Samsung Galaxy S4 Release Event
Samsung Electronics Co's latest Galaxy S4 phone is seen during its launch at the Radio City Music Hall in New York on 14 March, 2013.REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Samsung is yet to confirm which of the Galaxy S series phones will get the new Android Marshmallow update, but going by the previous software release pattern, it seems the company is likely to ditch 2013 flagship Galaxy S4 this year.

Samsung and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) partners of Google are contractually obligated to provide software updates to Android devices for a minimum of 18 months, or in some instances like HTC devices, 24 months. So, we believe Galaxy S4 -- which has completed 2 life cycles -- is most likely to taste Google's latest sugar treat flavoured OS.

That being said, people who are still hanging on to their Galaxy S4 need not fret over the exclusion as there are plenty of custom ROMs to upgrade Galaxy S4 to Android Marshmallow.

Among them, CyanogenMod is the most popular crowd-sourced firmware used by millions of users across the world.

Industrious XDA Developer Forum's senior member AntaresOne has come up with the Android Marshmallow-based CyanogenMod CM13 custom ROM compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The users must know that this firmware is an experimental version, so there might be some bugs. Readers must exercise caution before going ahead with the installation.

Prerequisites (things to remember before installing Custom ROM)

  • This new Android 6.0 Marshmallow custom series has to be installed on Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505 (jflte) international LTE models only, if tried on other devices, they might get bricked [to check your device model: Go to Settings >> About phone >> model number].
  • Though installing custom ROM improves the device's performance and UI experiences, it makes the company warranty void; the company will no longer be liable to provide updates in future [users can restore warranty by flashing the device with stock-ROM].
  • Make sure the device is rooted before going ahead with custom ROM installation.
  • Installation of custom ROM requires clearing memory in the phone, so make sure to back all the data by installing Clockwork Mod (CWM) Recovery/ TWRP in the smartphone.
  • Make sure USB driver is installed on the PC or else your device (Galaxy S4 LTE) will not be recognised by the computer.
  • Make sure your device has more than 80% battery, or else there is a chance of the smartphone getting temporarily bricked if the installation process is interrupted midway.

[Disclaimer: This procedure is very technical and should be performed by a person with sound knowledge of rooting (or manual software installation) Android devices. If the step-by-step installation process is not followed properly, there are chances of the smartphone getting bricked or being permanently irreparable. IBTimes India cannot be held responsible for any damage or claims from readers if the procedure does not yield the required results or if the smartphone is bricked. Hence, users are advised to proceed with caution.]

Tutorial: Step-by-step installation procedure for CyanogenMod [unofficial] Android 6.0 Marshmallow CM13 custom ROM on Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE (GT-I9505)-

Step 1: Download CyanogenMod [unofficial] Android 6.0 Marshmallow CM13 custom ROM and Google Apps on to your PC.

Step 2: Connect Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-I9505) to PC via USB cord.

Step 3: Then, place CyanogenMod [unofficial] Android 6.0 Marshmallow CM13 custom ROM zip file and Google Apps .zip file into the phone's SD card memory. [Note: Users are advised to paste the .zip file in SD card root, not in any other folder.]

[Note: Before users' begin installing the custom software, be sure that the device must have rooted and has installed ClockworkMod Recovery/TWRP tool.]

Step 4: Turn off the device and disconnect from the PC.

Step 5: Perform the regular Recovery Mode sortie by press holding 'Volume (up)', 'Home' and 'Power' buttons.

Step 6: After entering the RECOVERY mode, clear the phone memory, by selecting 'wipe data/factory reset'

[Note: use 'Volume' keys to navigate and 'Power' button to select options, while operating under Recovery Mode]

Step 7: Clear the cache memory by choosing 'wipe cache partition'

Step 8: Navigate back to ClockworkMod recovery, and select 'advanced' and tap 'wipe dalvik cache' [Note: This step is optional, but many recommend this procedure so that user will not face boot loops or any other errors in the middle of custom ROM installation]

Step 9: Return to the main recovery screen and tap 'install zip from SD card'

Step 10: Tap 'choose zip from sdcard' and go to Android Marshmallow CM13 ROM .zip file in SD card and enter the installation process. Repeat the same procedure for Google Apps installation [Note: use 'Volume' keys to navigate and 'Power' button to select options]

Step 11: Once done with the installation process, navigate to '+++++Go Back+++++' and re-start the device by opting 'reboot system now' seen in the recovery menu.

Now, your device (Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505) will take a few minutes to complete the booting process.

The users can then head to Settings >> select About phone to confirm the installation of CyanogenMod [unofficial] Android 6.0 Marshmallow CM13 custom ROM.

Downloadable files:

CyanogenMod [unofficial] Android 6.0 Marshmallow CM13 custom ROM: HERE

Google Apps: HERE

USB Driver: HERE

Also read: Android Marshmallow update release roadmap for Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, Note 5, 4 leaked

[Credits: XDA Developer Forum & AntaresOne]