The Galaxy S4 is not a bad phone and even though it will no longer receive official support from Samsung, you can anytime choose to take advantage of the third party software support. In that respect you might want to learn that a new Android based ROM was made available for your device. I am talking about a new AOSP built which is now based on the stock Android 7.0 Nougat system. So, shortly, you can choose to update your Samsung Galaxy S4 to the latest Android firmware. The proper update process is being detailed during the following guidelines.
The AOSP ROM is powered by the Nougat software which means that you can test and use the latest Android 7.0 features, apps and processes right on your Galaxy S4. And if you are wondering, no, your smartphone will not have problems while running on this OS. The firmware was customized and optimized especially for the S4 so you can use the Nougat platform on a daily basis without hassle. However, since we are talking about a custom ROM and not about an official update package, the AOSP system might cause minor problems from time to time – such as bugs, lags or hands (nothing major though).
Moreover, the AOSP Android 7.1 Nougat OS is pre loaded with useful features and settings. These built-in capabilities can help you customize, optimize, personalize and power up your Samsung Galaxy S4. Overall, if you are an advanced user, you will be able to get rid of bloatware, install apps from other sources than Google Play, overclock or undervolt CPU frequencies, flash custom kernels and further more.
If you are still having second thoughts regarding this Nougat update procedure do note that you can anytime make a Nandroid backup. Through this operation you can save the current Android OS that runs on your Galaxy S4. So, afterwards you can restore the stock Android system on your phone by using the same Nandroid backup package.
You must complete additional procedures before thinking in updating your device with a custom ROM. You see, the AOSP Nougat OS can be flashed only on an unlocked Android platform. That’s why, before doing anything else you must root your Samsung Galaxy S4. And, after ensuring root access you must also flash a custom recovery image as through the stock recovery an unofficial firmware file can’t be installed – in that matter I recommend you to use the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery.
Keep in mind that this update opportunity can’t be associated with your OEM. The Android 7.0 OS is developed by third party devs and you are going to complete an unofficial flashing procedure. So, be careful and try not to mess things up – the warranty can’t be reclaimed so you might have to learn how to address the problems manually.
Backup your data. This is an essential process considering that during the Nougat update operation you will have to wipe the system of your Galaxy S4 – otherwise the new OS won’t run smoothly. Thus, a hard reset and clearing app data cache will be involved. Due to same reasons you have to place your personal files in safe hands. That can be done within 5 minutes as all you have to do is to choose your favorite backup and restore solution: you can download third party backup and restore apps from Google Play, use can use Samsung’s built-in cloud storage service or you can just sync your data with your Google Account.
The update file and compatible Google Apps are the packages which will be used. These files must be fist downloaded on a computer or on a notebook. Therefore, your Galaxy S4 and its USB cable will be also required. In order to make things work, on your phone you have to perform a few tweaks as it follows: you have to become a developer: tap on Menu, navigate towards Settings and from About Phone tap 7 times repeatedly on Built Number until you get the ‘you are a developer’ message; next, access the Developer Options (located under “menu – settings”) and check the USB Debugging field.
Stop a few seconds from what you are doing and check the battery life on your Galaxy S4. Charge your phone before updating to Android 7.0 Nougat AOSP ROM if the power left is currently lower than 50%. Don’t skip this process as you risk in soft bricking your device – that might happen if it will get turned off right in the middle of the flashing process.
How to Install Android 7.0 AOSP Nougat custom ROM Firmware on Samsung Galaxy S4
- As already mentioned above, start by downloading the required files: you can download the Android 7.0 Nougat AOSP ROM from here and compatible Google Apps from here.
- Also, save these files on your computer first – preferable on desktop.
- Then, power on your Galaxy S4 and connect it with your computer – in that respect use your phone’s USB cable.
- Select the downloaded files and transfer them from desktop to your smartphone. When that’s done, unplug the USB cord.
- Power off your phone – don’t reboot it, just complete a shut down operation.
- Up next the recovery mode menu must be accessed. So, press and hold the Power, Volume Up and Home buttons for a few moments.
- The first thing to do from recovery is a total wipe. Thus, select the following options: “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvik cache”.
- Return to main menu of recovery when done.
- From there it’s time to load the flashing files. Therefore, choose “install zip from SD card” and “choose zip from SD card”.
- Pick up the Android 7.0 Nougat package and install the firmware on your SGS4. Then, do the same thing for the Google Apps package.
- When everything is completed, from main menu of recovery select “reboot system now”.
That’s it. You can now enjoy a new Android experience on your Samsung Galaxy S4: the Android 7.0 Nougat firmware.