How to Get Your Android Phone Upgraded to Android Nougat

People wanting to use the latest version of Android right away are likely here looking for a Nougat image file. In this article we’ll discuss how to find a Nougat image file or find other ways to apply the latest version of Android to your device.

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Android Nougat, alternatively styled Android 7.0, is the latest version of Android, offering a multitude of new features for enthusiasts and consumers alike. An image file in this context refers to files used to “flash” an operating system to a device, usually coming in the form of a .zip. These files are then usually extracted and applied to the device through ADB (Android Debug Bridge), though flashing methods can and do vary.

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Google Devices, that is, the Nexus Line and the Pixel C, have the benefit of Google hosting their factory images. Factory images on Google’s site show all of Google’s released OS updates for a device available for download, though it’s important to note that only the following Google devices support the latest version of Android:

  • Google Pixel C
  • Google Nexus 6P
  • Google Nexus 5X
  • Google Nexus Player
  • Google Nexus 9

This means that older-generation devices, like the Nexus 5, Nexus 6 and Nexus 7 are not supported.

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Of course, now you may be wondering how you are going to get Android Nougat, especially if you don’t have a supported Nexus device. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, no other phone manufacturers are providing Nougat image files that their users can flash. This is because Android Nougat is a newer release, and for the time being Google devices are going to be the ones getting the best support.

That doesn’t mean you won’t ever get Android Nougat. You have other options! Click here for a list of devices slated to receive the Android Nougat update.

If you aren’t willing to wait, or your device isn’t on that list, there’s one other option for you.

Custom ROMs are developed by Android’s strong scene of enthusiasts and developers and bring great new features and performance to even the most obscure of devices. One of the best hubs to head to for access to custom ROMs (as well as support in acquiring and flashing them) is the XDA Developers Forum. At the time of this writing (mid September 2016), here are some of the prominent custom Nougat ROMs in development in the community.

Note: many of these ROMs are still at early development stages and may lack certain features or be unstable. Try them at your own risk.

  • Cyanogenmod was and still is the biggest name on the scene. Various developers are having their go at porting the latest CM to their devices, and the CM team themselves are also busy trying to get their mod around.
  • JDCTeam (Galaxy S4). JDCTeam is notable for getting a custom ROM working on a recent Samsung device, which are typically difficult to work with. Many features work well, but some – like mobile radios – are known to have issues.
  • Free Xperia Project Team (Sony Xperia devices). Thanks to Sony’s support, the FXPT and other Xperia device developers are already making a lot of progress on custom ROMs for their devices.
  • Santhosh M and DevSwift‘s AOSP for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7, respectively. These are notable for mostly-stable support on unsupported Nexus devices.
  • YairPatch and Bangprovn for porting AOSP to the LG G2 and LG G3, respectively. Due to their old architecture, neither of these devices are receiving official Nougat support, but that hasn’t stopped these developers.
  • Various AOSP and CM ports. Just search for your device on the XDA Forums. Chances are at least one madman is trying to port Nougat to your device. Just remember our warning: back up your data and read the feedback thread before installing!

Android Nougat is the latest, greatest thing to happen to the world of Android. Unfortunately, not every manufacturer is capable of keeping up, and users who want to stay on the high end are typically required to stay on the latest Google devices. This may change one day in the future, but for this Android launch, your options once more boil down to the following: own a Nexus device, install a custom ROM, or be patient.

Regardless, we hope those of you searching for an Android Nougat image file (or just a way to install the OS at all) got what you needed out of this article.

Have you used Nougat yet? Found any Nougat image files for other devices? Feel free to sound off below!

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