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Get Nexus 6 system sounds and notifications on your Nexus 5
Google Nexus 5 Hardware Google 6 min read 7 comments

Get Nexus 6 system sounds and notifications on your Nexus 5

The Nexus 5 somehow missed out on the cool system sounds when it got the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. The Nexus 6 came out of the box with a whole bunch of cool Lollipop sounds including notification and ring tones. If you've got a twinge of Nexus 6 envy, today we'll show you how to further enhance your Nexus 5 by getting the Nexus 6 system sounds on your device. (The ''Ambient Display'' notifications tutorial is at the bottom of this tutorial).

nexus 6 vs nexus 5 comparison front02 ANDROIDPIT
You may not be able to do much about the look, but system sounds are another matter. / © ANDROIDPIT

This is a quick flashable zip. This means to install it you need to have your Nexus 5 rooted (how to root the Nexus 5). You'll also need a custom recovery installed on your Nexus 5. Also, if you want to change back to the previous system sounds, you will need to do a Nandroid backup you can restore afterward. Otherwise these sounds are permanent.

How to get Nexus 6 system sounds on the Nexus 5

1. All you need to do is grab your trusty Nexus 5, head to this XDA Developers page where the Lollipop system sounds flashable zip file is located (thanks to Jeeeenx), download it on your phone and move on to step two.

2. Next, turn off your Nexus 5.

nexus 5 recovery fastboot start
Press and hold Power and Volume Down to reach Fastboot. / © AndroidPIT

3. Restart your Nexus 5 in Recovery Mode. Press and hold Power and Volume Down until you see the Fastboot screen. Use the volume rocker to highlight Recovery Mode and press Power to confirm.

nexus 5 recovery fastboot w
Use the volume keys to select Recovery Mode and press Power to confirm. / © ANDROIDPIT

4. You will now be in your custom recovery. I'm using CWM but TWRP is pretty similar too. I want to use the volume keys to scroll down to ''Install zip'' and press the Power button to confirm.

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 CWM Recovery 1
Select ''Install zip'' from your custom recovery. / © ANDROIDPIT

5. Use the volume keys to highlight ''Install zip from last install folder'' and press Power to confirm.

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 CWM Recovery 3
Select ''Choose zip from last install folder'' and find the sounds zip file. / © ANDROIDPIT

6. Locate the system sounds zip file <Android_L_Sounds.zip> and press Power to confirm your selection. Let the Nexus 5 flash the zip file.

7. Reboot your Nexus 5 and you will now have new system sounds straight from the Nexus 6.

Again, this process isn't simple to reverse, so if you want your old sounds back you'll either need to restore from your Nandroid backup or go hunting for another flashable system sounds zip for the Nexus 5 on Lollipop.

How to get Nexus 6 ''Ambient Display'' notifications on the Nexus 5

The Nexus 6 has a very cool feature a lot of us stuck with a Nexus 5 are drooling about: ''Ambient Display'' notifications. That's the black and white display you see briefly when a new notification comes in and is basically the same thing as Active Notifications on the original Moto X. In this tutorial we'll show you how to get the Nexus 6 ''Ambient Display'' notifications on your Nexus 5. 

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 Ambient Display notification
The nexus 5 can get the Nexus 6's Ambient Display settings too. © ANDROIDPIT

Now, you need to be rooted to install this cool feature and running stock Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. If you haven't rooted your Nexus 5 already, you can follow our simple walkthrough on how to root the Nexus 5.

Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into first though, as there are always some risks involved and I won't be buying you a new phone if you botch the procedure. Note: the power saving features of a grayscale notifications screen on a LCD display won't be felt like they would on a AMOLED display, but it's still a cool feature to have.

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 Android 5 0 1 Lollipop download
The mod is as simple as downloading a flashable zip file. © ANDROIDPIT

1. Assuming your Nexus 5 is rooted and running stock Android 5.0.1, all you need to do is download this zip on your Nexus 5. (Don't forget to pay your respects to Raffaele88 at XDA Developers for the hack).

2. Next, you need to flash it in your custom recovery. If you don't have a custom recovery installed, you can follow the steps in our Nexus 5 root tutorial.

nexus 5 recovery fastboot w
This is Fastboot Mode on the Nexus 5: you want to enter Recovery Mode. © ANDROIDPIT

3. Turn off your Nexus 5 and restart in Fastboot Mode. To do this, press and hold the Power button and Volume Down button.

4. Use the volume buttons to highlight Recovery Mode and press the Power button to confirm.

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 CWM choose zip
In CWM recovery, choose Install > Choose zip from last install folder. © ANDROIDPIT

5. In Recovery Mode you'll see your particular custom recovery interface. I'm using CWM but you might be on TWRP. They look different but it's all pretty similar stuff. You want to select Install or Install > Choose zip from last install folder, depending on your particular recovery software.

6. Locate the zip file and press the Power button to select it. Confirm you want to flash the zip file. You'll see a nice confirmation of flashing success at the bottom.

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 CWM install Ambient zip
Flash the 5.0.1Ambient.zip file and reboot. That's all there is to it. © ANDROIDPIT

7. Back up to the main recovery screen and select ''Reboot System Now'' to restart your Nexus 5.

8. Once your Nexus 5 restarts, head to Settings > Display and you'll now see the option for ''Ambient Display'' which you should turn on if it isn't already.

AndroidPIT Nexus 5 Android 5 0 Lollipop Ambient Display
Once installed, you will now see Ambient Display listed under Settings > Display. © ANDROIDPIT

Of course, this mod will only give you access to the Nexus 6's notifications screen, not the ''lift to wake'' functionality. If you want to add that feature to your Nexus 5, just grab Gravity Screen On/Off from the link below and set it up so your Nexus 5 display will wake when you lift it from the table. There's some other cool features in Gravity Screen too, so check it out.

What do you think of this feature on an LCD display? What transformation would you like to see next?

Source: XDA Developers


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  • One warning! DON'T flash them on 5.1 rom. It kept booting forever and I had to reflash 5.1 rom. My fault, but just wnated to warn everyone

  • The ambient display works fine on its own. But it doesn't work with the Gravity app. After installing the app, when I pick the device up, it shows the lock screen and not the ambient display. Is it supposed to be like this or do I need to do anything else? I just rooted my nexus 5 to avail this feature. And I am new to the whole rooting stuff. So please help.

  • I got the Ambient display and the Nexus 6 sounds on my Nexus 5 Thank you very much to Android PIT. Its Fantastic

  • God Jobs