Verizon customers who want to indulge in the more in-depth parts of Android don't often get the chance, thanks to the carrier's tendency to lock down bootloaders and close off most of the avenues to custom ROMs. But for major releases, manufacturers often sell contract-free variants with an unlockable bootloader. Like the S4 before it, the Galaxy S5 now has the option, and you can buy one directly from Samsung. Verizon won't sell it to customers online or in retail stores.
The Galaxy S5 runs Android 4.4 out of the box, and most of the US and international versions of the Galaxy S4 have been given the KitKat update as well, but millions of owners of the Samsung Galaxy S III from 2012 are still sitting on an outdated version of Android. Sprint seems to be the first US carrier to alleviate that: this support page says the update for the S III is going out starting today.
The Galaxy S4 was the most popular Android smartphone of all time. The Galaxy S5 will likely take that title soon enough. Say what you will about Samsung's choice of materials or its design aesthetic, its phones are incredibly popular and well-liked by a great many people. The Galaxy S5 won't cause the faithful to waiver, either - it's an absolute affirmation of the company's commitment to improving its flagship product with every generation.
Verizon is not known for being liberal with the OTAs, but Galaxy S4 owners have been on the verge of revolt waiting on this one. Now, the KitKat update is finally heading out to the Samsung Galaxy S4. Users all over the country are reporting it is available for download, so begin mashing the update button.
Better late than never, right? Though the first update for Sprint's variant of the Samsung Galaxy S5 isn't a hugely important one, at least according to its own changelog, some users over at XDA were eagerly awaiting it. It appears that at least some users are now getting the update. In the nature of these things, it may take a bit of time to get around to all the S5 owners on Sprint.
The Galaxy S4 Zoom, Samsung's strange combination of a standard Android phone and a point-and-shoot camera, was a bit of an odd duck. But it seems to have sold enough units that Samsung intends to release a new model, if only to continue their strategy of covering every possible cell phone niche. Photos posted on Baidu show what's claimed to be the "Galaxy K," which certainly seems to be an updated version of the S4 Zoom.
When the time comes to flash a custom ROM, enthusiasts need a custom recovery they can trust, and the Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP for short) is one such option. Now tinkerers who have just picked up Samsung's latest flagship can head over to the TWRP Galaxy S5 page and get their hands on a version of their favorite custom recovery geared for their new device.
The necessary files are all available on the page, such as an .img file you can flash using the dd command or a .tar file that you can flash using Odin instead.
The Galaxy S5 has been making the rounds since its global launch a week ago. It's already available at the major US carriers, and now it's trickling down to the smaller options out there. Today the device has come to MetroPCS, a prepaid service owned by T-Mobile, where it's available for $649 without an annual contract. The site shows the phone as currently available in-stores, but the online inventory should appear at some point.
Samsung hasn't added as many of its stock apps to the Play Store as Motorola, Sony, or HTC have, but it still uses Google's platform to distribute a few things. The new version of WatchON has been added to the Play Store for the Galaxy S5 (might also be available on the Note 3 Neo in some regions). This version of WatchON has a different look than older versions, and fits in nicely with Samsung's new design aesthetic.