The CyanogenMod Team is lining up a bunch of smartphones for the new Snapshot stable custom ROM M12 edition. It comes as something to fill in time before they officially release custom ROMs for the Android 5.0 Lollipop. CM11 Snapshots have been around for a long time. The first batch started with M9 for all the mainstream devices on Android such as the Galaxy S2, S3, S4, Note 2, Note 3, HTC One M7, One M8, Google nexus 4, 5, 7, 10, Galaxy Nexus, OnePlus One and the One X with One XL. Today we are installing a later build based on M12 for the original Nexus 4.

There are three main types of Custom ROMs for people looking to experiment. You have the Stable, Snapshot and Nightly builds. A stable ROM is the best after all the features are inside and tested expensively. Nightly is recommended that people flash the ROM every night to get updates because it’s far from complete. The Snapshot’s are the ‘M’ builds and they are done closer to monthly intervals. That means the experience is more stable and you can have it running on your daily smartphone. All of the mare safe enough to have running on your work phone if you wish. However, some offer a more “bug free” experience than others.


Tip: You can easily take away root access if you decide against custom ROMs by installing the “root checker and unroot pro” application. There is a free version of the same that tells you if the system internals are unlocked and away from the default restrictions by the manufacturer.

  • The M12 ROM is based on the later Android 4.4.4 stages of KitKat. As you likely know, 4.4.4 is the last number before we see Android 5.0 Lollipop. Some phone carriers packaged some of the 4.4.4 features in earlier 4.4.2 and 4.4.3 numbers because they didn’t want to upgrade to the full number. That makes it more confusing for the end-user. However, we know what 4.4.4 generally means and that is a revamped phone dialer, OPENSSL security fix, performances improvements and bug fixes.
  • There are several different version of the Nexus mobiles. Only try installing the file below on the Nexus 4. Flashing the file on a different phone won’t work and you risk bricking the device.
  • You must have a Windows PC, Windows notebook or laptop. So long as it’s got the USB slot mounted in the side so we can connect the smartphone to it there’s no problem. Correspondingly, you want Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8.
  • Stopover at the menu > Settings > Developer Options > Enable USB Debugging. The mode plays an important role in allowing us to connect to the PC.
  • Download the USB drivers so they are up to date. Many of you already have them working. If you are connecting the phone to the computer and accessing the phones data everything is fine. Try accessing the pictures from the computer.
  • You can’t install a custom ROM without root access; therefore, you must unlock the devices system internals before proceeding with the steps. It’s not an all-in-one guide that does that for you. This is flashing the M12 ROM only.
  • Since you are with root access, you can take a full Nandroid backup of the ROM. Moreover, you can use Titanium backup for making copies of the data. Other notable applications for backing up data include Helium, G Cloud backup and Easy Backup. Google Drive also offer a service for freeing up more storage space if your internal storage is full. Backup the phone contacts, call logs, SMS texts, EFS folder, pictures from your photo galleries, music play lists and more.
  • USB charging will handle most of the battery woes since we are connecting to the computer for most of the guide. That means the USB charging will charge the battery so long as the USB cable stays plugged into the computer. However, those without the charging feature working ought to save at least 50% power. You can always check the current power levels by turning the phone on and looking at the status bar battery icon.

How to update the Nexus 4 to CM 11 M12 Snapshots ROM

  1. Download the M12 ROM here.
  2. Download the 4.4.x Google Gapps pack here.
  3. Do not extract the folders until later.
  4. Join the Nexus to the computer using the USB cable.
  5. transfer the files over to the internal storage of the phone from the computer.
  6. Disconnect the phone from the PC.
  7. Boot it up in recovery mode.
  8. Choose the custom recovery of your choice (ClockworkMod or TWRP).
  9. Select wipe data/ factory reset for ClockworkMod users or just wipe from TWRP.
    – note that this wipes the data from phone so if you didn’t backup by now you lose everything.
  10. Select “install” for Team Win’s recovery or ‘install zip from SD card’, then ‘choose zip from SD card’ for CWM users.
  11. Upload the M12 zip file.
  12. Go back to ‘reboot system now” and take a look at the new custom ROM running on your device.

If you are experiencing any problems it’s best to root it back up in recovery mode and perform a factory reset. In some cases, you can fix other problems easier than completely refreshing the ROM as if it’s new coming out of the shop. However, if you can’t find a solution from XDA Developers or somewhere similar, the reset if your way out of trouble.