Install CM12 on Samsung Galaxy S4 and Update to Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS

As you know, even though Android 5.0 Lollipop isn’t yet officially available for the Samsung Galaxy S4, you can choose to update your phone to latest Android OS by using a custom ROM firmware. In that matter, you should try the unofficial release of CM12 Android 5.0.2 Lollipop system, which has been recently optimized for the Galaxy S4 device. And as promised, during this dedicated step by step guide I will show you how to easily and safely complete the update process.

Getting CM 12 on your Samsung Galaxy S4 is easy; all you have to do is to prepare your phone for the installation process by using the guidelines from below. Finally, through the proper steps from this tutorial you will see how to use a custom recovery image for flashing Android 5.0.2 Lollipop firmware on your smartphone. So, let’s get started.

CM12 is an unofficial update developed by those of xda-developers. Of course I am only talking about this CM release as the official update will be provided by the CM team. Thus, currently CM12 is developed by third party devs. The ROM is based on stock Android 5.0.2 Lollipop system and on other builds of CM and comes with great features and apps. All these features will smoothly run on your Samsung Galaxy S4 while with the CM in built settings you will be able to easily improve the general performances of your smartphone.

CM 12 for Samsung Galaxy S4 is still under development, though you can install the Lollipop OS for a daily use – there aren’t reported any important bugs or issues as only minor problems are still included on the CM12 platform.

Because of that you shouldn’t complete this step by step guide without saving the current ROM that runs on your SGS4. Do that before flashing CM12; if the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS will run with bugs and with other software related issues, you will then be able to restore your Galaxy S4 back to stock Android OS, through recovery mode and without applying a classic update operation.

Applying an unofficial update means completing an unofficial operation. Bottom line, installing CM 12 on Galaxy S4 implies in losing your phone’s warranty. Do note that this update process is complex and risky and you can brick your smartphone while completing the steps from below – especially if you apply things by yourselves without checking the guidelines from this tutorial.

Update Galaxy S4 with CM12 only after backing up your data. All your personal info and accounts will be wiped out during the installation process of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS, so saving everything that you might need afterwards is not really an option for you. Don’t worry, the backup can be easily completed; just use compatible apps, a computer, or cloud platforms and you are done.

Like any other custom ROM firmware, CM 12 can be applied only by using a custom recovery image like CWM or TWRP recovery. The update is actually a .zip file and these types of files can be added on an Android powered device only by using a custom recovery image. So, ensure that your phone is running with the same. Then, of course, root access must be granted. An unofficial update must change bloatware and factory restrictions. This access can be provided only once root access is ensured, so do the same thing when thinking in updating to Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS.

Of course, flashing CM 12 is possible only manually. Due to same reasons, a computer will now be required. In a few words here is what you need to prepare: deactivate security protection from your PC; enable USB debugging on your phone; charge your Galaxy S4 if the battery status shows less than 50% power left; and complete the steps from below only if you own the Qualcomm variant of Samsung Galaxy S4 – this tutorial is compatible only with the mentioned model of SGS4 so don’t mess things up.

How to Install CM12 on Samsung Galaxy S4 and Update to Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS

  1. First, navigate towards this page; from there read everything that’s related to the CM12 release. Also, from there download the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OS along with Google Apps package.
  2. Don’t unzip these files, just download them on your computer; place the files on desktop if possible.
  3. Plug in the USB cable and connect your Galaxy S4 with your computer.
  4. Copy-paste the downloaded files on your phone’s SD card.
  5. Now, turn off your phone and enter your Android device in recovery mode.
  6. From this point, the update process is classic; you first have to clear cache and wipe data: “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvik cache”.
  7. Then you have to select “install zip from SD card” and “choose zip from SD card”.
  8. Up next you need to pick the CM 12 file and to install Android 5.0.2 Lollipop on your Samsung Galaxy S4.
  9. Don’t forget to repeat the same process for installing Google Apps package.
  10. Finally, you have to choose “reboot system now” from main menu of recovery.

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