Google recently started rolling out Android 4.4.3 to owners of Nexus smartphones and tablets. It’s a relatively minor update that doesn’t offer many new features… but it does fix some bugs, so it’s probably a good idea to update your device once you see a prompt letting you know Android 4.4.3 is ready to download and install.
Update: The same steps outlined below should also work when moving from Android 4.4.3 to Android 4.4.4 — or at least they worked on my Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.
But if you’ve rooted your Android phone or tablet, there are a few things you might want to do first so that you don’t have to root it all over again after updating.
If you’re using a custom ROM such as CyanogenMod, OmniROM, or Paranoid Android, just go ahead and download the latest version of your ROM. The following tips only apply to folks who are running rooted versions of the stock Android software that came with their device. Note that these instructions may not work for all users due to variations in devices or software, but they’ve been tested on my Nexus 5 running stock Android.
Enable Survival mode in SuperSU
If you’ve got a rooted device, odds are you already have Chainfire’s SuperSU app installed. This an app that lets you decide which other apps can access root file and settings.
While there are a few other SuperUser apps available, this is one of the most popular… and if you’re using a different app on your rooted device, you can always replace it with SuperSU just by installing the app from the Google Play Store.
SuperSU has an option called “Survival mode” which attempts to keep your device rooted even if you’re installing an over-the-air update. It may not always work… but it works just fine when used on a Nexus device that’s being updated from Android 4.4.2 to Android 4.4.3.
Out of the box, SuperSU doesn’t let you check the box next to Survival Mode. You can either pay a few bucks for a SuperSU Pro license to enable the feature… or just check the box that says “Enable Pro.” It gives you all the features of SuperSU Pro without paying for them… although if you find the features useful, it’s always a good idea to buy the app to help support the developer.
Anyway, once you’ve checked the Survival mode box you can go ahead and follow Google’s prompts to update your device. After the installation is complete and your device reboots, you’ll find that all of your root-only apps such as Titanium Backup, Root Explorer, and ROM Toolbox will work perfectly… unless you have the Xposed framework installed.
How to upgrade to Android 4.4.3 when you’re using Xposed Framework
The Xposed Framework gives you many of the benefits of a custom ROM without actually replacing the operating system on your device with a custom version of Android.
For example, it lets you install modules that let change your Quick Settings tiles, add options to your power menu, chance the Google Experience Launcher behavior, and more.
Unfortunately if you try installing an over-the-air update from Google while Xposed is installed, it’ll fail.
The good news is that all you have to do is uninstall Xposed, apply the Android update, and then re-install Xposed. Any modules such as GravityBox, Greenify, or GEL Settings that you’ve installed will continue to work and all of your settings will be preserved
So here’s all you have to do:
1. Fire the Xposed Installer app on your device.
2. Tap the option that says Framework.
3. Tap the Uninstall button and then reboot when prompted.
4. Install the Android 4.4.3 OTA update from Google.
5. Go back to Xposed Framework, and this time select the Install/Update option and reboot when prompted.
That’s it. You don’t need to re-install Xposed Installer or any of your modules. Just uninstall the framework, update Android, and then re-install the framework.