It may take a while before the official Android 4.4 KitKat update arrives on the Samsung Galaxy S4 at T-Mobile, but the good news is that owners of the device can still experience the OS, with the help of the developer community.

CyanogenMod has recently started launching nightly Android 4.4 CM 11 builds for the T-Mobile SGS4. This guide will allow you to install CM 11 nightlies on your device. Keep in mind that, while CM 11 is based on AOSP Android 4.4, this is not an official update delivered by Samsung or Google. It's an official CyanogenMod release, and being a "nightly" build, it may contain certain bugs. On the bright side, CyanogenMod should launch nightly builds on a daily basis, and as such you can get rid of potential bugs in a timely manner.

IMPORTANT READ BEFORE PROCEEDING:

  • This guide has been designed specifically for the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S4. Do not attempt to apply this guide on any other device or SGS4 variant, as you might brick it
  • In order to successfully complete this guide, you need to have a rooted device that runs the latest version of CWM or TWRP Recovery. Don't proceed if you don't meet these prerequisites
  • During the installation process you will need to apply a factory reset (unless you come from an older CM 11 nightly). Create backups before proceeding
  • This guide includes the necessary steps for you to create a NANDROID backup
  • You can use the "Helium" app to backup app data
  • The "SMS backup & restore" app can be used to backup text messages, and the "APN Settings Backup & Restore" app can be used to backup your APN settings
  • Your contacts can be synced with your Gmail account as a backup method
  • Before proceeding, you need to enable "USB Debugging" from the "Developer options" menu. Simply go to "Settings" > "About device" and tap "Build number" until the "Developer Options" menu is visible. Return to "Settings" > "Developer options" and mark the "USB debugging" check box
  • Before proceeding, make sure that your smartphone has at least 60-70% battery life left. It's very important that your smartphone does not run out of battery during the flashing process
  • This is an advanced guide. If you brick / damage your phone or if you lose important data, you cannot hold the developers or anyone else responsible
  • Do not skip any steps

T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S4: Install Android 4.4 CM 11 Nightly CWM Recovery Method:

  1. Download the CM 11 zip from this link. Make sure you download the latest nightly build available
  2. Download the Google apps zip by visiting this link
  3. Connect your SGS4 to your computer using the USB cable
  4. Copy both zip files onto your phone's storage. Don't unzip the files!
  5. Once the transfer is complete, disconnect your T-Mobile SGS4 from your PC and turn it off
  6. Reboot your device in CWM Recovery Mode. To do so, press and hold the "Volume Up", "Power" and "Home" buttons simultaneously. Release the buttons once you see the recovery logo
  7. You will now create a NANDROID backup that can come in handy, should you choose to return to your current ROM. To create the backup, select "backup & restore" and save the file
  8. No you will select "data wipeout / factory reset". NOTE: this step can be skipped in case your smartphone already runs on an earlier CM 11 nightly build
  9. Select "Install zip from SD card" and then "choose zip from SD card"
  10. Browse for the CM 11 zip and flash it on your device
  11. Once CM 11 has been flashed, select "Install zip from SD card" again, but browse for the Gapps zip file instead
  12. After both zip files have been flashed, select "+++Go Back+++" and then "Reboot system now". NOTE: this first reboot may take a while. If the process is not complete after 10 minutes, or if your handset is stuck in a boot loop, then you'll need to start the guide over without skipping any steps

NOTE: you can always return to your previous ROM by using the NANDROID backup. To do so, reboot in CWM recovery and select "backup & restore"

T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S4: Install Android 4.4 CM 11 Nightly TWRP Recovery Method:

  1. Download the latest version of CM 11 from this link
  2. Download the Gapps zip package from this link
  3. Connect your T-Mobile SGS4 to your computer via USB, and copy both zip files onto your smartphone's storage. Do not unzip the files!
  4. Turn off your phone and reboot in recovery mode. Hold "Volume Up", "Power" and "Home" buttons simultaneously
  5. Release the buttons when you see the recovery logo / screen
  6. From the main TWRP menu, select "Backup". This will allow you to create a NANDROID backup of your current ROM. Select the type of data that you wish to backup, give a name to your file and swipe "Swipe to Backup"
  7. Return to the recovery menu and select "Wipe", then go to "Advanced" and select "Wipe cache" and "Dalvik cache"
  8. Swipe the "Swipe to Wipe" button.
    • NOTE: you can skip wiping the device if it already runs an earlier CM 11 nightly build (official)
  9. Now you can go back to the recovery menu and select "Install"
  10. Browse for the CM 11 zip file and flash it
  11. Select "Install" once again, but this time browse for the Gapps zip
  12. Once both files have been flashed, return to the recovery menu and select "reboot". NOTE: this first reboot may take several minutes to complete. If it takes more than 10 minutes, or if your SGS4 is stuck in a boot loop, you'll need to restart the entire guide without skipping any steps!

NOTE: In case you wish to return to the previous ROM, you can use the NANDROID backup in order to do so. Simply reboot in TWRP recovery mode and select "Restore"


See More: T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S4: Install Android 4.4 CM 11 Nightly (Official CyanogenMod Release)