Those who are still using Samsung's 2012 flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S3, will finally be able to get a taste of the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system (OS). However, the update comes via the custom CyanogenMod 13 build. CyanogenMod is a third-party source that releases open-source OS to mobile devices based on Google's Android platform.
The device created a stir in the smartphone market when it was launched back in 2012. The South Korean tech giant has since sold approximately 60 million Galaxy S3 units, making it one of Samsung's best-selling handsets of all time.
When the model was first unveiled, it had the specifications that would be present in almost any entry-level smartphone nowadays. Three years ago, however, those specs can certainly take on any smartphone in the market at the time.
The Galaxy S3 sports a 4.8-inch display with a 720p resolution (720x1280 pixels) protected with Gorilla Glass. It is run by a 1.4GHz quad-core CPU coupled with 1GB of RAM. On the photography department, it is equipped with an 8-megapixel main camera with autofocus and 1.9MP front snapper. The device is powered by a decent 2,100mAh battery.
Considering how popular the Galaxy S3 is and the millions of people still rocking it despite the fact that it will soon be four years old, developers feel the need to update it in order for users to enjoy the latest Android OS. The handset was originally shipped with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich installed. Samsung stopped rolling out software updates after releasing version 4.3 Jelly Bean.
CyanogenMod did share the CM 12 build based on the previous Android 5.0 Lollipop OS, but that version is only available for some Galaxy S3 variants and skipped the international i9300 model. The custom developer is finally back with the CyanogenMod 13 build that is based on the newest Marshmallow version.
The first Android 6.0 CM 13 build was released a few days ago and was uploaded by the developer on its official website. Users may need to have a certain level of knowledge on how to flash custom ROMs before proceeding to install it on their Galaxy S3 units. Furthermore, CyanogenMod notes that this is still a "nightly" build, meaning a small number of stability issues (i.e. "bugs") are to be expected.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow brings several improvements on the Galaxy S3's software-side. It supports granular app permissions for enhanced security, customizable Quick Settings Doze Mode for an improved battery life, the option to use SD cards as default storage, Deep Linking, the context-focused Google Now On Tap feature, and automatic app data backup among others.