Samsung made a promise during its Unpacked Episode 2 event, the kind of promise that can send Android enthusiasts fuming in anger if broken. If you haven't guessed, I'm talking about an update to the latest version of Android, 4.3. Samsung said that the Galaxy S4 would make the leap in October, and sure enough, updates are starting to appear. Here's proof, courtesy of Sam Mobile.
The Verizon Galaxy S4 started seeing a new software update earlier today, but there was no word on what it contained. Verizon has yet to update its support docs, but Samsung has been so kind as to post the details of firmware version I545VRUDMI1. As expected, it's a minor bump that keeps the device on Android 4.2.2.
Update 2: Samsung has clarified the issue to Android Central, and it turns out it's actually not all that bad. Here's the gist: if you buy a Galaxy Note 3 (or other region-locked Samsung phone), it must be activated with a SIM in its home region. That means you can't import a Note 3 from Taiwan and then activate it in Europe, for example, and if you try to do that, it will lock itself.
Back in the days of the original Galaxy S and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung was frequently accused of copying Apple at every turn (often by Apple themselves). And let's not kid ourselves, Android fans: back then, Samsung kinda had it coming. Over the last three years Sammy has been forging its own identity with unique hardware designs, massive software development, and enough money to make King Midas feel insecure. So why are they still pining after Apple like a love-struck college freshman stalking the starting quarterback?
If you have your eyes set on the Galaxy S4 and you aren't turned off by the quality of Sprint's network, Amazon's new price for Samsung's flagship handset might just make your day. The retailer is currently offering the Sprint Galaxy S4 for $49.99 with a new two-year contract. This deal is available regardless of whether you want the phone in black, white, or purple.
Amazon's previous offer for the Sprint Galaxy S4 used to be $99.
Now that the HTC One Google Play Edition is dancing in the club that exclusively admits devices running the latest bleeding-edge version of Android, it's time for Samsung's Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition to do the same. For some reason Samsung seems a lot less coy about the update - while only a few users on the XDA forums are reporting that they've received the latest software (labeled MH5), both the kernel source code and the official over-the-air update have been posted to the usual spots.
It doesn't take very long for new phones to go on sale these days, especially if you're savvy enough to check Amazon. For example, the AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is now just $108 for new customers, or $118 for those who are eligible for an upgrade. (You can also add a new line and get the phone for $108.) Want something a little tougher? Amazon is offering the ruggedized Galaxy S4 Active at the same prices.
A few days ago Android watchers were abuzz after a new version of Verizon's Galaxy S4 appeared on Samsung's site. Listed as model number SCH-I545L, there was some speculation it could be a spec bump on the original GS4. Maybe even a version of the device with LTE-Advanced? The truth behind that extra "L" at the end of the model number is much more mundane. It's for rural carriers, according to Verizon.
These days, it seems like everybody is trying to make Android more secure. As usual, rooting and modding are often casualties of this effort. Just over a month ago Android 4.3 broke the existing model for root, forcing updates to existing methods, and now Samsung is rolling out updated Android 4.2.2 firmwares for the Galaxy S 4 which fully enable the company's heavily secured KNOX environment. Fortunately, Chainfire is already on top of it and has updated his popular root software, SuperSU, to be compatible with the new system.
If you cannot make up your mind between running TouchWiz or a stock version of Jelly Bean, thanks to MoDaCo.SWITCH, that's a decision you won't have to make. This piece of software makes switching back and forth between the two versions as simple as toggling a switch. Paul O'Brien, better known as MoDaCo, has started porting it to the Galaxy S4, and the beta is now available for those who backed his Indiegogo campaign.