The Galaxy S4 is one of the best Android based handsets out there, but since it is not a Nexus device its user will have to wait a little bit longer for the already highly expected Android 4.4 KitKat OTA update. Also, even if Samsung will roll out the Android 4.4 firmware sooner than expected, then each retail will provide the update on different dates. Anyway, if you own the Verizon version of Samsung Galaxy S4 and want to update to Android 4.4 kitKat OS now, without waiting for the stock software to come, you can use this tutorial for learning how to install the new Gummy custom ROM firmware.
As I have mentioned above, it is still unclear when the Verizon Galaxy S4 will receive the Android 4.4 touch. It might take a few months until the OTA will be made available, but that’s a really long time especially when we are talking about a major OS improvement. Therefore, the best for you will be to try to flash a custom ROM software that is based on stock KitKat system. Such an update is the Gummy platform which will bring a stable and smooth Android 4.4 KitKat ROM on your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4.
This is not a joke; the Gummy firmware is indeed coming without any bugs as those who have already tested the unofficial port of Android 4.4 had stated the same. Of course, with Gummy software you will not get the default version of KitKat OS. On your Verizon SGS4 it will be installed a custom variant of the firmware that is coming with its own looks and features. Well, don’t worry, as all the stock features, apps and capabilities are being included on this ROM; but besides you will also receive extra features that cannot be find on the Android 4.4 platform.
By using these capabilities you will be able to “play” a little bit with your Galaxy S4. In a few words, with Gummy ROM installed, you will be able to bump the speeds of your Verizon Galaxy S4, upgrade the battery life, enjoy an improved web browsing experience, power up the performances and so on. And of course, all while on top of all Android 4.4 KitKat OS is running smoothly and without lags or errors.
Good; but for installing this ROM on your SGS4 you will first have to ensure that your phone is rooted and installed with the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery. First of all, the root access is being required because since we are dealing with an unofficial update, the same can’t be applied on a locked handset. So, root your Verizon Galaxy S4 as this is a must have. A must have is also the custom recovery image because the same will be used on the update operation. Now, I have recommended CWM or TWRP recovery because the Gummy ROM has been tested on the S4 only via these tools. Don’t worry, as root access and custom recovery image can be easily achieved – use our “how to” section for finding suitable step by step guides.
Be careful when performing the mentioned operations because both are unofficial ones. Because of that and mainly because you will make changes on the default settings that are installed on your phone, the Verizon Galaxy S4 warranty will get void. Unfortunately, for restoring the warranty you will have to go back to stock Android Jelly Bean OS. Or you can wait for the Android 4.4 KitKat OTA to be released – the OTA will not be received by rooted devices, so you will have to apply the new firmware manually via Odin.
I also recommend you to backup your Galaxy S4 data. Well, actually ensure that everything that is saved on the storage memory is in safe hands because a little bit later a complete wipe will be required. Just use suitable backup and restore tools from Google Play and everything will be fine. Also, don’t forget to backup the EFS folder and the current ROM via CWM recovery – by making a Nandroid backup (you can restore the stock OS if the present one isn’t on your taste).
On the other hand, this guide implies in using a computer or notebook, your Verizon model of Samsung Galaxy S4 (the steps from below are compatible only with this variant of SGS4 so don’t try this guide if different) and its official USB cable. Then, for avoiding the unpleasant situations, first you have to ensure that on your computer there are no security tools (antivirus, antimalware, etc.) installed. At the same time, on your smartphone the USB debugging option must be checked out; if not you should go to “menu -> settings -> developer options” for ensuring the same. And, last but not least, your S4 must have enough battery life left for staying “alive” through the installation process; basically if there is less than 50% power left you will have to plug in the charger before heading to the proper steps from below.
How to Update Verizon Galaxy S4 with Android 4.4 KitKat based Gummy Custom ROM Firmware
- Download the Android 4.4 KitKat based Gummy custom ROM from this page.
- Save the file on your computer; don’t unzip the update package.
- Also, from this page download the Google Apps package – you should know that this step is optional, though Google apps are not included on the update system.
- Connect your Verizon Galaxy S4 with your computer as you need to transfer the downloaded files.
- So plug in the USB cable and then from your computer copy-paste the downloaded files on your phone’s SD card.
- After placing the files on the SD card unplug the USB cable.
- Turn off your smartphone.
- Enter recovery mode; if you don’t know how, try this guide.
- From recovery first of all select “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”.
- Return, select “advanced” and pick “wipe dalvick cache”.
- Once more, return to main menu of recovery.
- Select “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
- Pick the Android 4.4 firmware file and flash the ROM on your S4.
- Do the same thing if you want to install the Google Apps package.
- And in the end select “+++go back+++” and “reboot system now”.
Good job; you have successfully installed the Android 4.4 KitKat based Gummy custom ROM firmware on your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4. So now you can test the latest Android features and apps ahead of official release. Do tell us how things worked for you and stay close as more suitable tutorials will be developed for you.