How to update your Samsung Galaxy S4 to Android 4.3 Google Edition

How to download and install Android 4.3 Google Edition on your Galaxy S4

Back in May, Google announced that it would sell a "Google Edition" version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Unlike the regular Galaxy S4, the Google Edition device runs a stock version of Android, free from any Samsung-specific features and apps.

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Unfortunately, the Galaxy S4 Google Edition is only sold in the US through the Google Play Store and is not available in Australia. However, if you're keen to use the latest version of stock Android on your Galaxy S4, there is a way to install the software manually, provided you are using a Windows PC.

We've written an easy, step-by-step guide that includes images to help you through the process. The installation should take you less than 20 minutes to complete overall.

Backup your data

IMPORTANT: Before you go ahead you should ensure you backup your Galaxy S4 and save any important data (such as photos and videos) you want to keep. This manual software installation will wipe any data on your handset.

To back up your Galaxy S4, navigate to Settings > Backup & reset and ensure the "Back up my data" checkbox is ticked.

To back up other files that won't be saved through your Google account there are a few options. For photos, we recommend the excellent Dropbox app. Navigate to the camera upload menu and you can choose to sync the images in your camera roll that you want to keep.

The best way to manage this in an ongoing manner is to use the automatic camera upload feature in the settings menu of Dropbox. When this is switched on, any new photos you take with the Galaxy S4's camera will automatically be uploaded to Dropbox.

To backup your text messages, we recommend the SMS Backup+ app. It can back up your text messages through your Gmail account and can be set to backup automatically, or at predefined time periods.

WARNING: Good Gear Guide takes no responsibility for anything that might go wrong during this process. We are not liable for any faults or damages caused by any of the procedures in this guide. If followed correctly, these instructions should ensure a hassle free process but you are ultimately advised to attempt this at your own risk. Do note that rooting your device and installing a custom ROM is likely to void your manufacturer warranty, so attempt this at your own risk.

This guide will work with the GT-I9505 version of the Galaxy S4 sold in Australia by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone and various other retailers. Do note that it will remove any Australian telco customisation such as included Telstra/Optus/Vodafone apps. It will also remove all Samsung-specific features such as dual-camera, S-Voice and Smart Scroll.

Before you start, make sure you have the Samsung USB drivers installed on your PC. You can download the drivers here.

Step one: Root your Galaxy S4

This method will require your Galaxy S4 to be rooted. There are a number of methods to root your device but we used the popular Chainfire Root (CF-Root for short). You can download CF-Auto-Root by clicking here.

Once downloaded, unzip the file. We recommend extracting the file to your main hard drive. In our case, this was the C:\ drive. You should see a .tar.md5 file once unzipped.

To root your Galaxy S4 you'll also need to download Odin, a small program that allows you to flash software to Samsung Android devices. Click here to download Odin 3.07, the same version we used.

Once downloaded, unzip the file. Double click on the "Odin3 v3.07.exe" file. It should look like this:

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Turn off your Galaxy S4. Put the phone into bootloader/download mode by holding the power button together with both the home and volume down buttons. Hold these three buttons simultaneously until you see this screen:

This is a Galaxy S III, but should look almost identical on your Galaxy S4.
This is a Galaxy S III, but should look almost identical on your Galaxy S4.

Press the volume up button to continue and you'll then see this screen:

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Plug your Galaxy S4 into your PC using the USB cable. The phone should automatically be detected by your computer and will be displayed in the ID:COM box on Odin. (On our PC the port is COM8, but it may be a different number on your computer). The ID:COM box should be highlighted yellow or blue.

Click the "PDA" button in Odin, and select the CF-Auto-Root .tar.md5 file you downloaded earlier. Press Start on Odin. You should see a progress indicator on Odin and a progress indicator bar on your Galaxy S4.

Ensure you DO NOT remove the USB cable from your Galaxy S4 while your phone is being rooted. Once the process is completed, your Galaxy S4 should restart as normal.

Step two: Install a custom recovery

Once your phone is rooted you'll need to install a custom recovery. This is a replacement for the stock Android recovery and allows you to flash new ROMs to your device.

There are number of custom recovery's available, including the popular ClockWorkMod Recovery (CWM for short) or TeamWin Recovery Project (TWRP for short). You can use either of these, but we used PhilZ Touch 5 Recovery, which you can download here.

Once downloaded, unzip the file. We once again recommend extracting the file to your main hard drive. In our case, this was the C:\ drive. You should see a .tar.md5 file.

You'll need to flash your custom recovery via Odin, so you can follow the same process in step one, just with the different file.

Turn off your Galaxy S4. Put the phone into bootloader/download mode by holding the power button together with both the home and volume down buttons. Press the volume up button to continue.

Plug your Galaxy S4 into your PC using the USB cable. Click the "PDA" button in Odin, and select the custom recovery .tar.md5 file you downloaded earlier. Press Start on Odin. You should see a progress indicator on Odin and a progress indicator bar on your Galaxy S4.

Ensure you DO NOT remove the USB cable from your Galaxy S4 while the custom recovery is being flashed. Once the process is completed, your Galaxy S4 should re-boot straight into recovery mode. Select "reboot system now", then select "yes" when prompted with the "disable flash recovery" screen.

If the phone reboots normally and not into recovery mode, repeat the exact steps above but untick the "autoreboot" check box item in Odin.

Step three: Install the Google Edition 4.3 ROM

Once you're rooted your Galaxy S4 and flashed a custom recovery, you are now ready to install the Google Edition 4.3 ROM. There are various versions of this ROM, but one of the best we've come across is Janjan's version which can be found over at the Xda-developer forums. The ROM is a direct port of Android 4.3 without any changes.

To install the Google Edition ROM, download the latest version from the Xda link above. We used the latest v.1 version, but previous versions are also available to download.

Once you've downloaded the file, DO NOT unzip it. Plug your Galaxy S4 into your PC and copy the zip file to the internal storage on your device.

Disconnect the Galaxy S4 from your PC, then turn off your phone. Now you'll need to boot into recovery mode by holding down the volume up, home and power buttons until you see the Samsung Galaxy S4 logo. Release the buttons when you see the logo. Don't hold them for too long, otherwise the phone will start as normal.

Once you're in recovery mode, use the volume buttons to select wipe data/factory reset. Press the power key to confirm. Then select clean to install a new ROM from the internal SD card storage on your phone. Scroll down to the zip file you copied to your phone earlier in this step. Press the power button to confirm.

Select "reboot system now", then select "no" when prompted with the "disable flash recovery" screen.

Your phone should now boot as per normal with the latest Google Edition Android 4.3 software installed! If your device gets stuck on the Samsung logo screen, boot into recovery mode again, wipe data and reboot again.

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Have you updated your Galaxy S4 to the Google Edition Android Jelly Bean 4.3? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

Guide credits

XDA Forums for the Google Edition Jelly Bean 4.3 ROM by Janjan
CF-Auto-Root by Chainfire
PhilZ Touch 5 Recovery by Phil3759

Tags android jelly beansamsungGooglesmartphonesSamsung Galaxy S4Android 4.3

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

Good Gear Guide

48 Comments

Charu

1

Too much trouble. Folks on various forums have figured this easier way out --

1. Open "Google Services Framework" from Settings-->Apps
2. Uncheck "show notifications" box
3. Clear data and cache
4. Go to Settings-->About-->System updates and hit "check now".

Note: You may have to remove your google account and re-add it after that. I didn't have to, but some folks say it can cause syncing problems.

ayman

2

thanks for the information but i have a question... after applying the stock android on the S4... would it receive the future updates automatically from Google?

Alex

3

Awesome guide I also want to know after flashing the stock google rom will you receive google updates? And after flashing will the binary counter have a count on it? Thanks again ;)

Asker

4

Is it safe ?

Vova viner

5

You could just download the firmware image from Samsungs website and ADB sideload it without any root

Big Oh

6

Will this work with the new update, MF3?

DF_Sega

7

Hi Guys,

I am from Costa Rica, and I was looking a way to install the Google Edition of Android 4.3 on my S4 for many reason, along that I don’t like some of the APP’s that Samsung add to his version, the ones my operator also add.

But…anyway…I thought the “dual camera” option was something the phone provides no matter which version of Android is running, so my question is…is there any way we can use this function with this Android Version?

Regards

Cdroid

8

Thanks for the guide, but I need some help here:
I'm on Verizon. After completing all the steps (this is my second time returning to stock and trying again, and it's happened both times after very carefully following all the instructions), my phone shows the samsung S4 logo, but then shows a screen with a caution logo that reads:
"System software not authorized by Verizon Wireless has been found on your phone. Please turn off your phone and go to the nearest Verizon Wireless store for help." The top of the screen has red text that reads: "SECURE FAIL: KERNEL"
How to get around this?

R.Sathyanarayanan

9

Hi ! Its an AWESOME guide for starters like me. But It would be more helpful if u can post a video of the same.

Naptown Larry

10

I don't know why anyone would want to go through the trouble of upgrading to 4.3... You lose useful features that 4.2.2 already comes with like dual camera, and you gain almost nothing noticeable in the user interface for your trouble:

- Scan for Wifi networks even when Wifi is turned off
- Ability to add two-second pauses in your dialing strings
- Ability to enable dial-pad auto-complete
- Camera menu becomes a little easier to navigate

Really...? Who cares...?

yin

11

Can I know y my s4 ady update but still 4.2.2?

Billy

12

Is more about removing all the crapware

zikkizidan

13

WOW great guide and walk through.done now and running 4.3 stock android. Mine was Vodafone Australia i9505. camera had some sort of glitch in the beginning but now looks alright.

zikkizidan

14

the front facing camera doesn't seem to work now. Not that i use it so often but comes in handy if you dont have a mirror.

zikkizidan

15

ok so after one day what I felt.
1)camera pictures cannot be sent directly to sd card like TW
2)apps cannot move to sd card
3)camera is laggy at first but ok later.TW camera much advanced with all whistles and bells.
4)front face camera works ok with google rom
5)features such as CALL Blocking are lost with this rom.
6)rom did freeze 2-3 times with multi tasking

I am back with tw now and running the France edition 4.2.2 on my Vodafone Australia S4

Anurag MB

16

Hi tried the rom which looks pretty good but its so straight forward with no glitter that i started to miss TW 4.2.2 .also i think its a myth that space is increased , as Google Rom doesn't allow pictures to go to sd card and stores on the phone. Also it does get rid of samsung bloatware but google bloatware was still there. seems like in the nexus line Samsung didn't have sd slot and hence this could be an issue .Maybe the answer is ECLIPSE rom which has both features of google and tw. Looking for Eclipse for i9505.

Brayden

17

For me, I could not get my GS4 to boot into the recover. It always rebooted back into TouchWiz and the Auto-Reboot checkbox was ticked, but greyed out.

derp

18

If youre doing this to remove unwanted apps then you may aswell just install titanium and uninstall or freeze those apps, seeing as you root in this guide anyway

Sean D

19

Easy as it sounds. Successful on my first attempt. I would recommend to anyone even on a beginner level. Thank you so much!!!

peter

20

This worked like a charm. AFTER I had watched a youtube video on how to acheive debugging mode on my Galaxy S4 Android 4.2.2!!!

Peter

21

I might also add : That ODIN 3 will NOT recognise the phone, UNTIL the latest drivers had been installed by Samsung Kies!!!

HAYAT

22

dEAR MY gs4 STUCK ON MESSAGE ( FIRMWARE UPGRADE ENCOUNTER AN ISSUE. PLEASE SELECT RECOVERY MODE IN KIES AND TRY AGAIN) . nOW IT DOES NOT ATTACHED TO KIES. PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO RECOVER BACK TO FIRMWARE. PLEASE HELP

nick

23

this is SO very misleading. ALL should know that if their carrier is VERIZON, this will most likely screw up your phone. as of july 8th, I believe, Verizon sent out a firmware update that prevented rooting (although there is a way around this now thanks to some very intelligent people) but the bootloader is locked up tight. this will not work on Verizon phones if you took the ota ME7 firmware update.

nick

24

hayat, are you able to boot into your phone at all? or do you get this message as soon as you start the phone?

sheri

25

@Nick, have you heard of this issue to be on Vodafone Australia has sets as well?

Nick

26

Sheri, not particularly, but it is extremely possible. Verizon, for some reason, probably having to do with money, sent a firmware update that locked things down tight. what you should do is this; go into settings- more- about phone. scroll down to baseband version or even build number, and the last 3 letters/numbers will tell you the firmware. do a search concerning Vodafone and that firmware.
hope this helps. trust me, it really sucks. im mad as hell bc im unable to flash ROMS. you're better safe than sorry tho, so do some research for this... if not, you could really mess up your phone.

Nick

27

just for info sake, the firmware version that Verizon updated to is ME7. as of now, you cannot get past the bootloader

Noah

28

@Charu: what you mention is a trick that forces an OTA update for Galaxy 4 Google Edition *only*. Don't you ever try that on another firmware.

And even on GE, many problems have been reported following such a procedure.
Bottom line: just avoid trying that.

Next time, check before posting potentially dangerous advice!

Ross

29

Chainfire has a new root file that allows you to flash happy again and bypasses the enforcing features of the new tw rom.

Shaun

30

It works perfectly! But it doesn't work with Australia's radio waves, so that means no 3g, LTE, 2g, HSPA, HSPA+ or any internet connection unless you're connected to a Wi-Fi. I found it frustrating only because of that and there's still no fix or other version of ROM out there that has fixed this issue, not that I know if there's one out there, but there should be. PLEASE let me know if you you know where I could get one. THANKS!

justin

31

Download the phone info app and it opens up the antenna settings for LTE 3g and gsm and set it to LTE/CDMA/gsm I had the same problem I took it to the Telstra shop and they couldn't fix it. But it works now after applying the antenna settings try to manually enter the apn settings for your carrier. Only issue I have period is the fact I cannot receive nor send MMS. Other then that the rom works superbly runs quick no lag fast boot up internet speeds have improved significantly. If anyone knows how to fix MMS issues please let me know. Its not recognizing the APN settings.

Nick

32

its not the touchwiz rom. its certain features in certain firmware. to be specific, its the knox nonpermissive.
you guys are proof that this is not working. sorry, but, no radio signal? that sounds like a big problem to me unless you plan to be on wifi (if that even works) the whole time. whats the point?

there are like 20 different variations of this phone on the market, and just as much firmware for variants. this is not a one size fits all.

Paco Espinoza

33

Move apps to the sdcard is disabled on the google rom. :(

Harry

34

can someone please guide me to a tutorial how i can go back to the samsung touchwiz rom.
i have tried this one and the only issue is the batterry life.
i have been trying to find a samsung touchwiz default rom but no luck so far.
also
my baseband version now is
i9505xxubmg4

does this play any part in which rom u install and stuff.
i did not do much research bwt 4.3 before but i dont want to brick my phone.

can some one please help. i just want to revrt back to stock samsung touchwiz and wait for the final 4.3 rom which supports evrything and has good baterry life.
thanks

ahmed

35

I have a galaxy s4 gt-i9500 . i tried to unlcok it but something gone wrong with it. I have tried many things now my cell phone restart automatically . When i press volumdown+ Menu+power it shows only light on screen nothing els. i am unable to enter download mode. can you please help me. i am a new user of galaxy s4. one thing this is a copy not orgnal galaxy its korian made phone.

Prits

36

works well on telstra lte. I had to manually add an Access Point Network configuration for my provider -> http://ausdroid.net/apns/#telstra

Lungbeat

37

Thanks for the easy to follow guide.

This worked flawlessly on my Telstra Galaxy S4.

Going from a Nexus 4 to a Galaxy S4 was a punish (UI Wise). Touch Whizz is a clunky overlay made worse with Telstra's unnecessary bloatware which you can't uninstall.

The guide just needs to reference http://ausdroid.net/apns/ as pointed out by Prits.

Once you use Stock you won't want to go back to using TW.

ColtGunner

38

I bought a Sprint SPH-L720 Galaxy S4 from US. I have converted it to Google Edition using this ROM in the manner outlined above. It runs fine on Telstra if I manually update the APN settings. However, when I go into "About Phone" on the Settings menu, it now tells me that my device is a GT-19505G. What is correct? Is my phone still an SPH-L720 or is it a GT-19505G?
Would really appreciate someone's input as I need to choose the right file when I want to upload another ROM. Thank you!

CK

39

i wanna upgrade my sgs4 from 4.2.2 to 4.3. is it worthy to do that, does 4.3 support all the features that used to be on 4.2.2 like smart scroll, smart view, air view, smart stay n all. i was in a confusion
????? suggest me please.
regards.

Chris

40

What about galaxy gear compatibility? is this feature available in the google edition rom?

Mark

41

I just finished all steps without error. It still has the crazy stock partition though. It says only 9.x gigs total with 4 gigs available after a full wipe!! That's crazy for a 16 gig phone. I'm gonna look for a partition delete now

jeff

42

Hi, has anyone succeeded trying this on a i9500(Exynos 5 Octa)?
Appreciate for your feedback!

COMPLAINE

43

I HAVE S4 I9095 AND THIS ANDROID OS IS ALL BULLSHIT,BECAUSE THE MAIN JOB OF THE PHONE (CALLING , LOADING CONTACT LIST) IS TOO SLOW AND USELESS AND ALMOST 90% OF TIME ITS HANGED I NEED TO RESTART THE PHONE. THESE OS JUST CREATED TO MADE A PHONE TO JOYSTICK AND DESTROY THE PHONE. MY OLD PHONE SONY ERICSSON W850 WITH NO OS WORKS VERY WELL AND I LOVE THAT, I CAN TALK WITH THAT. DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I"M SAYING?? . BUT THESE OSes REALLY SUCK!!!!

JeyPs

44

After rooting and installing custom recovery successfuly now I'm Stuck at the Samsung logo after the OS zip install. Did a wipe and factory reset then reboot, no go. Wiped cache but still no go. Removed the battery and reboot, still no go. I reinstalled the OS zip (did the entire last step) but I'm still stuck in the Samsung logo after. What to do next?

mimi

45

HI, i would like to know if i could go back to my faithful samsung apps i was accustomed to on my S3. I have the limited edition Google Play S4 i9505 but find it totally different to apps i was accustomed to with S3. Anyone know how i could do this safely??

Thanks Mimi

Aseef Yousufi

46

hello guys: my name aseef yousufi i bought new galaxy s4 but it has problem in booting up properly
"like the above pic ... if can help kindly contact me with this email m.aseef.yousufi@gmail.com

janeenmcampbell

47

My phone has been rooted by someone else and I am new to this. I did have the ability to send pics(mms) now for some reason I do not. I have read that i just have to input the phone networks apn which i know what it is, I just have been abke to figure out how to get a a screen where I am able t make a new network or change setting Any help would be appricaiated!

Edwardo

48

Howdy! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Thanks a ton!

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