Rumors and hints at Google's next release of Android have been spilling out for months, but today we've got some evidence that Android 4.3 may be real and nearing completion. SamMobile got their hands on what's purported to be a pre-release build of the upcoming version of Jelly Bean (yes, it's still Jelly Bean), apparently intended for the brand-new Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition, which hasn't even started shipping itself. The ROM was swiftly ported to the generic LTE version of the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505) that currently serves as the de facto standard for US carriers.
If you've got a Galaxy Note 10.1 handy and a hankering for root-enabled fun, noted modder mskip has just posted an initial version of his extensive Toolkit for the Samsung tablet to the XDA developers forum. We've seen these before for all kinds of hardware, most recently the Galaxy Note 8.0, and they're great as a one-stop shop for advanced user operations. The toolkit requires a Windows PC, but beyond that it's got everything you should need to start rooting and modding the Note 10.1.
Getting access to kernel source code is a big deal for developers. It has a lot to do with getting all the neat features to work in your favorite ROMs. You might not swoon when Samsung drops the code for new devices, but you should be happy someone does. This time it's the bizarro Galaxy S4 Zoom that's hitting Samsung's open source site.
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!
If you're reading this on a later GSM-only Samsung device, pay attention. After clarifying their continuing support for Tegra 2 devices earlier this week, the CyanogenMod ROM team wants to let you know about their position vis-à-vis Samsung's Exynos 4 series of chipsets. In a nutshell: devices based on the Exynos 4 will be getting CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.2) nightly builds, and not much else. These phones and tablets will not be getting stable releases of the latest CyanogenMod builds for the time being.
Now that the various sizes of the Galaxy Tab 3 are on the brink of release, it's time for Samsung to update a few of its older tablets... to Android 4.1.2. Commence grumbling about the sad state of the manufacturer/carrier update system. AT&T's LTE version of the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (SGH-I497) is next on the list - since the tablet launched on AT&T's network back in November with a 4.0 operating system that was only a year out of date, it's almost fitting that the 4.1 update is coming almost exactly a year after Jelly Bean was introduced on the Nexus 7.
There's been a lot of speculation about just how Nexus-like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play edition phones will be, particularly from a technical / software update standpoint. Now, we have some relatively concrete information that sheds light on these issues.
First and foremost, Google will not directly handle software updates for Google Play edition devices. This has been reported as true, false, and generally disputed quite a lot in the lead-up to the launch.
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.