So my LG Spectrum – getting quite long in the tooth at over 2 years old – was beginning to really, really annoy me. Yes, I could still text and email, but when I was trying to make phone calls the darned thing would reboot. After it did it three times in a row I decided it was time to update the phone. Verizon doesn’t have any updates available. Add a discussion over on Slashdot about vulnerabilities in webview libraries that Google isn’t going to fix and I was ready for a “fix”, load my own, or someone else’s own, custom ROM. I had already “rooted” my phone using the script I found on the Android Forums. I had tried a few others, but the phone that I have, running Android 4.0.4, or Ice Cream Sandwich, did not get rooted using any of those methods. I had actually used ES File Explorer to uninstall some of the apps that come with the LG Spectrum from Verizon, NFL Scores and other things like that that I won’t ever use, also the Verizon backup app since I moved my phone to another carrier. The only way to uninstall those preinstalled apps is to have the phone rooted.
After the multi reboot scenario, I had totally had it with this phone. I wanted a newer OS so I tried one set of instructions, then another and ended up more or less bricking the phone and ended up at the store to get different one (different model, a bit lighter on software/bloatware, newer – but not newest – OS). I would plug it in and the button lights at the bottom would just flash. I ended up reflashing using the
LG_Tools file LG Mobile Update from this thread(Direct link to LG support pages you can actually download software for quite a few different devices). The LG Tools required me to go over to the Windows 7 laptop whereas everything else can be run from my regular Debian box. So the Spectrum was now recovered to the latest OS version that Verizon had available. The OS, of course, now relocked as originally shipped. Now, with a working phone and my now backup phone, the Spectrum, I could tinker at will. Having tried various methods that didn’t work for me, I tried the method in the unlocked bootloader thread. This one worked! I now have a Spectrum running the CyanogenMod bootloader and Android 4.2.2. Due to the licensing of Google Apps, the Play Store and couple of others, I had to install an additional package from the CyanogenMod page to match the version of CyanogenMod running on my phone. And then, because I haven’t been able to get a newer version of CM to install, I had to find and install a newer version of the PlayStore app (mine would open and then close). I sideloaded the PlayStore and now have a very clean, very lightweight install on this phone. Now, what to do with it?
Oh, and my “new” phone? I didn’t take the time to research if I could install custom ROMs beforehand and it seems like I can’t. It’s a Kyocera Hydro C6750 that all my after-the-fact research shows has a really, really locked bootloader so custom ROMs aren’t likely. I will do more research before I purchase a newer phone. It can be rooted, though, so a simple install of App Quarantine keeps the things I don’t want from running. I could uninstall those apps since I have root, but sometimes bad things can happen on a factory installed ROM.