Even though there is still no official Android 4.4 based custom ROM available for the Sony Xperia S, you can still test the latest Android firmware on your own smartphone by choosing a ported version of the KitKat software. For example, by using this tutorial you can install the Pure AOSP custom ROM on your Xperia S for updating to unofficial Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS. Unfortunately the firmware is still on development stage, though the update can be safely installed for a daily use – read more details related to the Pure AOSP system by checking the lines from below.
As I have already mentioned this version of Pure AOSP firmware is not yet official, those of xda-developers (we have them to thanks for this step by step guide) still working in providing a stable Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. Anyway, if you choose to flash this update on your Xperia S you will apply the latest Android OS along with important features, apps and capabilities on your device. Also, don’t worry as soon a stable variant of the ROM will be provided, so all the present bugs will be resolved.
According to those who have already installed Android 4.4.2 Pure AOSP on Sony Xperia S, there are some problems with FM Radio (it is not working), HDMI connection and with SELinux. Besides the mentioned issues it seems that all the other features are smoothly running on the Xperia S. Anyhow, before completing this tutorial it should be clear for you that the AOSP firmware is not an official Android 4.4.2 update released by Google or by Sony. In fact, the update is being developed by third party devs and represents a free aftermarket distribution on Android platform. That’s why this operation isn’t official and that’s why Pure AOSP can be only manually installed on your smartphone.
The Pure AOSP ROM can be flashed only if you have a rooted Sony Xperia S installed with the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery. By gaining root access you will prepare your phone for the update operation as the factory and default restrictions will be removed from your phone. So, after gaining root access you will be able to access the internal system of your phone for performing operations like: overclocking the CPU, installing a custom ROM or kernel, flashing a custom recovery image, remove the bloatware and so on.
CWM and TWRP recovery are custom recovery images. A custom recovery image is being required because a custom ROM can be installed only by using the same. Now, when completing these operations the warranty of your device will get void. So, if you think that something bad might happen with your phone the best will be to stop going any further (if you follow compatible step by step guides everything will be fine). Also the warranty can be easily restored as all you have to do for revoking the root access is to downgrade / update your Xperia S to stock / official Android OS.
Another thing to do before heading to the proper update operation is a backup. You see, a wipe will be required or else the Pure AOSP Android 4.4.2 KitKat firmware will not run properly on your Xperia S. So, the best will be to save everything that’s important for you like text messages, call logs, market apps, personal info, accounts and data or contacts list. Furthermore, you should also make a Nandroid backup for saving the current ROM – if this software will be too buggy then you will be able to return to stock Android OS (or use another firmware like the Android 4.3.1 based OmniROM).
Since this a manual update procedure, if you want to safely complete the same you will have to ensure that a computer or notebook can be used. Your phone will have to be connected with your computer so its USB cable must be near you. Due to same considerations, on your device the USB debugging option must be enabled – go to path “menu – settings – developer options”. On the other hand, on your computer you need to deactivate the security protections like antivirus or antimalware programs – the tools might interrupt our installation procedure. Furthermore, your Xperia S should be charged or else it might get turned off in the middle of the update operation – you can brick your phone if that happens.
This step by step guide must be followed only by the Sony Xperia S users. The Pure AOSP Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS mentioned here is being compatible only with this smartphone. Don’t use the steps from below in other circumstances.
How to Update Sony Xperia S to Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS with Pure AOSP Custom ROM Firmware
- On your computer you have to download the Android 4.4.2 update file (from here) and the Google apps package (from here).
- Save these files on desktop and do not unzip the same.
- Up next, connect your Xperia S with your computer via USB cable.
- Place the downloaded files from desktop on your phone’s SD card.
- Unplug the USB cord.
- Turn off your smartphone and enter recovery mode.
- From recovery select “wipe data factory reset”.
- Also choose “wipe cache partition”.
- Up next pick “advance” followed by “wipe dalvick cache”.
- Then select “install zip from SD card” and “choose zip from SD card”.
- Pick the Android 4.4.2 firmware and flash Pure AOSP on your Sony Xperia S.
- Repeat this step if you want to flash Google Apps package on your phone.
- And in the end just select “reboot system now”.
Perfect, you are done. You have installed Android 4.4.2 KitKat based Pure AOSP custom ROM firmware on your Sony Xperia S. As I have mentioned before, the ROM is not stable so there you will find several bugs and things that aren’t working properly or aren’t working at all. Do share your experience and results with us and with other users that might want to flash this software. We will assist you with new updates as soon as something new comes out for your smartphone.