For those of you wondering and waiting when Android 5.0 Lollipop will be here for the Galaxy S4, we have good news, it is already available! The bad news? It is still in beta, that means developers are still working out kinks.
For GT-i9500 users, this means everything working except 3G data, NFC, and camera. For users with Qualcomm-based LTE S4 (like GT-i9505, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, US Cellular, Cricket, MetroPCS), everything works except NFC and camera.
Still not a bad deal given that you can try most of Android 5.0 Lollipop features and the UI is super-smooth. The kinks should be worked out soon enough but in the meanwhile, you can try out the CM12 ROM beta versions.
For those of you worried about bugs, just make a backup ROM, try the Lollipop, then restore your ROM back, that way you can try what’s new with Lollipop before the official versions hit (which may be months away).
Note: Sprint S4 seems to be a bit buggy as no status bar shows for some reason but working fine on my Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and GT-i9505.
Download CM12 ROM Beta for GT-i9500 (PLEASE DO NOT INSTALL UNLESS YOU HAVE GT-i9500 MODEL NUMBER!)
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!