Google will not launch newer Nexus devices from 2016 onwards, but will switch to Android mobile phones, tablets and Chromebook Pixel series. The first Android Pixel phone will be named Google Pixel and Pixel XL.
However, switching from the Nexus to Pixel series will not change the way we use flash / install factory images on our Google-branded devices. The Pixel device will still boot into bootloader mode, allowing the bootloader to unlock and let your flash flash images like you did before on a Nexus device.
We on Android, welcome this transition from Nexus to Pixel phones by Google. It makes various Google devices complete with laptop Pixels (Chromebooks), Pixel tablets, and Pixel phones.
How to Make Flash Factory Image on Google Pixel Devices
Note: Make sure you have unlocked the bootloader on the Pixel device before continuing. Or else, you won't be able to flash / install the factory image via Fastboot.
Method 1 - Automatic and clean installation
You might think installing Android Nougat through Factory images as a serious task because it involves using command line tools, but (believe me) it's easier. Below are a
- Download the factory image specifically for your Pixel device to the PC, then unzip it to a separate folder.
- Prepare ADB and Fastboot on your PC.
- Enable USB debugging on your Pixel device.
- Connect your Pixel device to a PC with a USB cable.
- Open a command prompt window on your PC, and remove the following to boot your Pixel phone into bootloader mode:
adb reboot bootloader
└ You might get a prompt on your device to “Allow USB Debugging”, select Yes/Ok/Allow.
6. Run/execute the flash-all.bat script from the files we extracted in Step 1.
That’s it. You can now sit back and watch the firmware install on your Pixel device. Once done, your device will automatically reboot to system.
Method 2 – Install factory image without wiping data
If you’re unable to install an OTA update and hence want to install it manually via a factory image. You might not want to delete/wipe all data on the device because of that. The flash-all script in the automated install method above includes commands that wipes out all data on your Pixel. You can skip that by flashing only firmware files required to update the system and skip other files that are related to performing a clean install.
Note: Follow the manual guide only when the firmware build you’re installing is a minor update to the current build on your Pixel phone. This is because we’re skipping a lot of files while trying to install a factory image manually without wiping data. If the firmware build you’re installing is a major update or a developer preview release, other files that we’re skipping might also be required.
- Setup ADB and Fastboot on your PC.
- Assuming that you’ve already extracted the factory image to the point where flash-all script is found (as explained in Method 1 above). We’ll now edit the flash-all script to avoid wiping data while flashing the factory image.
- Right-click on the flash-all.bat, and select Edit from the context menu to edit the flash-all script.
- Once the editor window opens, look for the following line:fastboot -w update image-xxx-xxx.zip
- Now remove the -w parameter from this command to skip the data wipe while flashing the factory image. Your final command would look like this:|fastboot update image-xxx-xxx.zip
- Once you’ve made the change, save the file with “Ctrl + S” on your keyboard and close it.
- Connect your Pixel device to the PC with a USB cable.
- Open a command prompt window on your PC, and issue the following to boot your Pixel phone into bootloader mode:adb reboot bootloader└ You might get a prompt on your device to “Allow USB Debugging”, select Yes/Ok/Allow.
- Run/execute the flash-all.bat script.└ Once the script is done flashing factory image, your device will automatically boot into system.