You might remember us distributing a ton of guides for the earlier CM11 M12 custom ROMs for a bunch of devices. We told you that they were coming out while the official CyanogenMod Team are working hard on delivering the new-age Lollipop ROMs. Well, now that time has come. You see, the CM12 custom ROM is based on the latest Android Lollipop software update. In this instance we have the very latest 5.0.2 Lollipop. There’s next to no phones or tablets out there with any 5.0.2 experience at all. The most recent release is the 5.0.1 which comes with a range of bug fixes and performance tweaks over the original 5.0 Lollipop.
One of the main reasons for installing custom ROMs on any Android device is to update yours with firmware that isn’t officially released for that device yet. Today you can do the same by applying the steps below and updating your operating system to the third installment over the original release of Lollipop. I say third because some devices did see multiple versions of the “0.1” release.
Just because it comes with the number doesn’t mean it comes with all the features. You can see the official changelog for the release from this page. It shows that the build doesn’t come with lock screen quick unlock, shuffled navigation bar, ribbon mode for quick settings, theme settings and the shuffling of the quick settings. That said, the team will update the same ROM with the features in the coming weeks, Therefore, it will automatically update the build for you.
- We are taking you through a list of the essentials in preparation for the guide. That way you know what the risks are, how to avoid them, how to make copies of your data and more. Advanced Android users can skip ahead if they are confident they already know everything they need such as taking the Nandroid backup.
- Speaking of Nandroid’s, it’s the first thing we recommend taking. It helps store all the data and settings such as phone contacts, WiFi passwords, general settings, pictures, videos, music and basically takes a mirror image of the ROM.
- There are two ways of taking the Nandroid backup. You can get access to the recovery mode during the guide and apply the backup before choosing to wipe the current ROM or you can install the Online Nandroid Backup application from Google Play. The app lets users take the snapshot without rebooting.
- There is a button sequence from the phone for accessing recovery mode. If you are struggling to press the keys correctly and enter recovery mode, you can install the reboot manager application to help. The same is available from Google Play just like the last.
- Installing custom ROMs is fun, but it doesn’t mean you cannot revert back to stock Android, or at least as close to stock Android as you can with added bloatware from the phone carrier networks. Do that by installing the Root and Unroot Pro app from Google Play, or by flashing another official firmware version over the current ROM.
- Allow the USB Debugging permissions from the Developer Options menu.
- Run the latest USB drivers. Find them from the official website, official Sony tools, or by installing the file from third-party links.
- Be careful you don’t install adware if you are fishing for them from third-party sources. Only download links you trust. If you can see many people are downloading from the same source it’s generally clean.
- Do not accept future over the air updates if you see the notification arriving unless you are already running stock Android again. By accepting OTA notifications with root access and a custom ROM running, you risk soft-bricking the device.
- The USB charging feature takes care of the battery whilst plugging into the computer. You must have a computer for transferring the files. If you know the USB charging feature isn’t working, you want to save up more battery. Have enough battery reserved on your device so that it doesn’t turn off during the flashing.
Update Sony Xperia SP with Android 5.0.2 CM12
- Download the unofficial CM 12 file from here.
- Download the B Pear Google Gapps pack from here.
- Use the desktop of the computer for both files. Do not extract the files.
- Connect the Xperia SP to the computer with the USB cable.
- Transfer the files to the internal SD card.
- Disconnect the phone from the computer.
- Reboot the Xperia in recovery mode.
- Select “wipe data/factory reset.”
- Wipe the cache partition.
- Select the Advanced tab and wipe the Dalvik cache.
- Select “Install zip from SD card,” followed by “choose zip from SD card” and fetch the CM 12 zip file.
- Go back and do the same thing but this time flashing the B Pear Gapps pack.
- Hit the main menu from recovery mode and reboot the device in normal mode.
The build comes with some known bugs, Luckily you can flash the files which bring in the changes the same way you flash the unofficial zip file during the guide. Download the fix for Voice Calls here, Data here and WiFi Hotspot here. Furthemore, you can view a more detailed guide on installing Google Gapps for CyanogenMod 12.