality; Key features can still be accessed even if you don’t realize a reboot has occurred, while keeping your data safe at all times.
Now that we have covered some of the key features that may make you decide on upgrading to Android 7.0, let’s take a look at how to do so with your LG G4.

Step Zero: Back Up Your LG G4

As is true for any major change to your phone, it’s a good idea to back up your G4 before updating it to any newer Operating System. For LG G4 phones, the easiest way to go about this is to select Apps, then Settings, then tap Back Up My Data. Make sure the data switch is turned to the On position. Then ensure that the backup account is the one you wish to use (if it isn’t, then tap Backup Account and change it) and tap Automatic Restore.

Method One: Wait for LG G4 to Get an OTA Upgrade

For those who don’t want to get knee deep into the tech of dealing with upgrading, unfortunately the LG G4 only really has one option at this time: Wait. Android Nougat is expected to be released for Over The Air upgrades in the next 5 to 6 months at time of writing. When the rollout does get initiated, you should have a notification on your phone that the OTA update has been downloaded (or is ready to download) and is ready to be installed. Simply confirm you want the update (and be on Wi-Fi connection if it has to fully download) and you should be all set. For those who aren’t keen on waiting, we do have one more option, though not exactly the easiest one to implement: installing your own custom version of Android Nougat.

Method Two: Install A Custom Nougat

So, as mentioned earlier, implementing a Custom ROM based on Nougat isn’t exactly a cake walk for LG Owners. This is primarily due to the fact that developers have experienced a great deal of friction when performing the all-important step of unlocking the bootloader of LG devices. So, we as the determined techies we are, must find another path. That path is to more or less hack the phone into giving us root access by manually updating it to an OS that gives us that open vulnerability. Before we begin, some quick warnings and tips are needed.

First, this voids your LG warranty. LG has shown in its practices to be very much against the idea of having their devices rooted, so any sort of hack doing so will leave you on your own (or with a large ad-hoc community) to do updates, maintenance, etc. While this method has been successfully tested, we will not take responsibility for any damages that may occur to your phone, including loss of data or bricking.

As you may have guessed, things are about to get a little technical.
As you may have guessed, things are about to get a little technical.

Before starting this process, ensure you are on a full or near full battery charge, and are on a stable Wi-Fi network, as interruptions allow for increased risk in this procedure. As a side note, credit for most of the development for the tools needed can be attributed to XDA developer thecubed, and other members of the community.

As mentioned before, the manufacturer does not want unlocked bootloaders, or users to gain root access in most cases. As a means of enforcing this wish, they often roll out Over The Air updates to software and firmware that patch exploits used by people to gain root access, or overwrite those privileges. As such, we must disable their ability to do such things on the LG G4. To do this, go to Settings, then Apps, and All. Then, search for:
LGLDB.apk
LGUpdateCenter.apk
LGFOTA.apk
LGDMSClient.apk
and disable all of them after tapping on them. This will prevent all of the following hard work from going down the drain literally overnight.

Our first step here is going to be to download the needed drivers for the G4, which can be one of two files. If your LG G4 is NOT a Verizon phone, download this , otherwise if your phone IS an LG Verizon phone then this is for you.

Next, we will need to download a Zipped folder containing some very useful files here.

After installing the drivers for your device as listed above, go ahead and extract the files from LG_Root.zip to a known location. Creating a single folder for all of this is a great idea, as otherwise things will get very messy, very quickly.

Now, we need to download and extract yet more files, depending on carriers. Simply click on the names of carriers below to get the files needed for each phone. A fair warning, these are fairly large files.

T-Mobile 
Verizon 
AT&T 
Sprint 
International H815 10 Version (covers most international carriers)

Now, once this is finished downloading, extract this to the folder as well. Among the files should be an .img file starting with system.rooted. and including the specific carrier type of your phone.

Once this .img file is extracted, do not rename or alter it in any way. Simply plug in your phone to your PC via USB cord, and transfer the file to the LG G4 Internal Storage, being careful to not set it in any other folder. After the transfer is complete, power down the phone and disconnect it.

Next, hold down the volume up button, and continue holding as you plug your phone back into your PC. Keep this button held a few more seconds until an icon appears to indicate it is booting to download mode. When this is complete, a somewhat dark image should appear on screen saying to not unplug the device. Now, find the ports.bat file, and double click it. Now, we need to find which Diagnostic or maintenance port is available. Now, go back to file folder, then hit shift and right click to open a command window.

Now, we need to enter in
Send_Command.exe .COMx

where x is to be replaced by the number of the port which is the diagnostic or maintenance port available. Hit enter, and you will now be within your device. Now, we need to type in ‘id’ without the quotes, and hit enter. If this has been successful, the query will be answered with:
uid=0 gid=0 context=u:r:recovery:s0

If not, rerun the command again.

Now, we have another section where depending on your version, you will need to enter separate commands. The version will precede the code with a colon, and end with a new space. Simply copy the code exactly as it appears, and paste it into the command window.

Verizon:
dd if=/data/media/0/system.rooted.vs98611a.img bs=8192 seek=65536 count=548352 of=/dev/block/mmcblk0

T-Mobile:
dd if=/data/media/0/system.rooted.H81110h.img bs=8192 seek=65536 count=548352 of=/dev/block/mmcblk0

AT&T:
dd if=/data/media/0/system.rooted.h81010g.img bs=8192 seek=65536 count=579584 of=/dev/block/mmcblk0

Sprint:
dd if=/data/media/0/system.rooted.LS991ZV5.img bs=8192 seek=65536 count=557312 of=/dev/block/mmcblk0

International Versions (barring H815/815TR/815P versions):
dd if=/data/media/0/system.rooted.H81510c-EU.img bs=8192 seek=55296 count=529920 of=/dev/block/mmcblk0

For all users, especially T-Mobile subscribers, a tool such as the Debloater by GatesJunior may come in handy.
For all users, especially T-Mobile subscribers, a tool such as the Debloater by GatesJunior may come in handy.

Now, hit enter and wait about 10 minutes as the update installs. When there is another # below your command, the process is done, then simply type ‘LEAVE’ and disconnect. If the phone does not do so itself, boot it up and check for the SuperSU app. If it appears, then congratulate yourself on a first step well done. For those who are T-Mobile users, it is heavily encouraged that users install a “Debloater Tool” to ensure full functionality. On to our next step.

Since we have root access and can alter the bootloader as we please, we can begin a much easier process: Installing a custom recovery, and pushing a custom Android Nougat based OS onto the device.

By this time, if you have still not backed up your device, do it now, as the following steps will wipe your device of all data.

Now, download an app called Flashify which will require root access as we have allowed before. Open the app, and select the option that says Recovery Image. A pop up should appear with multiple options, select Download TWRP. This should then ask if you wish to flash the image. Agree, and then Reboot Now.

Next, we need to download out desired image for the Custom Nougat OS. To do this, it is encouraged users browse the forums under G4 Android Development  and find an image they like. For our purposes, I propose using CM14, as it is one of the most regularly updated and supported Nougat based OS’s currently available. Select the thread for the files desired, and download them (alongside GApps if you want Google Apps and it doesn’t come stock with the OS). While you are doing this, enter your LG G4 into recovery mode and go to Wipe, selecting to wipe caches and wipe dalvik as well, restarting your system after. Next, set both zips into your phone’s internal storage. Then, boot into recovery mode (TWRP) and tap install. There should be a section for install from local, select this, and select the OS, and then GApps (if appropriate). Each install should take a few minutes. After the install is complete, reboot your device, and enjoy your new LG G4 with Nougat.

Cody Carmichael
University graduate in Psychology, and health worker. On my off time I'm usually tinkering with tech or traveling to the ends of the globe.
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