Though there's a definite streak among power users to prefer Google's "pure" Android on their phones, some of the manufacturer skins from HTC and Samsung have charming features as well. Modder and ROM developer Paul O'Brien, better known as MoDaCo, has been testing a solution to give you the best of both worlds. MoDaCo.SWITCH is a dual-boot solution for power users that lets two ROMs (manufacturer stock and AOSP, for example) which share user data, allowing a seamless switch between interfaces.
As previously leaked, Verizon has a new mahogany hue for its Samsung Galaxy S4, and it's also showing up on Best Buy's site. The 16GB brown version is now available online only, at the same $199 on-contract and $649 off-contract prices as the black and white versions. But wait, those preview shots on the Verizon home page look a little... off.
Compare the brown in the screenshot above to the much more subtle brown in the Evleaks press shot, to say nothing of the fact that only the front of the device is actually brown.
Love 'em or hate 'em, you've got to admit that Samsung has made a habit out of offering its flagship devices in as many hues as they possibly can. Leakster extraordinaire EVleaks posted a press shot of a new Galaxy S4 last night, sporting an Autumn Brown color and Verizon branding. There's no indication of when it will show up on store shelves.
The leak says the phone is brown, but that's only half true: the back of the phone looks like the same diamond-pattern black as the older Galaxy S4, while the "brushed" pattern on the front bezel and home button gets a chocolate-colored makeover.
Some devices get all the ROMs. Of course, for the Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S4, that's kind of the point. Late last month an early version of Android 4.3 was leaked for the phone right around the time of its Play Store debut, and now an even newer build labeled "JWR66V" has popped up. According to XDA Developers forum poster Jahon, it was build on July the 11th, and now it's been re-packaged into a ROM file flashable in the custom recovery of your choice.
Late last month, Samsung announced an LTE-A-powered Galaxy S4 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor for Korea's SK Telecom network. The benchmarks – along with the speedtests – were mind-boggling, but it was extremely unclear whether the rest of the world would ever get a taste of everything this new GS4 has to offer. Thanks to a new leak over at AllAboutSamsung.de (and confirmed by SamMobile's sources), we now have strong reason to think that an international version, model number i9506, is on its way.
So you know about that big scary update for Verizon's Galaxy S 4 that blocks root, patches the bootloader, and haunts your children's dreams. The question is, though, what else does it do? Verizon finally spilled the beans (someone grab a mop and clean this mess up, please), and it's chock-full of stuff. Lots and lots of stuff.
Samsung announced this spring that security app LoJack would soon be built into the Galaxy S4. The necessary firmware arrived on most North American variants of the S4 in recent weeks, and now the service is live to take advantage of it. LoJack can be activated on your Galaxy S4 today for $29.99 per year. In return for your money you get phone tracking, remote wipe, and recovery assistance.
The LoJack app is built into the firmware of the device, making it persistent through factory resets (but probably not ROM flashes).
Just yesterday Verizon dropped the price of its Galaxy S 4 by $50, which in itself was a noteworthy deal since directly from Big Red was the only place you could find the 32 gigger. Until today, that is. Wirefly has now made itself the only other retailer to offer the 32GB S 4 running on Verizon, and of course, it's also more affordable at only $220 for both upgrades and new customers.
Samsung Galaxy S4 owners on Verizon, there's a new update available for your phones. But don't bother checking your Settings menu for an over-the-air prompt: it's only available via the Verizon Software Upgrade Assistant after connecting the device to a PC. Standard users should be fine, but rooted users (or those who intend to root or flash a new ROM sometime in the future) should avoid this one. According to several posters on XDA, the VRUAME7 patches existing root methods, and flashes a new version of the locked bootloader that prevents users from flashing a pre-release kernel, effectively blocking another path to root.
Sprint may be rolling out an update to the Galaxy S4 today, but AT&T customers are not to be left out. The company is distributing an update to version I337UCUAMF3, which is not the same as that going out to Sprint users. While it's 359MB file size is remarkably similar, it ushers in a different set of bug fixes. The update also enables two additional LTE bands and improves NFC.