In recent months, the developers of the Android OS have been working on Android “N”, even as Marshmallow/ 6.0 had just been released to the public. Android “N” now marked as 7.0 or Nougat is the latest in the long line of Android OS upgrades. But should you upgrade your LG G5 ? Here, we take a look at why you may want to, as well as how to do so.
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.
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 G5 .
Step Zero: Back Up Your LG G5
Whenever you plan to do anything that messes with the files of your device, it is often a wise idea to back it up. Doing so for the LG G5 is fairly easy. First, go to the Home Screen and select Settings. Then select Backup & Reset. Next, tap Back Up My Data, and tap the switch to On if it isn’t already. Then tap back, and make sure to fill up the information needed in the Backup Account Fields. Lastly, tap Automatic Restore to the on position. This will allow your backups to remain on Google Servers and ensure that your data is kept safe.
Method One: Wait for LG G5 to Get an OTA Upgrade
As of December 11 of 2016, the LG G5 has had Over the Air releases of Android 7.0 across most carriers. As a result, most of those individuals who haven’t woken up to an early Christmas present only need to check for software updates to get the newest Android version. To do this, first do a two finger swipe down to open the status bar. Next, tap settings in the upper right hand corner. Then select System Updates, and select both update firmware and software. If successful, within about 20 minutes you should have a brand new system to play with.
Method Two: Manually Install the Nougat Upgrade
If for some reason your carrier has yet to allow you to upgrade via the Over the Air system, there are still a few solutions left for you. The first would be to manually install Nougat using your computer, and the second (which will be covered last) will be to use a Custom ROM to achieve the same goal.
To begin with the manual installation process, please do be sure to back up your phone as mentioned on Step Zero, as there is nearly a 100% chance that you will otherwise lose all data you hold near and dear on the device.
Next, please confirm your exact G5 model for the next steps. And do keep in mind, while myself and the Gazette Review have vetted these links at time of writing, there is no assurance or claim of responsibility for any damage done to your phone or computer through downloading of subsequent files. Now, if your phone is registered as an H85020 (Most American and Hong Kong models) Please click here and here to download the firmware updates as needed to their PC, in a dedicated folder. If yours is a different international model (most European models) please select this and this link for the same. Lastly, we have two unique carries for the United States, which are Sprint ( which needs this and this file set) and Verizon (which at time requires only this one). Be sure to not press the big green “download” button presented nearly immediately upon opening the link, as that is not the desired file.
Now, after you have either installed or saved all files as needed into your dedicated folder, go ahead and plug the phone into the PC via USB port, and ensure that the drivers activate. After seeing that they have, go ahead and shut down the phone while leaving it attached. Now, navigate to your LGUP’s program files location, and copy down the KDZ and the DLL files you have also downloaded into said location. For Verizon, you may have noticed there are not DLL files available for download, which is fine as Verizon’s systems require an Uppercut File, which we will grab in due time.
Now, we need to boot your G5 into repair mode. To do so, press and hold the volume up button and after five seconds, if the boot image doesn’t appear, also press the power button. Then, we need to launch LGUP to connect to the phone to do our upgrade. For Verizon users, the aforementioned Uppercut File is here and you can open LGUP through this program to allow your phone to be properly recognized.
After that is taken care of, select your device in the LGUP program, and make sure the “Only Upgrade” option is selected. Then, make sure the BIN File box is checked and choose the KDZ file you transferred in, and double check to be sure that Refurbish is also selected.
Lastly, close out LGUP and open it yet again, hitting the start button. This should upgrade your phone in a few moments and allow you to have a brand new Android version on your G5.
Method Three: Download and Install a Custom, Nougat Based ROM
Now, if you see your inability to get Android Nougat Over the Air as a sign that some exploring of new options may do you some good, you may want to look into the world of Custom ROMs. Most are built with quite a bit of the good features of newer Operating Systems in place as an initial framework, while doing away with some of the unneeded or unwanted features, often replacing them with others.
To get started on installing a Custom ROM, first you must enable to developer options on your phone. To do so, first go to Settings, then More, About, and tap the Build Number until you get a message saying that you are now a developer. Next, go back and select Developer Options, and ensure that USB Debugging is selected.
Following this, we need to install TWRP onto your phone to allow for a custom image to be loaded into your phone. First, search for and download the specific TWRP package for your phone (versions may vary widely based on location and date of search). Then, also be sure to go to the previous section of this page and ensure LG Drivers for Windows are properly installed on your PC. Next, after downloading and extracting the folder, go to the Recovery Folder, and press Shift and Right Click simultaneously and then select “Open Command Prompt Here”. After the command prompt is open on your PC, feel free to plug your phone into the computer, and then type:
adb reboot bootloader
Depending on carrier, this may prompt a permissions message on your phone, go ahead and allow permissions in this case. Once in bootloader mode, go back to the prompt and enter in the following, with the file name for TWRP edited for your exact file name:
Fastboot flash recovery twrp-custom-file-name-here.img
This will then install the TWRP program onto your device. Afterwards, close out the prompt and reboot your phone, then disconnecting it.
Next, find the exact Nougat ROM you’d like. To do so, it’s recommended to go to XDA-Developers.com where you can browse for ROMs filled with features. It is also advised to get the Gapps package alongside the ROM so that you can use the Play Store and other Google features.
After this is done, we can finally install your new Nougat OS. First, connect your phone to your computer, and transfer the fully zipped files into the Device Root folder. Then, disconnect the phone safely from the PC, and reboot it into recovery mode (hold Volume Up and Power for a few moments until TWRP prompt appears). Now, go to Wipe, and swipe at the bottom of the bottom of the screen to confirm the wipe. After this is complete, go back to the TWRP main screen, tap Install, and select the ZIP folder that has the ROM within it. After this is selected, swipe again, and take a break while your phone sets itself up. Lastly, go into TWRP’s main menu again, select Wipe Cache and Wipe Dalvik, confirm both, and reboot after a few moments. After this last reboot, you should see the start screen for your brand new, custom Nougat OS.