I have to admit, if you were to tell me one year ago today that devices like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play edition would exist as things, I'd call you a liar. And I'd probably secretly hope that they did exist, too. These handsets, or really, the idea behind them, have been the enduring dream of almost every Android enthusiast from the early days of MOTOBLUR and TouchWiz.
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!
The HTC One is a neat-looking device, all smooth lines and clean design. But it could do with a little more flair, right? Well, a new color for the HTC One, dubbed Glamour Red has been announced. However, it's only going to be available through Phones 4u in the UK.
The red HTC One has been spotted a few times in the past, and will be joining the silver and black variants in mid-July.
There's been a lot of speculation about just how Nexus-like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play edition phones will be, particularly from a technical / software update standpoint. Now, we have some relatively concrete information that sheds light on these issues.
First and foremost, Google will not directly handle software updates for Google Play edition devices. This has been reported as true, false, and generally disputed quite a lot in the lead-up to the launch.
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.
Hey there, 2012-era HTC smartphone owners. Wondering where your CyanogenMod nightly builds went? We were too, at least until CM team member Ethan Chen posted a short update on his Google+ page. New CyanogenMod 10.1 nightly builds are now rolling out for the HTC One XL (codename evita), One S (ville), Sprint's EVO 4G LTE (jewel), and Verizon's DROID Incredible LTE (fireball). You can find them all on the get.cm download page.
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.
For a long time, the HTC One S was one of the most compelling phones on T-Mobile. That really tells you something about the lineup America's smallest national carrier was working with last year. There are plenty of these devices walking around, so today's update will be good news for many. That battery life problem introduced in Jelly Bean should be taken care of finally.
The update will come via an OTA, which begins rolling out today.
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.
If you've been looking longingly at the HTC One, now may be the time to make a move. Radioshack is selling the AT&T and Sprint versions for a good price with a new account, but you also get $100 in Google Play credit. That means the you can come out ahead on the Sprint version.
The Sprint One can be purchased online, but that sweet $79.99 price is only for new accounts and new lines.