Over the course of 2014, we watched as the majority of the Google Play Edition devices disappeared from the Play Store. Former options such as the HTC One M7, Xperia Z Ultra, the Moto G, and the LG G Pad 8.3 (forever known in our hearts as the LGGP83GPE) have all vanished. Now the Galaxy S4, after being out of stock for a long time, has gone away as well.
Update: Here's the OTA zip file straight from Google's servers.
Google and Samsung haven't forgotten about the first Google Play Edition phone. Yes, the Galaxy S4 GPE is getting its Android 5.0 update right now. Time to hit that update menu.
Those looking for an off-contract deal on fairly recent phones have a treat today: the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 are available in refurbished condition on eBay for $320 (Note 3) and $220 (S4) with free shipping. They are Verizon devices, but are unlocked and technically able to pick up 3G from GSM carriers, according to the seller.
So you own a Galaxy S4, Tab 4 8.0 LTE, or Avant and have just received an over-the-air update from T-Mobile. What does it do? Regardless of which of the three devices you own, the answer is the same: not much.
The Galaxy S4, easily the most popular gadget of the three, is receiving a bump to version M919UVUFNK2. This brings with it Chinese language support. Don't speak Chinese? Proceed not to care about this update.
If your Samsung Galaxy S4 on Verizon has been randomly rebooting, you might want to check for a system update. No, it's not getting Lollipop, but Verizon says that this update does fix "the intermittent power cycle issue." Translation: before this update the phone crashed. Now it will not crash. We hope. The only other change for software version KOT49H.I545VRUFNK1 (PDF link) is a VPN connectivity fix.
Verizon's S4 has gotten a few of these small updates, so you should know how it goes by now: any modification to the system or the recovery will cause a flash error, and if you have root before the update it's possible you might lose it afterward.
Update: Let us not forget the Galaxy Tab S 8.4. AT&T has updated that device this week as well, bumping it up to KOT49H.T707AUCU1ANJ5 after a 32MB download. As for the changes, they're a yawn.
- Carrier Billing enhancements
- Updates to ATT Mail, Keeper, YPMobile
Those changes are largely the same as the Galaxy Tab S 10.5's OTA this week. This 58MB update left the device at build number KOT49H.T807AUCU1ANJ5.
We've been hearing from a lot of companies hyping up their plans for Android 5.0 updates - at least one of them seems ready to start issuing it soon. But what of Samsung, the undisputed king of Android sales figures and, not least, one of the more (ahem) robust suppliers of add-on software and interfaces? Apparently the company is working swiftly on a Lollipop update. The folks at SamMobile, as is their wont, have already managed to snag what looks like an early build of Android 5.0 for the Galaxy S4.
Verizon Wireless has rolled out the details for its next over-the-air update for the Galaxy S4. These devices aren't getting hit by a new version of Android, but owners will see various connectivity improvements that they may or may not notice. The default messaging app should be more reliable, Bluetooth connections should be stronger, and voicemail should arrive more consistently.
The update slips in the second version of Knox and replaces ISIS Wallet with its new name, Softcard.
For some of us, breaking a smartphone is unimaginable. For others, it's only a matter of time. Either way, it could pay to have your ducks in a row. Samsung has introduced a new device replacement plan, and since no less than 107% of the world's phones were made by the manufacturer, a good number of people could benefit from this. But it won't come cheap.
Samsung's "Protection Plus Mobile Elite" plan costs $99.99 and provides coverage for two years.
Samsung releases so many phones in so many variants that even professional gadget bloggers get turned around on occasion. But the folks on the CyanogenMod team are doing their best, bless 'em, and today's fruit of their labor is ROM support for an extra variant of the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4. The most pertinent one for American readers is probably the G900-T, the Galaxy S5 model sold by T-Mobile as their branded version.