Much like the G2 it was modeled after, LG’s G Pad, their 8.3-inch Android tablet that offers a decent compromise between size and portability, launched with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. With no update to Android 4.3 on the cards, it’s been stuck with a 2012 version of Android for some time. While the G2 has now been updated to Android 4.4 KitKat both here in the US and elsewhere, the G Pad languished without an update or any news from LG on KitKat. Now however, a leaked build of Android 4.4.2, dated February, has appeared over at XDA-Developers and I’ve been playing around with it for a couple of days.
First of all, this isn’t an Earth-shattering update, the same theme and apps from when we reviewed the device are still present and it would be difficult to tell the two apart. However, KitKat styling has worked its way into LG’s software in the form of transparent onscreen buttons and white icons in the notification area. The ART runtime is here though, which is great news for a lot of us. If you’re unfamiliar with ART, it stands for Android Runtime and it’s a new way of running Android apps that debuted with Android 4.4 last year. It’s supposed to be much quicker and smoother, and after running ART on this new KitKat build on my G Pad, I’ve certainly noticed a difference.
I’m not going to go into too much detail on how to download and install this leaked build because frankly, it’s a tricky process and others at XDA have detailed instructions and you’re more likely to get better help there. Before you even go any further, you shouldn’t try this on the Verizon-branded version of the G Pad as that has a different model number to the V500 we’re talking about here, you should also be prepared to mess around with your computer a little bit. Oh, and don’t forget to back everything you care about up.
The method I took was this one, which took me a quite a while and did unfortunately remove my custom recovery, but you can downgrade back to 4.2.2 and then regain recovery if you so wish. You can root this version of the ROM as well, but if you’re already rooted and running a custom recovery a flashable version of the update has been made. One that features root and busybox included, too. Instructions and the files needed for that method can be found here. As with any sort of modification or messing around with your device, you’re going to need to be careful here. Also, as LG’s devices take a different path than others when it comes to updates, it might be worth waiting for this one, but the update itself seems perfectly stable to me.