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!
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.
A little over a week ago, rumors of yet another Galaxy S4 variant hit the web, but this time it was packing support for LTE Advanced, the successor to the LTE we all know and love. That device is now official on Korea's SK Telecom, and it not only has support for the fastest mobile network on the planet, but also Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 800 chip. Early benchmarks of the device are in, and it crushes everything we've seen thus far – up to and including the "original" Galaxy S4.
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.
This isn't exactly breaking news, but some time in the last week or so Samsung began shipping the Galaxy S4's official MHL adapter through its site and various retail partners in the US. The new adapter has been on sale for over 2 months abroad, but is just now finding its way to American shores.
MHL adapters, if you aren't aware, allow you to transmit HD A/V signal from your phone via a microUSB to HDMI piece to a television or monitor.
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.