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Archive for August 25th, 2015

Contrary to popular belief, some older Android smartphones can run Android 5 aka. Lollipop. Here’s a fine example: the Samsung Galaxy S Plus (SGS+) that I bought three and a half years ago is now an unofficial CyanogenMod 12.1 phone. CyanogenMod 12.1 means Android 5.1.1.

Android 5.1.1 on the SGS+

Android 5.1.1
on the SGS+

Not bad for a machine that came with Android 2.3, and that has since been replaced in the hardware catalog by the S2, the S3, the S4 and the S6 ! You will not experience the same speed of execution on the SGS+, compared to an S6, of course. But it does mean that an older machine can still serve as a second or backup smartphone; it does mean that it may well keep up with the latest software if you’re using it for a particular purpose, like I do: the SGS serves also as my Sonos controller (the original Sonos controller hardware is a disaster: I have had mine replaced, only to see the replacement soon develop the same flaw as the original – but that’s another story).

Instructions for the die-hards can be found at the usual address, i.e. the XDA Developers fora, specifically: [GT-I9001][ROM][ION][5.1.1][LMY48G] CyanogenMod 12.1 by ADC-Team [Release 10/08/2015]. Do note, however, that installing and using the Google apps may be somewhat problematic. I have tried the Slim Mini GApps Beta for Android 5.1 (you must pick the right version for the CM version you have installed), but I never managed to see the apps list on the machine; I suspect that there was no enough memory available…

The Slim “Zero” GApps package seems to work OK; it just installs the basic services plus the Search and the Play Store apps. But there may be other, better ways to get a few Google apps on the machine – don’t hesitate to tell us about those. Also have a look at the many alternatives for the Google apps; there are many pointers to those if you search for “android google alternatives“.

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