Google has announced its start of rolling out the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. Some Nexus 7 owners have already gotten the OTA update on their device and much to their delight, the OTA update download link as well.

It becomes easy for advance users and tinkers to flash the update manually with the OTA update download link, and without voiding the device warranty or unlocking the bootloader of the handset. The steps are not complicated and just require some key-press combinations and ADB shell commands. However, before proceeding, it is highly advised to backup data first.

Step 1: Go to Google and download the OTA update directly from there first. The OTA links for the Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 10 are not available yet.

  • Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi only - Download
  • Nexus 7 (2012) Wi-Fi only - Download
  • Nexus 10 - Download

Step 2: After the file download, transfer the file inside a new folder on your desktop called "Android". Rename it to "" to make it much simpler later on. Download the ADB/Fastboot files and the USB drivers for Windows here:

  • ADB/Fastboot - Mac, Windows

  • USB drivers for Windows

Extract the ADB/Fastboot Zip file contents inside the "Android" folder on your desktop.

Step 3: Put your Nexus 7 into Bootloader mode by switching off, pressing the volume down and power button simultaneously. The device will boot into bootloader mode. Use the volume keys to navigate to the "Recovery" option and select it by pressing the power button.

The handset will reboot again and the Android logo will greet you with a red exclamation mark. Press the volume up and power buttons to boot into recovery mode. This might take you several tries.

Step 4: After the Nexus 7 is booted into Recovery mode, select the "apply update from ADB" option by pressing the power key. Connect your device to a PC and open a new command prompt window on Windows or Terminal (Mac). Navigate to the "Android" folder on your desktop then copy paste the following command:

adb sideload

Mac users need to copy paste the following command:

./adb sideload

The file transfer percentage will then be in the Command Prompt or Terminal window. After the file transfer, the update will start automatically. When the update is over, select the "Reboot system now" option to reboot the Nexus 7 and start enjoying your freshly updated KitKat phone.

This seems to be a relatively smooth Nexus 7 Android 4.4 KitKat update, as owners are not compailing about bugs, laggy user interface, and battery life issues unlike in the previous updates.