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I have an old GT-S6310N (aka Samsung Galaxy Young). I don't want to buy a new phone, because they are kinda useless for me. I use my computers for everything I do. I use my phone only a few times a year to navigate with GPS or to call somebody, but even navigation seems to be broken now. A friend asked me to develop a project, which involves a small Android service polling from the background, so I need a phone to test it while developing. She has Android 8, so I thought maybe it is possible to upgrade my phone to that version too. Last time I tried to upgrade the OS was many years ago and as far as I remember even Android 5 was not allowed. I am curious about the whys and if there is a solution to this? Rooting and maybe bricking is something I can risk. I just don't understand that how are these new Android versions not compatible with old phones, when Linux is usually backwards compatible and Android is Linux based... It just depends on the drivers and resources right?

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    The reason is explained on Why are there not generic phone OS installers? (and its related questions), and also that Android is not really Linux. The only way to update is to flash a custom ROM (if available) or build/port a new one if it doesn't exist.
    – Andrew T.
    Nov 29, 2020 at 10:11
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    XDA Forums is usually the best for custom ROM dev, though based on a quick sight, I don't find anything higher than Android 5.0.2 on there. Otherwise, you can at least try using Android Emulator to test the app.
    – Andrew T.
    Nov 29, 2020 at 11:00
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    I don't have any specific recommendations for emulators as I'm currently using the one from Android SDK. That said, this is getting off-topic, further comments may not be responded.
    – Andrew T.
    Nov 29, 2020 at 11:11
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    that will be a challenge with 768mb RAM and 4gb storage ;)
    – alecxs
    Nov 29, 2020 at 14:05
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    if CLI with VNC is sufficient for you a chroot container mounted from MicroSD Card would do it. there exist apps for that like Linux Deploy. even termux would do it. but that's completely unrelated to android development, not sure what your goal is. the proper way would be building AOSP android go from scratch stackoverflow.com/q/55646338
    – alecxs
    Nov 29, 2020 at 16:53

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