How to Install Android Q GSI Update on Any Android Smartphone

Google has recently released the Android Q Developer Beta 2 for Pixel Smartphones, and Android enthusiasts around the world can’t wait to get their hands on the latest version of Android. Android Q is the most significant Android update in years and comes with tons of new features, especially some highly requested features like a Dark mode. Here are some of the main features of Android Q.

  • Dark Mode
  • Live Captions
  • Support for Folding phones
  • Better Privacy Control
  • 5G Support
  • New Gestures
  • Native Screen Recording
  • Digital Wellbeing and Focus Mode
  • Themeing Support
  • Smarter Notification Modes

Google Pixel devices and some premium flagship devices will be getting the Android Q update before the end of the year, but for the rest of us, there will be a long wait to get the latest version of Android. Now thankfully, there is a way you can enjoy the newest version of Android right now on your smartphone via the help of GSI (Generic System Image).

For those of you who don’t know what a GSI is, In simple words, Google rolled out the infamous Project Treble a few years ago along with Android Oreo. Project Treble makes it mandatory for Android devices shipping with Android Oreo and above to be compatible with a generic system image of stock AOSP Android. It has helped developers create custom ROMs, etc., but there is more to it then meets the eye.

Android-Q-Project-Treble

Google is now officially supporting GSI, which allows you to install Android Q on any Project Treble compatible Android device. The GSI has a lot of Advantages over installing a Custom ROM. You are not dependant on a developer for updates, and you’ll be able to install the latest Android version directly from Google.  Now before we move on to the process of Installing Android Q GSI, Here are some of the requirements.

Requirements

  • You need to have an Android phone that was shipped with Android Pie out of the box.
  • Your phone must be Project Treble compatible.
  • You’ll need an unlocked bootloader as well ( Unlocking the bootloader voids the warranty)
  • You need to Enable USB Debugging and OEM Unlocking on your phone by going into Developer options in the settings menu.
  • You should have a working Fastboot connection and the ADB and Fastboot drivers installed on your PC.
  • Make sure the device is charged at least 75% before moving ahead with the process.
  • Backup all your important data such as pictures etc. to the cloud.

Download Android Q GSI

You’ll need to download the Android Q Generic System Image for your smartphone before proceeding from the link given below. There are different types of Android Q GSI available, download the one which is compatible with your smartphone type. For most of the smartphones shipped with Android Pie out of the box, download the ARM64 version. If you also want to download all the latest Google apps along with it, download the ARM64+GMS GSI version from the link given below.

Download Android Q GSI

Once you are done downloading the GSI file, Extract it, and you’ll get two image files, system.img, and vbmeta.img. Now let’s move to the process of installing Android Q GSI on your smartphone.

Android-Q-GSI

How to install Android Q GSI on any Android

Step 1. Connect your Android smartphone with your pc using a USB cable.

Step 2. Now launch the adb command prompt or the terminal from the platform-tools folder.

Step 3. Reboot your Android device into Fastboot mode using this command

adb reboot bootloader

Note – If you are using ADB with your phone for the first time, you will have to grant ADB debugging permissions to the PC on your smartphone before you can proceed. As soon as you launch the adb command prompt or when you type the command mentioned above, you’ll get a pop up on your phone for the same.

Step 4. Move both the extracted image files (system.img and vbmeta.img) to the platform-tools folder.

Android-Q-GSI-in-platorm-tools

Step 5. Once you are done, use the command given below to flash the ‘vbmeta’ image.

fastboot flash vbmeta vbmeta.img

Step 6. Wipe the system using the below-mentioned command.

fastboot erase system

Step 7. Now Flash the system image containing Android Q.

fastboot flash system system.img

Step 8.  Once the process is done, perform a factory reset on your device using the command given below.

fastboot -w

Step 9. Now for the last step, remove your phone from PC and press and hold the power button to reboot it.

Voila! You now have the latest version of Android running on your smartphone.

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