As any Android fan knows, you can wait a long time for an official OS upgrade. Google announced its latest Android OS, 4.1 Jelly Bean, in June, but almost 90 percent of Android devices aren’t even running the previous version, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
If you want to go it alone and get Jelly Bean on your phone now, the custom ROM developer Cyanogen this week started to release preview versions of CyanogenMod 10 (CM10), based on the official Jelly Bean source code.
The Cyanogen team says the preview builds of CM10 are available for the following handset variations: the Samsung Galaxy S3 GT-I9300 (International), Galaxy S3 SGH-T999 (T-Mobile US), Galaxy S3 SPH-L710 (Sprint US), Galaxy S3 SGH-I747 (AT&T US), Galaxy S2 I9100G (not the I9100), Galaxy S2 GSM (not CDMA) and the Galaxy Nexus.
Other devices are being worked on. As the releases are previews to show the current state of development, there will be bugs and incompatibilities.
According to a posting on the XDA Developers site, “As CM10 gets more complete – and as more features are merged from CM9 – users can expect these ROMs to get really good within a respectable amount of time. Despite the errors, the ROMs appear to be stable enough for daily use. That said, there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
As with any similar modification, to install CM10 you will need to root your phone, which in itself will void the warranty, and flashing the ROM can kill your phone if something goes wrong along the way, so it’s a process to be done carefully and at your own risk.
However, given the recently published report that said Jelly Bean was much more secure against malware and similar exploits than previous versions of Android, you could argue that you are doing yourself a favour by doing a DIY upgrade.