This is a series of blog posts documenting my switch from iPhone to Android. To read the whole exciting saga, click here.
I’ve removed iTunes from my computer and not looked back since. I rooted the phone and replaced Samsung’s ROM with an updated ROM from Cyanogenmod, and was running Android Marshmallow on my 5-year old phone. Cyanogenmod changed their business model, and LineageOS took over development of full Android device ROMs. The change was seamless to me — I stayed on Cyanogen’s ROMs for a couple of weeks and updated to LineageOS without any issues.
One side effect of the upgrade is that my phone now supports 128GB SD cards – with the stock ROM it only supported 64GB cards, and supports external cards in a seamless mode that shares internal and external memory across apps. No more running out of my 16GB internal memory store when I’ve got tons of memory on the card available.
Rooting a device and running the newest ROM can breathe new life into a phone. The battery saver options in Android Marshmallow have given me a few more hours life than when running on Samsung’s ROMs, I don’t have carrier-specific apps that won’t work with my VMNO, and apps like Device Control give me the ability to make processor and graphics tweaks to increase battery life even more than the Marshmallow settings.
Linux Deploy is another interesting root app. Android is running on top of a Linux kernel, and with some internal tweaks, you can add an entire linux distribution running in a chroot environment, oblivious to its existence on top of Android. Boot the chrooted Linux environment, SSH or VNC into it, and it looks and feels like a standalone Linux distro. The only complication is that the phone’s running an ARM processor, and Intel-specific apps won’t run. I have an entire Kali Linux distribution running on my phone for network testing.