Get Jelly Bean early on your Samsung Galaxy S III
We get it, Android fans want updates as soon as possible. Some judge you, but we're with you, waiting is a frustration we can do without. What's worse than waiting, is knowing that other people in Europe have the update already, while we're all sitting around twiddling our thumbs.
So we took matters into our own hands. We got a copy of the Jelly Bean ROM that is now available in Europe, armed ourselves with directions from the internet and got on with flashing that new ROM on to our phone.
This process is simple, but you won't be surprised to know that it's fraught with risk. We'll tell you how to do it, but we can't accept any blame if it goes wrong. And if it does go wrong, you'll have a broken phone and there's every chance that Samsung won't want to know about it. This is an official update though, so risks should be minimal but we're also days away from this update landing officially, so you'd be better waiting. Also, please don't flash this on any SGS III variants, this rom ONLY works on the GT-I9300 - no other.
But you're impatient. So, here goes.
You need a copy of ODIN first. This app allows you to flash a phone with a new firmware. It's a simple process, and for the amount of data we're talking about here - about 1GB - you're looking at it taking 30 minutes to do everything. You should backup your phone first - easy if you have a rooted handset - and make sure your phone has a battery with at least half a charge. You also need to enable USB debugging, and make sure Kies isn't running - although you may need it installed for the drivers.
Download the ROM. You're looking for: I9300XXDLIB_I9300OXFDLI1_XEO.zip and the file you get out of the zip is called I9300XXDLIB_I9300OXFDLI1_I9300XXDLIB_HOME.tar.md5. Once you have it, and you've extracted the file, you're pretty much ready to flash the phone.
So open ODIN, locate the PDA button and press it. When the dialogue opens, find the downloaded ROM with the .tar.md5 extension and select it. You also need to check that the "re-partition" box is NOT ticked.
Now reboot your phone in to download mode. To do this, you need to turn the power off, then hold down the volume down button, the home button and press the power button. You'll get a Samsung warning about custom ROMs. The warning is dire. Heed it.
Once you're in download mode, ODIN will pick up the phone and should confirm that everything is ready. You can press "start" when you're happy. Now the tense bit happens, your phone will show that it's receiving data, and ODIN will show that it's sending data. Once this happens, the phone will reboot and you should - after a longer than normal wait - end up back in Android. During the first boot you'll see Android run a process that optimises the apps for this new version. It takes a while, but by this point you'll know everything is working okay.
Our thanks go to XDA Developers for much of the tools and info, as well as the ROM link in this article. We love those guys, their tireless quest to make Android brilliant is inspiring.