In case you've been living under a rock, not something we associate with Nexus owners, then you'll be aware that there's a big, sweet new version of Android heading to Nexus devices right about now and yes, we're talking about Android 5.0 Lollipop. Today's the day that Nexus 9s have been shipping out to their prospective buyers, the code is about to hit the Android Open Source Project and yes, the Nexus 5 is finally getting the full helping of Lollipop. There are no more Developer Previews for this guy, as the full version is rolling out today.
There are two ways that you can get your hands on Android 5.0 for your Nexus 5, by either using the official Factory Images from Google (just like the ones you might have used to get the Developer Preview) or you can wait for the OTA update to hit your device. If you've never used a Factory Image from Google before, then you're much better off waiting for the OTA update that should be hitting your device any day now. When we get our hands on said package, we'll update this post with a link as well as simple instructions on how to sideload the update. If you're not content with waiting for the OTA update or the ZIP to sideload it yourself, then you'll want to download the Factory Images. Instructions on how to do just that can be found below:
1. Download the newest factory images to your PC. Found here for the Nexus 5.
2. Unzip the file and its contents into your SDK/platform-tools folder.
3. From within your platform-tools folder, open a command prompt.
4. Type the following commands, allowing each to finish before moving onto the next:
*If using a Mac, be sure to add ./ in front of all commands (ex: ./fastboot reboot-bootloader)
adb reboot bootloader
fastboot flash bootloader bootloader-<insert-image-name-here>.img
fastboot flash radio radio-<insert-image-name-here>.img
fastboot -w update image-<insert-image-name-here>.zip
5. If you want to go back to 100% stock with a locked bootloader type:
fastboot oem lock
6. If you want to keep your bootloader unlocked, simply tap the Power button from the START screen.
7. You are now back to 100% stock.
Outside of your official options, you can of course wait for an enterprising developer to produce a stock ROM that's most likely already rooted and should play nice with your custom recovery. If you've been wondering just what's inside of Android 5.0 Lollipop well, that's a list that's a little long for excited users to sit through, but it brings a whole new design language, Material Design, from Matias Duarte among other things. Notifications are handled in a cleaner, more efficient manner, things are more secure this time around and your multitasking menu can now show you individual Chrome tabs if you wish and there's a lot of other features you might want to look at.