US Cellular variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4 supports the latest build of CM 10.1 Nightlies. You can use this tutorial and learn how to successfully install it on your smartphone in under 10 minutes.
The new build of CM 10.1 brings tons of tweaks and improvements that are offering you the possibility to experience the AOSP Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean without the Samsung / US Cellular bloatware apps and files. The stock version of US Cellular Galaxy S4 comes with its own Samsung-based TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 interface and tons of other apps that are proprietary to Samsung and US Cellular. Not all users like to use bloatware-filled interface, but since the Galaxy S4 looks and runs faster than almost any other device, then it would be best for you to have an alternative operating system that is much more functional and better overall.
A nightlies build of CM 10.1 is still in its first stages and you might find some bugs and errors while using it. In order to successfully flash the new custom ROM for your device, read the guidelines below:
- use this guide only with the US Cellular variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Your phone needs to have the SCH-R970 model number. Check the About Phone menu to find the version of your smartphone.
- don’t try to use this tutorial with any other Android device, as you will end up bricking it.
- your device has to be factory unlocked, rooted and running a custom Recovery image like CWM and TWRP. I have used the ClockworkMod – CWM Recovery for this tutorial, but the TWRP variant is 100% compatible with this post.
- use the custom Recovery mode and create a NANDROID backup of currently installed ROM. This will create a restore file that you can use in case the new OS doesn’t want to boot after the install is complete.
- the tutorial will ask you to wipe the data and factory reset the system partition of your device. Confirm this process and note that the contents stored on your device’s internal SDcard will not be removed in the process.
- all installed apps will be removed after applying ‘factory reset’, which is why you will have to use the Play Store search function in order to find an application that is capable of backing up installed app data.
- to backup Call logs info, SMS and APN Internet Settings before installing the CM 10.1 Nightlies, use the following tools for Android: SMS backup & restore | Call Logs backup & restore | APN Settings Backup & Restore. Some of these small applications will ask for root access, which you need to grant them.
- sync all the data from your Contacts with your Gmail default account, so that you won’t lose any important phone numbers nor contacts info in the process.
- enable USB debugging from Developer Options.
- this is a tutorial for advanced Android users. It you’re a novice, then you can ask for extra help in comments and we will offer you viable solutions for any problems that you might encounter during the installation process.
- don’t blame us if you brick the phone nor in case you lose any important data in the process.
- read the entire post and make sure that you don’t skip any steps that I have listed in the tutorial guide.
These were all the extra instructions that you had to go over before continuing to the next part of this post. This guide will flash the latest build of CM 10.1 Nightlies build, but you can still keep updating the device with future builds using the CyanogenMod Updates button from Settings menu.
- Download the CM 10.1 Nightly build from HERE. Get the latest version and don’t extract the zip contents.
- Download Gapps for CM 10.1 and Android 4.2.2 custom ROMs from HERE. Don’t unzip, save the file on your computer.
- Connect your smartphone with your Gmail account using the USB data cable.
- Now, move both files downloaded in steps 1 and 2 onto your smartphone’s internal SDcard. Disconnect the phone from PC when all files are copied successfully.
- Power off your US Cellular Galaxy S4 completely.
- Boot it into CWM / TWRP Recovery mode.
NOTE: I’ve used the CWM Recovery for this post, but the instructions below will work with TWRP, too.
- Select ‘backup and restore’ option from the main Recovery screen. Create a full Nandroid ROM backup of your current OS.
- Select ‘wipe data/ factory reset’ and confirm this process.
NOTE: if your device is already running on a previous build of CyanogenMod 10.1 Nightlies, then you can skip step 8 and flash the new version over it.
- Select ‘install zip from sdcard’, then ‘choose zip from sdcard’. Find the CM 10.1 Nightly build and confirm its installation.
- The ROM will install in under 5 minutes and, after that you need to select once again ‘choose zip from sdcard’.
- Find the Gapps zip and install it.
- Return to the first screen of your Custom Recovery menu.
- Select ‘reboot system now’.
- The CM 10.1 Nightlies first boot process shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes. Enter your Google profile info and take control over your device in order to complete this guide.
NOTE: if the first boot process takes too long to complete, the Galaxy S4 freezes at the boot screen, it gets into a boot loop or you’re experiencing ‘force clossing’ errors, then you will have to power off your device completely. After that you will need to repeat the entire tutorial once again and apply the action listed in step 8. Confirm the ‘factory reset’ and then reboot.
If you cannot complete the installation at your first attempt, then you will have to repeat the entire tutorial once again. Custom ROMs might not install always and it is very common to be forced to re-install them a second time. However, if you’re experiencing any other problems with the installation process, then you will have to ask for extra help in comments.
Also, if you don’t like this new CM 10.1 Nightly ROM or, you don’t like how your US Cellular Galaxy S4 works with it, then you can easily restore the NANDROID backup file of your previously installed ROM. Use the same file you created in step 7. That’s it, these are all the instructions that you had to read.