Android 4.3 build for the Google Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 leaked, can be installed on ‘normal’ S4 too
Android 4.3 was expected in mid-May when Google held its annual developer conference. Yet the new software version didn’t get announced then. Later we heard that the ‘Nexus experience’ or ‘Google edition’ HTC One that just went on sale a couple of days ago would get updated to Android 4.3 ‘a few weeks after release’. So everyone assumed that the new bits would arrive sometime in July. And that very well may be the case after all.
See, an Android 4.3 build for the ‘Google edition’ Samsung Galaxy S4 has been leaked today. This is supposedly a testing firmware, so there may still be issues here and there. Or missing features, hopefully. Hopefully, because on the surface there really don’t seem to be any new features inside this version of Android, except for a new camera app that’s in fact already available on the ‘Nexus experience’ HTC One and Galaxy S4 on Android 4.2.2. Confused? Well, so are we. It’s unclear why Google chose to give these devices a camera app that’s coming to all others (including the Nexus line) with a subsequent software update only. That said, don’t make too much out of this app – it’s basically the same, just with some neat new touches (like redesigned controls that don’t hide behind your finger anymore). Support for Bluetooth 4.0 low-power is also baked into Android 4.3, and that seems to be about it. But yeah, maybe this firmware hasn’t got some upcoming stuff in it, who knows.
Or maybe Google shouldn’t have bothered calling this release 4.3. In fact, if the above is all there is to it, Android 4.2.3 would have been a much better choice of ‘branding’, nicely distilling how minor this update will be. Either way, it’s still going to be called “Jelly Bean”, and why wouldn’t it? At least we hope there will be dozens if not hundreds of bug fixes in there.
You can install the leaked build on a ‘Google edition’ Galaxy S4 (but who actually has one of those?), or on a ‘vanilla’ internationally-sold S4 with the Qualcomm processor (model number GT-i9505). Instructions for getting it on the i9505 are available at SamMobile over here. The original firmware (for the GT-i9505G) is also up for grabs here, but that’s only going to be of use to developers at this point, since the Google edition S4 will only start shipping from the Play Store on July 9.