Google officially pulled the HTC One M7, Galaxy S4, Xperia Z Ultra, and LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition devices from the Play Store not too long ago. Since then we've seen a couple of them pop up on sale across various distributors. When an eBay seller offered the Galaxy S4 for $499 ($150 off) last month, we considered that a deal. Before that, Expansys USA offered the Z Ultra for the low price of $349, $100 less than what Google last asked for it.
Last month, we reported that the Xperia Z Ultra, LG G Pad 8.3, HTC One M7, and Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition devices were all appearing as out of stock on the Play Store for several weeks. Today, Google officially removed the Z Ultra, G Pad, and M7 from the Play Store, and they no longer appear under the Google Play Edition devices section.
The remaining three phones are the One M8, Moto G, and Galaxy S4.
Have you been wondering if Google really ran out of the Galaxy S4 GPE? Well, maybe there were a few left over. That would explain the cache of devices that just popped up on eBay. Someone has acquired a number of the devices and is selling them at a steep discount. Just $499.99 for an unlocked Google Play Edition smartphone. That's $150 off what Google was selling it for a few weeks ago.
Holy crap, that was fast. According to a flood of tips we just received, at least some owners of Google Play Edition devices are now seeing updates to over-the-air Android 4.4.3. The latest incremental update to KitKat was just published yesterday - some Nexus devices don't even have it. At the time of writing (Tuesday afternoon US) we've been told that the Google Play Editions of the HTC One M7 (2013 model) and the Galaxy S4 are receiving over-the-air updates.
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.
Owners of the Galaxy S4 on T-Mobile can now get their itchy trigger fingers ready to hit that "check now" button. We've received a few tips today alerting us to the fact that the carrier is rolling out an Android 4.4.2/KitKat OTA to handsets now. According to the software update screen, the feature set doesn't appear to include much of anything that Google didn't add into the stock version of KitKat:
- OS upgrade - [KitKat OS 4.4.2]
- Music Album art will be displayed on the lock screen while playing music.
Update: Developer Wanam has confirmed on Twitter that the code responsible for the "boosting" behavior has been removed in the Android 4.4 ROMs for both the Note 3 and Galaxy S4.
— Wanam (@WanamXda) March 4, 2014
Months after the Galaxy S4 was released last year, allegations began surfacing from Anandtech that Samsung was essentially "gaming" its devices' CPU and GPU benchmark scores by leaving cores at "full throttle" when such benchmarking applications were launched.
As Android 4.4/KitKat updates begin rolling out to devices on all the major US carriers, one frequently asked question has to do with whether or not these devices will include Android's new "Tap and Pay" feature. This was one of the major additions in KitKat and allows almost any device with an NFC chip to be used for "tap and go" mobile payments, even if said chip doesn't have a built-in secure element.
Update: AT&T has just posted on its blog to say the OTA is live. Check for updates, people.
Prepare yourself AT&T customers – the Galaxy S4 is about to finally get that KitKat update that's been slowly rolling out across Samsung's product lineup. AT&T just posted the update details, and tomorrow (February 26th) is the big day.