Rumors and hints at Google's next release of Android have been spilling out for months, but today we've got some evidence that Android 4.3 may be real and nearing completion. SamMobile got their hands on what's purported to be a pre-release build of the upcoming version of Jelly Bean (yes, it's still Jelly Bean), apparently intended for the brand-new Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition, which hasn't even started shipping itself. The ROM was swiftly ported to the generic LTE version of the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505) that currently serves as the de facto standard for US carriers.
Scarcely a day has passed since the Google Play Edition Galaxy S4 and HTC One went on sale, and their software bits are already floating around online. You can grab the files to get the new red SunBeam live wallpaper, boot animation, and updated camera app on your device. These are only confirmed working on AOSP-based devices, and 4.1.2 TouchWiz in the case of the camera. Do be careful!
You know who you are. While the rest of us were waiting for the Google Play Edition HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 to arrive, your mind was elsewhere. You want to get your hands dirty, and now you can. Google has released the kernel and platform open source code for both the HTC One and the Galaxy S4.
Update: When asked about the proprietary binary drivers that one would usually find on the Binaries for Nexus Devices page, Google pointed fingers at the OEMs.
The day is here, AOSP fans: you can go pick up a gloriously stock Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One in the Google Play Store now. The "Google Play Edition" phones went live this morning, right on time, and are now for sale next to the Nexus phones and tablets. The GS4 Google Edition can be had for $649, while the HTC One goes for slightly less at $599. Both are running the latest version of Android 4.2 shod of all skins and add-ons, with promised updates via Google itself.
Locked bootloaders can be a real drag. While it's possible to circumvent these security measures on the GS4, it can be a messy process. Maybe a developer edition device is the way to go? Well, Verizon customers can finally buy the developer edition Galaxy S4 from Samsung for the paltry sum of $649. The AT&T developer edition is still missing in action.
This device first appeared on the Samsung site along side the AT&T model in May.
The HTC One is a beautiful device. At a time when most Android phones are made of plastic, HTC betted on aluminum for its flagship device. The handset just exudes style and class, but there is something it's missing. It screams premium, but it doesn't quite say ... elite. If only it were made of gold. Now that would be a quality device. While we can't expect HTC of all companies to have the visionary mindset necessary to deliver such a product, the fine folks over at Goldgenie understand class.
A new device has just popped up on Samsung's open source site with the enticing model number GT-i9505G. For those not keeping track, the Snapdragon-packing Galaxy S4 is the GT-i9505. Samsung may have just dropped the kernel source for the Google Edition GS4 before the device is even out.
The same model number is also appearing in the Bluetooth registry, and there is a new WiFi Alliance certification for it. The hardware listing does look identical to the standard Galaxy S4, but that doesn't necessarily prove anything.
It was way back in early May that the kernel source for Sprint and US Cellular Galaxy S4 variants showed up on Samsung's servers. The Virgin Mobile Canada edition was added in April. The Verizon and AT&T devices came in the following weeks, but no peep from the T-Mobile version. Well, until today – Samsung just posted the T-Mobile GS4 kernel source in all its glory.
At today's Samsung Premiere 2013 event in London, the Korean smartphone giant announced that it will begin selling the Galaxy S4 in five additional colors. These new models won't be different internally from what's currently available, just more eye-catching. It remains to be seen if this colorful strategy will give a boost to the Galaxy S4's sales numbers, not that it needs all that much help. The Galaxy S4 is still outselling all other Android smartphones by a wide margin, even if it isn't doing so quite as spectacularly as investors would want.