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Changing the ROM on my Galaxy S3

stoolpigeon (454276) writes | about a year ago

User Journal 6

I bought by Galaxy S3 from T-Mobile, in the US last year. So it is the SGH-T999 model. I've been very happy with it. I've stuck to running it as stock for a couple reasons. The biggest is that I just didn't want to hassle with learning how to change the underlying software. Secondly, because I wanted to keep everything cool in terms of the warranty and what not. I even jumped through all their hoops to get my unlock code from them.

I bought by Galaxy S3 from T-Mobile, in the US last year. So it is the SGH-T999 model. I've been very happy with it. I've stuck to running it as stock for a couple reasons. The biggest is that I just didn't want to hassle with learning how to change the underlying software. Secondly, because I wanted to keep everything cool in terms of the warranty and what not. I even jumped through all their hoops to get my unlock code from them.

But I ran into an issue the other week that finally used up all my good will towards t-mobile. I went to use the phone as a hot spot and couldn't. It wanted me to pay for their tethering plan - which doesn't exist where I live.

I didn't have time right then to do anything but this week-end I did a little reading and today I installed Cyanagenmod on it. So far everything seems to be going very well. And I actually have control over the device that I paid (in my mind anyway) a pretty hefty sum to own. None of the steps were all that difficult and my biggest holdup was it would not flash the new rom until the battery was over 85% charged - which I thought was odd, but it worked out.

I'm getting all my stuff back to the way I like it and enjoying being on a newer version of Android than the one that Samsung and T-mobile officially supply for this phone right now. Which is idiotic.

So - moving forward I don't plan to purchase phones from t-mobile any more. I'll probably stick with Nexus phones from Google and avoid all this headache. I wont get another new phone for a while. I bought a new, high end phone so that it would last a while. But when I do I wont make the mistake of getting stuck depending on mobile phone companies.

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I remain of the opinion (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about a year ago | (#43336711)

... that Android phones need to be shunned for exactly this reason: No long term support. Sure, you can use ROMs if you know how to, but for the general user this is simply a non-option. Never mind the lacking security updates.

This is why, while I am a very big Linux fan, the only valid smartphone option is an iPhone. You know your phone is going to be supported and get updates for around it's full lifetime.

Sure, if you go Samsung you probably get ROMs... but try finding updates for my el-cheapo tablet called "Tomtec Dual 8", but it's listed in "My Account Devices" as "YIFANG KMBM816NC". Worse, it's listed twice because I did the (only existing) firmware upgrade and Google decided it was a new device. Trouble is, you can't delete devices.

Google has a lot of improvements to make. The first one being: fix the update mess. I want, and I think normal people *need*, a single point where they can get trusted updates. That can only be Google. I've said it elsewhere. Google needs to say: "This is Android. You can add custom apps, but not change the base dear Manufacturers and/or Carriers. Don't like it? Go get your operating system elsewhere".

Andoid is only good for people who change their cellphone each 6 months (aka, Geeks with more money than sense).

This is a cultural thing: Apple comes from a computer background, where you sell the hardware, and support it for a given time. It's sees iPhones as computers with a phone functionality. Android is (mis)used by those that come from a telephony background: sell the device and that's all we want to have to do with you. This is perfectly fine for dumbphones as the "phone" functionality is the most important one. In the world of today, Apples vision on what a phone is, is the correct one (a computer with phone functionality).

I know I sound like a complete fanboi. I'm not. Could I get an Android on the same terms as I can get an iPhone, I'd be all over it. From what I hear the Nexus 4 is exactly that, but Google isn't assed to sell it to everyone.

Re:I remain of the opinion (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about a year ago | (#43337113)

If I were buying a phone right now it would be a Nexus 4. But the updates are a lot less of a big deal to me compared to just controlling my own hardware.

I really don't want to mess with iPhones. I watch the guys in my office scramble to re-jailbreak theirs each time they update. And I've not bought into any of their eco-system. I've thrown my lot in with google for the most part.

Not that I disagree with you about the Android problems. Samsung and T-Mobile in the US are horrific with updates (not sure just where the blame is with those 2). Though I've found the hardware and software on both Galaxy phones held up for quite a while. I didn't feel like I was really lacking without the updates. Moving from 4.1 to 4.2 with this phone isn't really a huge change. I wouldn't have bothered but I know this summer I'll need to be able to use it as a hot spot.

I'd love a phone running linux with KDE on top. That would make my day - but I'm not holding my breath.

Regardless of hardware/software - I dread the day I have to move back to the U.S. I was in a discussion with some other Americans this week-end and they were asking me about the state of technology in Hungary. Apparently they don't pay attention because they seemed surprised when I told them that Europe in general has much stronger broadband and mobile than the U.S. And that definitely include Hungary. I get so much more here for a lot less money.

Re:I remain of the opinion (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about a year ago | (#43338581)

The thing is: I have a non-jailbroken iPhone and I don't see the need to jailbreak it. That is a significant different. It's "works out of the box" versus "tinker" mentality. For a phone, it simply needs to work. Final point.

My father has real 50Mbps fiber to his house, for.... 60€/month. Unlimited. It's bliss...

Alas, I couldn't get it where I live, but 30Mbps for 50€/month is pretty neat too.

Re:I remain of the opinion (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | about a year ago | (#43338593)

:%s/different/difference/g

Re:I remain of the opinion (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | about a year ago | (#43352305)

Meh, as someone who's been jailbreaking since before the iPhone, the tools/process have only gotten easier as time has worn on. It really is a non-issue.

Now, the baseband unlock's a little trickier, but not by much (and now a non-issue as iPhones come factory unlocked.)

I'd love to have a nice Android phone, but until it can do something radical that I can't do with the iPhone, as jaws pointed out, it's really not worth the lack of support, not to mention lack of fragmentation.

I have a Galaxy S2 and will likely upgrade to S4 (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year ago | (#43343135)

I've enjoyed the mobile HotSpot service. Overall, t-mobile has been fairly solid. Modulo the gaping hole in the wallet.
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