With the launch of Galaxy S series, Samsung started making a new trend of flagship devices. Due to its tremendous popularity Samsung made their Galaxy S3 devices available for AT&T, Verizon & T-Mobile phones. Amongst which the AT&T Galaxy S3 was much noticeable with vibrant colors, Dual core 1.5 GHz processor and 2 GB memory. Such devastating features made this device compatible to run every new Android version released by Google. Android 4.4 KitKat which is the latest version until now was released a few months ago which definitely took the Smartphone class to a completely new level. Google released it officially for few of the flagship devices including the Nexus devices. The official updates for other devices will be released soon. Meanwhile we received leaked news from Samsung that Official Android 4.4 firmware could probably arrive at the ending of Feb for some their flagship devices including AT&T Galaxy S3. But we purposefully mention here that this news is not yet confirmed by the company.
So it’s better, don’t waste your valuable time in waiting for the official firmware. Rather than that, you can go for the unofficial ones. Many third party Android developers are constantly working on several devices so as to provide you with the latest versions unofficially. Actually there are loads of custom ROMs available for AT&T Galaxy S3 that build with different base and user interface. We have tested some of the ROM and selected those unique ones having a good public reviews.
Since the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 is much capable enough to run Android 4.4 KitKat, XDA senior members have launched an unofficial CM 11 nightly build for the same. With this you can experience the amazing KitKat features like new phone dialer app, screen recording, security and system improvements, refurnished Google home with new launcher, NFC emulation, Google wallet, new quick office, low memory management support, new gallery, battery saving tweaks, new keyboard and much more on your device. Some of its changelog are given below.
Changelog (on 31 Jan 2014):
- Quick tiles.
- External SD permissions.
- Added AT&T asserts into T-Mobile build.
- Netflix fixed.
- Insecure boot image (Means you can edit system files).
- Wireless Tether fixed.
- Hold back to kill added into settings.
- Fixed built-in root with ART.
- Added support for I747UCUEMJ2 bootloader.
This ROM is likely to have a few untested bugs & issues. But don’t worry; they will surely get fixed with the future build. If you are interested in updating your AT&T Galaxy S3 to the latest Android 4.4 KitKat then proceed to the actual procedure given further.
Compatibility – AT&T Samsung Galaxy S3 SGH-i747 (Don’t try to implement this article on any other device than the mentioned one).
AOSP Based – Yes
Name – Cyanogenmod
Version – 11
Base – Android 4.4.2 KitKat
Status – Nightly (as on 31 January 2014)
Disclaimer: We already remind you that flashing custom ROMs requires quite a bit of knowledge, not only will it void warranty, there’s a big possibility to things going wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. Although it is very rare that your device will get damaged but still we strongly recommend you to read & follow all the instructions carefully without attempting any mistake.
How to Update AT&T Galaxy S3 i747 to Android 4.4 KitKat via Cyanogenmod 11 Custom ROM:
For your convenience, we’ve split this guide into four different sections. We suggest you to go through all those sections as if you miss any one of them then there are chances that you might not be able to flash CM 11 ROM on your smartphone.
Section 1: Pre-Requisites
- Make sure that your device is charged at least up to 75% so that it won’t get turn off during the flashing process.
- Also we highly recommend you to backup all your Phone data and settings (including contacts, SMS/MMS and call logs etc.) to external storage since it gets wiped in the last step of procedure.
- For backing up Contacts & Messages, use this article:
- How to Backup Android Contacts and Text Messages (SMS/MMS).
- For backing up Call logs, APNs & EFS folder, use this article:
- How to backup Call logs, APNs and EFS folder from your Android Device.
- Your device needs to be rooted.
- Latest version of Custom Recovery like Clockworkmod or TWRP is required to flash CM 11 ROM. If you don’t what it means or haven’t installed one yet then follow the instructions provided in recovery installation section below.
Section 2: Downloads
File #1 – Odin Multi Downloader v1.85
File #2 – TWRP Recovery v126.96.36.199
File #3 – Cyanogenmod 11 ROM Package (Choose a latest nightly from the given list)
File #4 – Google Apps for Android 4.4 KitKat
After downloading all files, connect your phone to PC using a USB cable. Now, copy File #3 & File #4 to your device’s internal or external storage memory.
Section 3: Recovery Installation
Step 1: Switch off the phone completely and boot into download mode. For doing the same, press Volume down + Home button + Power Key together and hold them till you see a warning message appeared on the screen.
Step 2: Press Volume up button to continue.
Step 3: As soon as you’ll hit the Volume up key, green android robot and downloading… text will appear on the screen. Now, by keeping the phone in download mode, connect it computer.
Step 4: On computer, open Odin Multi Downloader v1.85 and you’ll see that the ID:COM section located at top left corner has turned yellow. It is an indication that your phone is successfully connected to PC & ready to get flashed.
Step 5: In Odin, Tick in front of PDA button and then press the same to browse. Select ‘openrecovery-twrp-188.8.131.52-d2att.tar‘ which you downloaded earlier.
Step 6: Press Start button located at bottom of Odin window to start recovery flashing process. It will take hardly 4 – 5 seconds for Odin to finish the installation. Once the recovery is flashed, you’ll see ‘PASS!’ written above ID:COM section.
Now you have Custom Recovery (TWRP) installed in your phone. We’ll use this recovery in further part of this article to flash CM 11 ROM.
Section 4: ROM Installation
Step 1: At first, switch off the phone. Then boot it into recovery mode. To do so, press Volume up + Volume down keys together and by holding the two, gently press Power button. Keep holding all 3 keys till you get Team Win image on the screen.
Step 2: To be on a safe side, as soon as enter in recovery mode, make a nandroid backup of current ROM / Firmware. Nandroid generates a complete system image and it’s size varies according to apps & ROM you have installed.
To create a nandroid backup, select Backup option. On next screen, tick all available options ((EFS, Modem, System, Boot, Recovery, Cache…). If you wish, you may save the storage space by enabling ‘Enable Compression’ option. Now, use ‘Slide to Backup’ option for starting backup process.
Step 3: After creating a nandroid backup, return back to main menu. Now, select ‘Wipe’ option and on next page, use ‘Swipe to Factory Reset’ option for wiping data and cache partitions. This will erase all system data (excluding internal / external storage memory).
Step 4: From recovery menu, select ‘Install’ option. Then on next page, choose the storage space where you’ve copied ROM and Google Apps package.
Step 5: Upon selecting the storage memory, navigate to those 2 files & select ROM file at first. Now, press ‘Add More Zips’ option and select Google Apps package. Finally, use ‘Swipe to Confirm Flash’ option for starting ROM & GApps installation.
Step 6: After TWRP finishes installing the two zip files, immediately, it will display ‘Zip Install Complete’ at the top of screen. Now, on the same screen, select ‘Wipe Cache/Dalvik’ option and then return back to main menu.
Step 7: From recovery menu, select ‘Reboot’ option followed by ‘System’ on a next page. This will restart the phone. First boot requires some more time (around 4 – 5 minutes) than usual restart. So, have some patience!
And that’s it! You’ve successfully installed Android 4.4 KitKat based Custom ROM Cyanogenmod 11 on your AT&T Galaxy S3 SGH-i747. If you face any difficulty or want to ask some doubts then shoot them in the comment section below. We’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible. Enjoy!