Do you want to experience the stock Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS on your Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500? I am talking about the default KitKat system with no Samsung UI; just the firmware that is currently available on the Nexus based devices. How is that possible since there isn’t an official Android 4.4.4 update released by Samsung for the Galaxy S4? Well, by installing a custom ROM of course, as those of xda-developers managed to bring the Google Edition system, which can now be safely flashed on the Samsung Galaxy S4.
As mentioned the Google Edition custom ROM is similar with the stock Android 4.4.4 KitKat firmware that was recently OTA released for Nexus based devices. Well, thanks to those of xda-developers now you will be able to flash the same update on your Samsung Galaxy S4. In order to achieve that you just have to follow this step by step guide as I will teach you how to safely update your S4 I9500 to latest version of KitKat OS, everything being explained and detailed during the guidelines from below – read the same for further info.
But first, it should be clear for you that we are talking about a custom ROM firmware and not about an official update. Google Edition software is only based on stock Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS and has nothing to do with Samsung or with Google, thus it is not official for your Galaxy S4. In fact, the ROM represents a free aftermarket distribution of Android 4.4.4 KitKat platform; the software was modified by third party devs and order to be compatible with the I9500 model of the Galaxy S4, therefore you are about to complete an unofficial update operation.
Due to same reasons, by completing this tutorial you will lose the warranty of your smartphone. Also, for being able to apply the Google Edition custom ROM you will first have to root your Samsung device, while then you will have to install a custom recovery image on it (preferable the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery). Gain root access because the Android 4.4.4 KK custom ROM must access some internal files and in built programs from the internal system of your Galaxy S4 and flash the custom recovery image because the update file can be installed only by using this app – don’t skip these procedures if you want to safely complete this guide.
Now, Google Edition platform is stable and smoothly run on the Samsung Galaxy S4. The system brings all the stock Android 4.4.4 KitKat features, apps and capabilities so your will get a Nexus-like experience on your Samsung branded smartphone. According to those who have already tested the ROM, there aren’t bugs, things that aren’t working properly thus the firmware runs without lags, force close errors and other issues.
Of course the best will be to make a Nandroid backup first, as if you won’t like this new software, then you will be able to easily downgrade your Galaxy S4 to stock Android OS. Furthermore, a general backup is also highly recommended since during the update operation a wipe will be required – you can lose everything that’s saved on the internal storage memory of your handset. In that matter use compatible apps from Google Play and save your contacts, call logs, market apps, personal data, info and accounts along with your Internet settings, EFS folder, images, videos or audio files.
After doing all that, before heading towards the steps from below take care of the following tasks: make sure that you can use a computer as some files must be downloaded on the same; on your phone enable USB debugging option (from “menu – settings – developer options”) because a connection between your devices will have to be established; in order to avoid unpleasant situations from happening, on your computer first of all, temporarily disable the security protection; plug in the charger if on your handset the battery status shows less than 50% power left and apply this step by step guide only if you own the I9500 model of the Samsung Galaxy S4 – the Google Edition Android 4.4.4 KitKat custom ROM firmware is being compatible only with the same.
How to Update Galaxy S4 to Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS with Google Edition Custom ROM Firmware
- Download the Android 4.4.4 KitKat ROM from here and the Google Apps package from here; save these files on your computer (on desktop) and don’t unzip the same.
- Now you need to transfer these files on your phone’s SD card; in order to do so first connect your Galaxy S4 with your computer by plugging in the USB cord and then just copy-paste the mentioned files.
- Up next, remove the USB cord and turn off your phone (press power key and pick “power off” or just keep pressing the power button for about 15 seconds).
- Enter recovery mode on your Android device.
- From main menu of recovery select “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”. Then choose “advanced” and from there select “wipe dalvick cache”.
- Go back to recovery mode menu and now pick “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
- Select the update file and install the ROM on your Galaxy S4; do the same thing and flash Google Apps package.
- Finally, select “reboot system now” and enjoy Android 4.4.4 KitKat firmware on your Galaxy S4.
Perfect; you have successfully completed our step by step guide. Now, your Samsung Galaxy S4 is running on stock Android 4.4.4 KitKat firmware. Remember that you are using the Google Edition custom ROM software, so test the OS before doing anything else. Of course, don’t forget about us and use the comments field from below in order to share your experience with us and with other users that are considering in trying this custom ROM on their own device.