HOW TO: upgrade your Samsung Galaxy Gio GT-S5660 to Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)

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Nowadays, you can put a much later version of Android (Jelly Bean 4.2.2) on your Samsung Galaxy Gio. Thanks to the efforts of the CyanogenMod community. Android is Linux, so it's open source software, which means that it can be used freely by others.

Extra advantage: your phone will become a lot faster!

CyanogenMod 10.1 (Jelly Bean 4.2.2) is a stripped version of Android, because the developers want it to be "mean and lean". Which makes it considerably faster than the Android that Samsung has put on the Gio (Gingerbread 2.3.6). The performance of the phone is no longer hampered by the pretty heavy Samsung applications, that Samsung puts into "its" Android by default.

Note: this how-to is only and exclusively meant for the Samsung Galaxy Gio GT-S5660. Do not apply it on another phone!

My own experience with CyanogenMod 10.1 on the Gio: very positive, with two phones that we use a lot, over a prolonged period (several months). It's like having a newer and more powerful phone.

In day-to-day use you'll encounter a loose end here and there, in this CyanogenMod, but they're unimportant and hardly irritating. Your phone will run stable and reliable, and all important features work well.

What to expect

1. Below are a couple of screenshots, showing what you can expect. Not quite what you see right after installation, because I've changed some settings (more about those below, in item 5). Click on the image to enlarge it:

The settings (click on an image to enlarge it):

This is how to do it:


2. First you have to do some preparations.

a. Make a copy of your contacts list, for example by copying them all to the SIM card of your phone.

b. Also backup all photo's, music and documents on your phone, on the hard disk of your computer.

c. Download this file (clockwordmod This is an intermediate operating system for your phone, only meant to make it ready for the real new operating system. This intermediate operating system also takes care of the rooting (you become root, so you get the permissions of the root user).

The name of the downloaded file should be (check it):

d. Copy this file onto the microSD card of your phone. It's a zipped file, but don't unzip it. It has to remain on the microSD card as a .zip file.

Intermediate step

3. Now you have to take an intermediate step.

a. Reset your phone fully to the factory defaults and make it as clean as possible. This has to be done from recovery mode, which you can invoke like this:

Press the OK button and keep it pressed. Now also press the power button, and keep that one pressed as well. See the picture below (click on it to enlarge it):

Release the two buttons as soon as you see that the phone starts to boot.

In the Recovery menu that you see then, you can scroll through the options by means of the volume buttons on the left side of your phone. A click on the upper part of the button (volume up) scrolls up, a click on the lower part of the button (volume down) scrolls down.

See the picture below (click on it to enlarge it):

Now you can execute the first cleaning operation (the first of three): scroll to the option wipe data/factory reset. Confirm this choice by clicking the OK button.

Then scroll to the option wipe cache partition. Confirm this choice as well, by clicking the OK button.

b. Now select in the Recovery menu the option apply update from sdcard and confirm it by the OK button. Dig down to the clockworkmod file that you've just stored on the microSD card. Click the OK button again.

c. When this job is done (wait patiently), you reboot again in the Recovery mode (see step 3 a). You then enter the new Recovery mode menu from CWM.

d. Now the second cleaning operation: in this Recovery menu you select again the option wipe data/factory reset. Confirm it by a click on the OK button.

Then repeat the clearing of the cache: now select in the Recovery menu the option wipe cache partition and confirm it by a click on the OK button.

e. Shut down your phone. It's now ready for the next step: the installation of the final new operating system.

Install CyanogenMod 10.1 for the Samsung Galaxy Gio

4. Now you can put the final new operating system on your phone.

a. Remove the intermediate clockworkmod file from the microSD card of your phone.

b. Now download this file (CynanogenMod 10.1 for the Galaxy Gio). On the download page, click on the Download button on the top of the page (in the middle). Don't unzip it; it has to stay a .zip file! Copy it on the microSD card of your phone.

Note: this isn't the latest release of CyanogenMod for the Gio, but it's stable and reliable, with practically no bothersome bugs.

Furthermore, this package has an important extra: it already contains the Google Play Store, so you can install everything you want with that. No need to install a separate package with Google Apps (gapps).

c. Reboot your phone again in Recovery mode (see step 4). Select in Recovery: install zip from sdcard

d. Select:

e. Select: Yes - Install update

f. Wait patiently until the installation has finished; this will take a while.

g. Now the third and last cleaning operation: select again wipe data/factory reset and then again wipe cache partition. Don't skip this third cleaning! It's absolutely necessary for a fully clean install.

h. Finally, select reboot system now. You're done! But read on if you'd like some tips and tweaks....

After the installation

5. Some tips for after the installation:

Install a task manager

5.1. CyanogenMod is very stripped down by default, and has no Task Manager. I advise to install AVG TuneUp for this: it's a fine task manager. You can install it in the usual way, by means of the Play Store from Google.

When using the task manager, you'll find that Trebuchet is always active. That's the default launcher of CyanogenMod, so that's normal.

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Set the power management panel

5.2. Set the quick settings panel for power management:
Settings - System - Notification drawer
Tick: Power widget.
Then click Widget buttons and tick:
- Toggle Bluetooth
- Toggle GPS
- Toggle Mobile data
- Toggle Sound
- Toggle Wi-Fi
- Toggle Wi-Fi AP

Tip: the battery of this smartphone is being drained rather quickly. So it's best to disable all of the features mentioned above: only turn them on when you need them. With one exception: Sound, which can be enabled permanently. That way, your battery charge will last considerably longer.

Install a notepad

5.3. By default, the mean and lean CyanogenMod has no notepad. You can install ColorNote for that.

Remove the big clock from the home screen

5.4. Remove the big clock from the home screen, in order to create more room for shortcuts:
Press the clock and keep it pressed. Now the text X Remove pops up, on the upper edge of the window. Drag the clock onto the text X Remove, which turns red then. Release the clock, and it's gone.

Enable the Google search bar

5.5. You can enable the Google search bar like this:
Settings - Launcher - Homescreen
Tick: Search bar

Limit the number of homescreens

5.6. Limiting the number of Homescreens to just one, is easy:
Settings - Launcher - Homescreen - Homescreens: set this at 1 and click OK.

Disable vibrations when typing

5.7. Disabling the vibration when touching or typing, requires two steps:
a. First go to Settings - Sound and remove the tick for: Vibrate on touch. That's half of the job.
b. Then do Settings - Language & input. Click on the symbol on the right of Android keyboard. In the ensuing window you remove the tick for: Vibrate on keypress.

Improve the battery status icon

5.8. Change the battery status icon in the status bar, into something more familiar or more informative:
Settings - System - Status bar
Battery status style: change it into Icon or into Percentage.

Increase security with a firewall

5.9. You can increase the security of your phone by using a firewall.

A firewall isn't really necessary when you use mobile internet (data connection) by your phone connection with your provider. Because then you have your own secured internet connection, which you share with no one else.

But this changes when you're connected to a wireless access point (wifi). Especially when it's an open public wireless access point, that can be used by many people at the same time.

That's why it's best to use a firewall for wifi connections. This is how to do that:

a. Install Android Firewall by jtschohl, from the Play Store from Google. That's a simple firewall which is suitable for providing simple basic security.

b. For this simple basic security, you give internet access to all applications which you've installed on your phone, for both the category Wifi and the category Data.
Start Android Firewall and tick the following line for both categories:
(Any applications) - Same as selecting all applications

The (sensible) default mode is whitelist, which means that all selected applications have internet access.

See the screenshot below (click on the image to enlarge it):

c. Now enable the firewall, because it's disabled by default.
Tap the key on the left from the OK button on your phone - tick:
Enable Firewall

See the screenshot below (click on the image to enlarge it):

d. Configure automatic launching with a small delay, to start after the SD card has been read. This prevents malfunctions. And enable a notification when a newly installed application needs internet access.
Tap the key on the left from the OK button on your phone - Settings:
Enable both Notification Support and Apps on SDCard support

See the screenshot below (click on the image to enlarge it):

e. Finally, change some general settings of your phone:

Settings - Superuser (nearly at the bottom of the list) - tap the key on the left of the OK button (application settings) - Settings:
Scroll down the list and disable Logging (otherwise the logs will grow too big, with useless entries).
In that same list, below Logging, tap Notifications and set it to None. Otherwise you'll be pestered every time the firewall uses root access (which it does very often).

Done! This way you've increased security a lot, with only a small reduction of ease of use.

Note (1): in order to save power and increase performance, because a firewall uses power and system resources as well, it's best to disable the firewall when you're not using wifi. Or when you're using the wireless access point in your own home, because then a firewall is of course useless.

Note (2): do you want more than simple basic security? Then reduce the number of apps with internet access, for the category Wifi. No need to do so for the category Data as well, because that's a secure connection.

Mobile data: how to save an APN when saving it seems impossible

5.10. In order to activate mobile data, you sometimes need to create an APN with the configuration prescribed by your provider. That may be a problem, because in certain circumstances CyanogenMod refuses to save that APN.

This non-saving problem is being caused by a manual change of the default MNC value. When you leave this value unchanged, even if it's wrong, then CyanogenMod will save the APN. Usually you'll be able to use mobile data then, even though the MNC figure is incorrect.

Are you a developer? Then enable the developer options

5.11. When you're a developer, for example of apps, you can turn on the developer options. These risky options can be turned on like this:
Settings - About phone
Tap seven times in a row on Build number (the last item in the list).

When you look in Settings now, you see a new item called Developer options.

Do you want to make those dangerous options invisible again? Then go to Settings - Developer options, and you see in the upper right corner of the window a button which is turned ON. Set it to OFF.
Now they're gone, until the next time that you tap Build number again for seven times....

Want more tips?

6. Do you want more tips and tweaks for Linux? There's a lot more of them on this website!

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