HTC One M7 gets Lollipop – and here is how

About one year ago, I got an HTC One (M7) Android phone. Arguably, at that time and maybe still today, the prettiest Android phone yet. It’s heavier than its peers, the camera is inferior to some Android phone, but much worse than what’s available on the iPhone, and still its beautifully built, with much attention to detail, an almost perfect blend of metal and plastics.

I got the phone with an AT&T contract, meaning it had the HTC skin, aka HTC Sense, and lots of AT&T bloat-wear pre-installed, un-removable of course. My threshold for this kind of annoyance is admittedly rather low and I had the phone rooted, replaced the recovery image with TWRP and installed the pure Android experience of the Google-Play-Edition version of this phone, after about one week of usage.

This is all good, until the next Android update becomes available, which won’t easily install with a custom recovery (TWRP) installed. Having done this many times, it’s still a little nerve-wrecking, considering the many stories about boot-loops and bricked devices.

Android 5.0 Lollipop

Today Android 5 became available for HTC One M7 and M8 Google Play Edition (GPE) phones as an Over-The-Air update (OTA), basically a patch that modifies existing files, adds new and removes unnecessary files. The update, once again, could not be applied with a custom recovery installed. Even flashing an old recovery image I had saved back on on the phone didn’t allow me to upgrade.

I assume many others, who have  their HTC One converted to GPE, won’t be able to easily deploy Android 5.0.1 either and therefore have summarized the steps to make it happen for me.

I’m using a Mac, running Mac OS 10.10.1 with the Android SDK installed. To update Android, we just need adb and fastboot, to access the phone quickly and easily through the terminal app. But let’s start by getting the images.

Here is a great source for all kinds of ROMS, Recoveries, etc.: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2545227 it is also the place where I found the recovery image that actually worked.  The 5.0.1 OTA update file can be found at many places, but here it is again, and TWRP is of course available at http://teamw.in/

Prerequisite

The following steps will only work if the HTC One M7 is on Stock Android 4.4.4. If not then here are the steps to put the phone back on the original version, which will serve as a baseline for the update.zip, to be used later.

Install the TWRP recovery:

Now boot into the TWRP recovery and select Advanced, followed by adb sideload

In your’s Mac’s terminal enter:

The rest should happened automatically.

Android 4.4.4 Baseline

Verify that the HTC One M7 is running on Android 4.4.4. and then transfer the update.zip, using Android File Transfer tool and copy it onto the phone’s root (/) folder.

Replace custom recovery (TWRP) with stock GPE recovery

Change CID (Only needed for converted GPEs, Not Official GPEs)

Boot into Recovery

Once you see the image of the Android on its back with a red exclamation point, hold the Volume Up button, then press the Power button to get to the recovery menu. From there select apply from phone storage using the Volume Down button, then select it with Power.
This will take a while and at the end you will see a message, telling you to reboot your device to update the firmware. Reboot. The phone will likely restart once or twice, but after a little while and you will be all set!

TWRP

Re-installing the TWRP recovery image, works just like we did before, with the stock recovery: (you have to enable developer options and USB debuggi)

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