Once upon a time, I was a super-techie. I knew pretty much everything about any piece of technology I used. Partly, it was my job, as a high-level systems administrator, but it was also a love of gadgets, computers, and electronics. Lately, I’m only in-depth knowledge on a smaller subset of technology. This is mainly due to having kids and being a good father which means, now always having the time to read and try everything I hear about.
However, my Samsung Galaxy S4 is officially driving me crazy. I have Sprint. Yes, I know their network is garbage, but I have a deal that gives me and my wife 500 minutes, plus unlimited data and texting, and we pay like $119, all-in, and that’s for both phones. So, you can see why I’m willing to put up with some junk and try other things rather than double my monthly bill. One of my big issues lately is that Sprint has kind-of, sort-of, it still isn’t very reliable, upgraded some of the Denver area to 4G after a very, very, long delay. That being said, as I move about, I still get kicked to 3G, and when that happens, the phone isn’t very good about making the switch. Even worse, sometimes my WiFi turns on and tries to connect to something I don’t/can’t use and then when I turn the wifi off, it loses the data connection, until I do an on/off of Airplane Mode. Sometimes, it takes a whole reset of the phone.
Check out my Capital One Rewards Catalog Review for 2014.
Root to Google Android Instead of Samsung Junk Android
Samsung Android phones, and the Galaxy S4 in general, are well known for being filled with junkware, and other non-removable apps that Samsung installs. The worst part, is that in many cases, these junky versions are installed IN PLACE of the better, more robust, Google Android versions. You can run them both together, but who knows what trouble that causes.
Recently, I read that the network connecting, and disconnecting thing is actually an Android issue. I’m sure the Samsung implementation doesn’t help matters. Since Samsung, and Sprint, will take their sweet time in pushing out an update, I’d like to see what might work better and faster with a more Android specific build. In this case, the Cyanogen Mod is well respected and considered “close” to being a stock Android build. Even better, they have a one-click installer that is supposed to make this whole rooting, and flashing a new ROM easier than ever.
Unfortunately, when I try to download the Windows part of this system, I get an installation error that says the package is not valid.
I guess I’ll be learning a little bit more in-depth about Android, Cyanogen, and the Galaxy S4, after all.
Update: Apparently, there was an issue with the download servers. Was able to download and install without incident a few days latter. Full write up on installing Cyanogenmod on Sprint Galaxy S4 phone coming soon.