Mar 03, 2014

Can I update Android version if manufacturer updates but carrier does not?

I am stuck on Android 4.1 with my LG Optimus F3. I saw today that LG is planning an update to Android 4.4, but my carrier is Virgin Mobile, which doesn’t have the best record on updates. That’s ok, I’m willing to cut them some slack since they only charge me $35 a month for service, and since I live in one of the cities that has good 4G coverage, it really is a great deal. Plus, other than lack of ability to move apps to the SD card, 4.1 is a pretty good version of Android. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to upgrade to KitKat, though. Could I install an updated version of Android direct from LG instead of waiting and hoping that Virgin pushes it to users?
The F3 has a locked bootloader, so that makes it hard to do much with it. That’s why there aren’t any custom ROMs as far as I know, but you can still root it and make it a dramatically more useful handset. I just checked on LG’s website, and the only thing currently available for download that I saw was the USB driver. That’s not really surprising since the 4.4 update isn’t live yet, I guess.

The F3 is a decent mid-range device once rooted so that you can move apps to the SD card. Without rooting, the lack of usable storage is criminal, so 4.4 would be a welcome addition to a non-rooted F3 since it does support moving apps to the SD card. If you do root, be aware that there are two different versions of motochopper that you can use to root. The right one = easy, quick root. The wrong one…..well, don’t use the wrong one. I’m not sure which is which, but make sure you know before you root, if do you decide to go that route.

Lastly, when and if a 4.4 update is available direct from LG, make sure that it is a Virgin Mobile ROM. I know that a couple other carriers support the F3, and if you use the wrong ROM, it could cause problems.
I agree with Chris, it probably makes more sense to be patient and wait for your carrier to do the upgrade.

Not that I know of. I just went through the same thing waiting for KitKat from HTC and Verizon. It took more than three months from when Android 4.4 was released last October 31. You could try rooting your phone, but that can be tricky and a bit of a risk. That being said, I don't see the LG Optimus F3 on this list of rootable Android phones. If you're reasonably happy with what you have, I'd wait.

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