For those of you who have been waiting for Android 5.0.1 Lollipop stock firmwares for the GT-i9500 international Galaxy S4, there are several available now, listed on our Galaxy S4 stock firmware page at bottom.
If your country isn’t listed, you can also cross-country flash (install other country firmware) so long as you have same GT-i9500 model number. Also, rooting has not changed, you can use our original root guide to root your S4 after updating.
For installation, refer to our unroot guide here. This will update your recovery, kernel, and ROM back to stock firmware. If coming from stock firmware, you don’t need to do any factory reset but it will upgrade you to the latest Lollipop firmware. If you have TWRP or CWM recovery installed, we highly recommend you to make a backup ROM first just in case something goes wrong.
Also, if you cannot take OTA because you are rooted, you can use these stock firmwares to update your phone to latest Android 5.0.1 TouchWiz Lollipop firmware.
What is a Custom ROM?
A custom ROM is a custom, modified operating system that you can install on your Android device. Basically it's like installing Windows OS on a Macbook. By installing a custom ROM, you can bypass stock factory settings like locked hotspot tether, install new Android versions early, or even convert your phone into another OS.
With a custom ROM, you can really maximize the capabilities of your smartphone by adding custom features that have been developed by open source developers.
How to Install Custom ROMs
First, you will need to root your device, if it is not rooted yet, follow our root tutorial and root your phone.
Once rooted, you should have TWRP installed on your phone. Installation of a custom ROM is easy if you learn the basic of it. If you don't know how to install custom ROMs using TWRP recovery, see our tutorial on How to Install Custom ROM using TWRP!