The T-Mobile Galaxy S4 is currently running on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS which means that it will take a while until the new Android 4.4 KitKat update will be made available for you. Since now Google released its latest Android firmware only for the Nexus devices (as usual) but during the following weeks we are expecting to see the first OTA release rolled out by the major companies out there; and yes I am talking about Samsung, Sony and HTC mainly and then about LG and Motorola.
The same thing is applying for your T-Mobile Galaxy S4 too. But, when talking about official OTA launches it should be clear for you that the Android 4.4 firmware will not embrace all the devices at the same time. This is happening because usually the official updates are being rolled out gradually or in phases so some Galaxy S4 users will receive the KitKat software sooner than others. Now, since the official release date of the mentioned update hasn’t been yet provided, maybe you will want to update your smartphone ahead of official launch date.
If so, you will have to use the present step by step guide. Why? Well, during the following guidelines we will be checking on how to update the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S4 to Android 4.4 KitKat with KitKat KangBang Custom ROM firmware. What does this mean? Well, in a few words you will flash an unofficial port of Android 4.4 on your T-Mobile SGS4. So, this guide is also unofficial as the KitKat KangBang custom ROM represents a free aftermarket distribution of Android 4.4 platform.
Even though this is not an official version of Android 4.4, the KangBang custom ROM is stable and comes with stock and extra KitKat features, apps and capabilities that will smoothly run on your T-Mobile Galaxy S4. The update has been customized especially for your smartphone so that’s why after flashing the software you will be able to enjoy better performances, improved speeds, upgraded battery life, custom looks and so on.
According to those who have tested the KangBang system on the S4 there are some problems with IR Blaster which is not working properly, while the screen rotation capability gets stuck sometimes but restarting the app is resolving this issue. Anyway, all the bugs included on the platform will soon be resolved by the devs and you will be updated with a new version of this Android 4.4 KitKat based custom ROM.
In order to safely complete the present step by step guide you will first have to take care of the pre requisites tasks, which are being mentioned and detailed below. Don’t skip this section of it is the most relevant part of this tutorial.
- Root your T-Mobile Galaxy S4; the root access is being required because an unofficial update can be installed only if the internal system is unchained. Of course, the root access is also an unofficial operation which will make you lose the warranty of your handset. So, be careful when applying these procedures as you don’t want to brick your Android based device while trying to change its OS.
- Install the latest version of TWRP recovery on your T-Mobile Galaxy S4; after gaining root access you need to replace the stock recovery with a custom one because a custom ROM can be flashed only by using the same. Basically, the custom recovery image is providing a user friendly interface between your phone and its internal system. Use the latest version of TWRP recovery because the Android 4.4 KitKat KangBang firmware has been tested on the SGS4 via the same.
- As mentioned before, the warranty of your phone will get lost. Now, you can restore the warranty by downgrading your T-Mobile S4 to stock Jelly Bean OS, or by updating with the upcoming Android 4.4 OTA firmware – take note that on rooted handsets the OTA releases can be installed only manually, in our case by using Odin.
- Backup the SGS4 data because a wipe will be required. Also you will have to clear the cache and when applying these operations the data which is saved on the internal storage memory will get wiped out. Use backup and restore apps from Google Play for saving the contacts, call logs, market apps, EFS folder, internet settings, personal data and so on and use TWRP recovery for making a Nandroid backup (save the current ROM).
- A notebook or a computer is required since this is a manual update operation; also since we are talking about the computer, you need to disable the antivirus or security protection from the same before going any further.
- A manual update operation means that you have to manually apply the firmware on your phone. In order to do so, your S4 must have more than 50% power left; else your device might get turned off in the middle of the flashing operation.
- You will also have to connect your smartphone with your computer; now for being able to safely establish the connection, first on your Galaxy S4 go to “menu -> settings -> developer options” and enable the USB debugging option.
- Use the steps from below for updating the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S4 to Android 4.4 KitKat firmware with KangBang custom ROM only if you have the mentioned device and not a similar model of the handset – this tutorial is compatible only with the T-Mobile variant of SGS4.
How to Install Android 4.4 on T-Mobile Galaxy S4 using KitKat KangBang Custom ROM Firmware
- Download the update file by going to this page.
- Save the firmware on your computer.
- Don’t unzip the Android 4.4 KitKat update; just place it on desktop.
- Now connect your S4 with the computer via USB cable.
- Copy-paste the downloaded files from desktop to your phone’s SD card.
- Unplug the USB cord.
- Turn off your smartphone.
- Reboot in recovery mode – learn how by using our dedicated step by step guide.
- From recovery wipe the system by selecting “wipe data factory reset”.
- Also clear the cache by choosing “wipe cache partition” and “clear dalvick cache”.
- Return to main menu of recovery.
- Select “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
- Pick the firmware file and flash the Android 4.4 update on your Galaxy S4.
- In the end from recovery select “+++go back+++” and “reboot system now”.
Perfect; congratulations you have managed to complete our dedicated step by step guide. Therefore now you know how to update your T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S4 to Android 4.4 KitKat with KangBang custom ROM firmware. Test the new firmware and share your impressions with us. Remember that if you had made a Nandroid backup as recommended before, now if the new ROM isn’t on your taste, you can restore to recovery mode for restoring the old firmware. If you want to talk with us, just use the comments area from below.