The LG Nexus 4 is getting a taste of Android 8.0 Oreo, courtesy of a recognized developer on the XDA Developers forums who recently managed to create and share an experimental build of the operating system working on the device that's soon to be five years old. The build is in the early alpha stages of development and as a result, certain key features don’t work as intended or at all. The good news for Nexus 4 owners and tinkerers is that the developer is working on further improving the user experience and ironing out some of the currently known flaws.
The Nexus 4 was Google’s first smartphone in the series to be manufactured by LG, following the original Nexus device built by HTC and two models made by Samsung. It was launched in November as the first smartphone to run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box and later received an update to Android 4.3. The device made the jump to Android 4.4 Ice Cream Sandwich in November 2013, and received its final software update in April 2015, bringing its OS version up to Android 5.1 Lollipop. As expected, the smartphone has been discontinued and is no longer supported by the tech giant from Mountain View, which means it will never be officially updated to a newer version of Android OS, including Android 8.0 Oreo. Still, the Nexus smartphone series attracted numerous enthusiasts over the years, and countless third-party developers have continued to release new and updated custom ROMs for the device. Such is the case with the experimental Android 8.0 Oreo build at hand, published by XDA Developers Forum member Zyian earlier this month. The build is early in development and certain features don’t seem to work, including NFC and screen rotation, just to name a couple. Additionally, users have reported that the custom ROM at hand doesn’t leave enough room for the installation of Google applications, but the good news - according to another user - is that a “pico” Google Apps package can be used as an alternative.
At the end of the day, the unofficial Android 8.0 Oreo port for the Nexus 4 doesn’t seem to be complete enough for use on a daily basis, at least not at the moment. However, the ROM should continue to improve and Nexus 4 users who are willing to experiment with early custom builds can at least get a preview of Android 8.0 Oreo on their devices, and perhaps even help improve its overall experience.