One of the biggest challenges that Android users face is the slow pace at which the phone makers take before releasing a new version of the operating system for the older models. In fact, it is not unusual for the phone makers to ignore doing so altogether. If you feel that you are one of the neglected users and doesn’t intend to buy a new phone, then your best option is to upgrade your android phone OS. But before you jump into this option, you should be aware that each android phone may have its own unique steps for upgrading. Therefore, it’s imperative that you follow the instructions that are provided for your specific model to the latter. There are several mods and rooting softwares available, it is upto you to do the research.
Apart from that, one should always create a backup of the data, contact list, emails etc before wiping off or upgrading the old OS. Some of the problems that commonly arise after an update in OS are hardware compatibility issues, and app compatibility issues. Apps like security apps, may loose the data they have stored on your device like a subscription key, while some phones stop supporting camera devices, audio features etc.
In such cases, it is recommended that a user should first read about his phone guide and search the web for other users who have upgraded their mobile phones. You can often come across other users in forums, who have upgraded their OS and found some flaw in later part and had to downgrade to the old OS. Some of the best resources you should read before upgrading your Android OS includes, androidcentral, androidpit and xda-developers forum.
The following are the top 5 things a user should keep in mind before upgrading your android phone: -
1. Upgrade the OS at your own risk
The moment you install an unofficial OS firmware on your android phone, the warranty given by its maker is rendered null and void. It’s also possible for some features on your precious device to be no longer available or may appear buggy after the installation process. Therefore, you should start this process knowing very well that if something goes wrong during the installation, you will have no other choice other than buy yourself a new phone. Even though the odds of jamming your phone during the installation process are fairly low, it can still happen. It’s good to keep this in mind so that you can prepare yourself for whatever outcome that you might get after the process.
2. Root your Android phone
Before you begin doing anything to your android phone, it’s imperative that you root it. This means that you have to unlock the security settings that have been put in place in the OS. This step is taken to prevent the OS from being altered. To conveniently root your android phone, you can check out an app tool known as GingerBreak. However, this app tool may not work on android phones that are more recent.
3. Back-up your phone’s original firmware and data
This will prove important when the need to re-install your phone’s original data and firmware arises. You may need to re-install should something go wrong after installing the unofficial android firmware. The simplest way to do the back-up is by installing an app known as ClockworkMod ROM Manager on your android phone. You will need to run this application, and select the option “Reboot into Recover” from the menu. This will download and install a recovery image profile for your android phone, later which you can select the back-up process. After making a copy of your android phone’s firmware and data, you can move this information to your PC for safekeeping.
4. Prepare Android apps for installation
It’s good to keep in mind that CyanogenMod doesn’t include the standard Google apps that are usually pre-installed in android phones. Therefore, if you intend to install CyanogenMod, you will have to install it separately, not unless you want to keep your phone clean of the Google Android apps. What you should do is to download a zip file containing installation packages for apps such as the Android Market and Google Search. You should then put this zip in the main root directory of the SD card of your android phone.
5. Install the custom android firmware
This is the most crucial step to take. You have to remember to download the firmware that is specifically designed for your android phone model. In this stage, there are a number of processes that are involved i.e. rebooting, wiping out data and cache and upgrading. After about 3 minutes, your android phone will be running on the custom android firmware.
It’s also important for you to keep in mind that there are some Android updates that may wipe data off your android phone. Therefore, it’s imperative that you sync your phone with the Gmail account that’s associated with the device before installing any updates. The good thing is that apps that are purchased through the Android apps market are always available for download, even after data has been wiped. This means that you will not have to purchase these apps again.