In addition to things like stock Android and being carrier-unlocked, one of the big features of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that Android power users love is an easily unlockable bootloader. While OEMs and carriers often make a policy of locking their devices' bootloaders to prevent installation of unauthorized software, Google makes it very easy for us to tinker with devices bearing its brand. All you really need to unlock a Google device is a tool called "fastboot," which is made available through the Android SDK. Read More
You know what? There are entirely too many versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4. I feel like I've written this same story a half-dozen times, though that's probably because it's essentially the same software update across the Galaxy S4, S III, and Note II. In any case, if you're rocking Samsung's 2013 flagship on budget carrier Cricket, you might see an over the air update prompt today: it's your turn to get Android 4.3. Read More
The Google Play Edition update train keeps rolling along. Hot on the heels of yesterday's HTC One GPE update, Galaxy S4 GPE owners are reporting a new OTA update as well. This update was alluded to yesterday, when Samsung released a new set of kernel source and framework files for the device. The firmware version is I9505GUEUCML4, which is Android 4.4.2/KOT49H. This brings it up to date with current Nexus devices. Read More
A month after bumping the Galaxy S4 up to Android 4.3, Verizon is rolling out a minor OTA for the flagship that addresses a few rough spots around the edges. Following the update, owners should experience better data roaming in Canada and Mexico along with a better connection when using enterprise proxy servers. Read More
Sprint's Galaxy S4 is much like the GS4 on other US carriers. It has a Snapdragon 600, 2GB of RAM, and it doesn't have the necessary LTE bands to take advantage of Sprint Spark. That's Sprint's new enhanced tri-band LTE that it plans to deploy all over the country in the coming year. Don't worry, though – Sprint is going to sell a new version of the phone it released six whole months ago that supports Spark. Read More
Maybe you were hoping to be munching on some KitKat by now, but you'll have to make do with more jelly beans. The C Spire variant of the Galaxy S4 is getting the long-awaited OTA to Android 4.3 starting now. You should have a pretty good handle on what that means by now.
Lets face it, some updates are more exciting than others. The OTA that Sprint is now rolling out to the Galaxy S4 is not one of them. That's not a bad thing per se, as a small update is better than no update - just don't expect much here. The list of enhancements for this one is just one line long. Software version MK2 "resolves sleep mode issues." That's it. If your phone wasn't sleeping well, it should rest more easily now. Read More
The AT&T-branded Samsung Galaxy S4 is once again getting its Android 4.3 update as an OTA. After an unexplained issue with the last Android 4.3 push, everything looks to be getting back underway according to Samsung's site and early reports on XDA. This is a big update for the GS4, but AT&T is probably going to take it slowly this time.
Now is a good time to pick up the Galaxy S4, in any color, and on any carrier. Best Buy is promoting an early Doorbuster deal that lets customers get the phone free with a two-year contract, including both new lines and upgrades. Interested buyers can take advantage of the offer at any Best Buy store or online.
While the phone is free, the activation is not. Of course, you will also still be saddled an expensive monthly bill for 24 months. Read More
The Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition started its Android 4.4 update yesterday, a little later than many of its owners would have liked. For those who are eager to get KitKat on their expensive AOSP phones and don't want to wait for the rollout, we've got a download link for the manual OTA update ZIP file.
Those of you who are Nexus veterans know how this goes: download the file on your PC and use ADB to reboot into recovery, copy the file over, and then flash it. Read More