The Galaxy S3 is an old phone, a 2012 Samsung release but it is one of the phones I have and play around with for development purposes and test out a number of custom roms. And the fact is this is one of those phones with tremendous developer support with tons of custom roms available and many of which are stable thankfully.
Samsung stopped updating this very model (i9300) at 4.3 Jellybean and since then, developers have been trying to bring a number of custom roms to this phone that offer higher Android version with more customization as usual. Kitkat, Lollipop and Marshmallow custom roms were pushed to it and now Android 7.1 Nougat custom roms are available for this phone, something a few people didn’t think was possible.
Many of them are for test purposes but what the heck, I took one for a run. I got myself 7.1 Nougat by Android Ice Cold Project (AICP) for this model and no doubt this rom is very promising. AICP is one of the best roms and one of those packed with features, you won’t even get to use most of them. Those features are available in this very rom, but for starters, many would like to know what is special about this Android version and why you may like upgrading. I will take you through a quick list of Android 7.1 Nougat features:
- Split-screen mode: This has been available in some roms in previous Android versions even in most stock firmware but in Nougat, it’s built in stock making it even more stable to use. You can easily run two apps in split screen at the same time and easily switch between apps without leaving split screen.
- Re-designed notification toggles and shade that allows quick reply within the notification panel.
- Doze on the go: allows you turn off most unused phone features when phone screen is off to save more battery
- Added Data Saving feature: You can allow or block specific apps from accessing the Internet or simply allow only the app being opened to access Internet.
- New Settings menu: You can see a humbugger menu when you access a settings option. This allows you to quickly access another option without having to go back to the main settings menu.
- Do not disturb mode: allow you to choose from Total Silence, Alarms Only and Priority Only. You can set exceptions for Priority Only mode to allow certain notifications in, enable Do Not Disturb mode for a set period of time or indefinitely, create automatic rules for the weekend, evenings or work hours and also block visual disturbances like LED notifications or on-screen pop-ups.
- Change DPI; You can easily change the size of UI elements within apps in your phone.
These and more you’ll find in Nougat. It’s more like a polished Android 6.0 Marshamallow. In this case though, for the Galaxy S3, it’s a custom rom and therefore a lot more features are added here.
Now, when I say it looks promising, I mean it’s not perfect at the moment and not all basic features work at the moment but can be used. Most features like RIL (Network) among others work. What I only noticed not to be working within this particular build (as of 17-11-2016) was Camera and Wi-Fi but such things are normally fixed within days. Other than that, this is a good custom rom and I can see it being used as daily driver within days.
How to Install:
- Install latest TWRP/CWM/Philz recovery on your device.
- Make a backup of your current ROM.
- Wipe system, data, cache and dalvik.
- Flash ROM and GApps.
- Reboot system and setup!