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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Upgrading Android on a really old phone

    So, I got an old Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (GT-I9195) that is running on Android 4.4.2, and I really need a program that requires Android 6 or later to be installed.

    I don't want to spend 150 to buy the cheapest phone that I can buy on short notice if it can be avoided, so I am starting to consider attempting to install an unofficial OS on the phone instead. Which so far has been a huge pain in the butt, but I think I might be able to do it.

    My question now is, should I try installing an unofficial version of Android 10? Would my phone be able to handle this? Or should I perhaps look if I can find an old unofficial version based on Android 6 and install that instead? You always hear from Apple phones that they get slower with each update.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: Upgrading Android on a really old phone

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    So, I got an old Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini (GT-I9195) that is running on Android 4.4.2, and I really need a program that requires Android 6 or later to be installed.

    I don't want to spend 150 to buy the cheapest phone that I can buy on short notice if it can be avoided, so I am starting to consider attempting to install an unofficial OS on the phone instead. Which so far has been a huge pain in the butt, but I think I might be able to do it.

    My question now is, should I try installing an unofficial version of Android 10? Would my phone be able to handle this? Or should I perhaps look if I can find an old unofficial version based on Android 6 and install that instead?
    The problem you need to find out, and I assume it can be googled, is if you can *at all* install these newer versions. Android 6 or 10 may never have heard of your old phones hardware and cannot make use of it. Ideally you would go an official upgrade path upwards. If none such exists it may be because no one wrote compatible drivers for the hardware.

    I don't know what "unofficial" in this case means. But the basic question is does these version claim to be able to run on your phone. And has someone else tried it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    You always hear from Apple phones that they get slower with each update.
    This is a very specific Apple issue due to either maliciousness in trying to force upgrade you or ensuring certain basic functions on the device (they claim, now in court), depending on your viewpoint. And yes a new OS might be decidedly slower on your phone or kill battery life.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2021-04-19 at 06:06 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Upgrading Android on a really old phone

    I have similar issue with my, now probably 8-year old tablet, which works pretty well except that no new stuff, including you tube is working. If you manage to find a possible update, and have a trustful place to download it from it would be great if you could give me know : )
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Upgrading Android on a really old phone

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    I don't know what "unofficial" in this case means. But the basic question is does these version claim to be able to run on your phone. And has someone else tried it.
    Unofficial, in this case, means using firmware updates that other S4 owners have created that bring the S4 up to Android 10 compatibility.

    And the answer to the second part is yes.
    May you get EXACTLY what you wish for.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: Upgrading Android on a really old phone

    Looking around, Lineage 17 appears to claim it works on an S4, and it's listed as the latest Android version for S4s.

    Right now, I'd just be happy to have anything working at all. I'm still at step 1: Get root access. Looking around for alternative versions that might give better performance really isn't on my list of priorities anymore.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Upgrading Android on a really old phone

    It's important to note that planned obsolescence is a fact of life for most appliance/devices/etc., and is seen at its peak in cell phones and computers. Those two are especially bad about designing software updates that will not be usable on older devices. The latest iPhone OS (14) is not designed for anything older that a 6s iPhone. Windows is better about it, but still cuts support after 10 years: 5 mainstream and 5 extended (extended is strictly pay only, no free support). Android does something similar to iPhone.

    Android does have 3rd party capability to keep things going, although that always opens up a potential security risk.

    Appliances are a little better, but still have it built in by not manufacturing parts after a certain timeframe. If the model is popular, you may be able to find aftermarket parts, but pricing can become an issue.

    Even cars suffer this. We had 2 Saturns (1995 SL and 2000 SL2). GM took direct control of Saturn in 2004 (it was operated independently before then although under the GM umbrella). GM discontinued the brand in 2009.

    While some parts GM still makes are compatible with Saturns, there are a lot that aren't. A few after market dealers make some parts, but it became financially impractical to keep them running, as parts were way too expensive.
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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: Upgrading Android on a really old phone

    In the end I was able to get Lineage 17 installed on the phone. After 10 hours of work. Doing the same thing 12 times again and again somehow worked eventually. Still no clue why it didn't the first eleven times.

    Turns our Google Play still refuses to install apps on the phone because it still identifies it as a Galaxy S4 which can't have Android higher than 4.2. But downloading the apk manually somewhere else works to install it on Lineage 17.
    Except that the app crashes every time before I can complete doing what I need it to do. Tomorrow I'll try getting into the spooky world of Android emulators. Though I won't be surprised if it still doesn't work because the app can only transmit data online over a phone connection, but I guess it's worth a shot.

    Usually I wouldn't worry about all this nonsense and still use my 20 year old Nokia phone to make calls. I only have an 8 year old Galaxy S4 because I need it to use bank and government services. And that's the part that makes me angry. Do they think we all have new hardware? And I am still in my mid-30s! What about the rest of the grown up world?
    Other than that damn phone to be able to live, I feel running behind new tech toys is a choice. I have a 5 year old tablet and an 8 year old computer (on which I installed Linux), both of which I only got as hand downs because my old ones broke. And I don't see either of them going anywhere in the foreseeable future.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: Upgrading Android on a really old phone

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Do they think we all have new hardware?
    Yes. That is exactly what they do.

    My smartphone is a Lumia running Windows Phone 8. Try accessing anything app based on that...

    As quick example of the whole "expected to have". In Sweden the Stockholm region is having problems with covid vaccinations because the vulnerable 75+ people who are scheduled to be vaccinated can only book appointments via an app on a smartphone. That old people are less likely to have and use a smart phone this way doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone in charge.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2021-04-20 at 05:57 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Upgrading Android on a really old phone

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    Yes. That is exactly what they do.

    My smartphone is a Lumia running Windows Phone 8. Try accessing anything app based on that...

    As quick example of the whole "expected to have". In Sweden the Stockholm region is having problems with covid vaccinations because the vulnerable 75+ people who are scheduled to be vaccinated can only book appointments via an app on a smartphone. That old people are less likely to have and use a smart phone this way doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone in charge.
    Yeah, 2 years ago my Aunt got my Grandmother (95 years old) the latest Galaxy smartphone (whatever that was at the time). After 3 days my grandmother literally threw it away because she was so frustrated.
    "That's a horrible idea! What time?"

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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Upgrading Android on a really old phone

    Quote Originally Posted by tomandtish View Post
    Yeah, 2 years ago my Aunt got my Grandmother (95 years old) the latest Galaxy smartphone (whatever that was at the time). After 3 days my grandmother literally threw it away because she was so frustrated.
    Sometimes I marvel that I was lucky enough to grow up during the boom of the computer age and go from playing with sticks out by the creek to video game consoles, home computers, the Internet, smart phones, and streaming videos. But for an elderly person who lived a completely analog life for like 50 years, the speed of technological change these days must really be infuriating sometimes.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Bohandas's Avatar

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    Default Re: Upgrading Android on a really old phone

    My experience with Android is that every time the OS updates it breaks at least one of my programs
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