Android 4.3 Firmware Spotted, May Hit "Nexus" Gadgets in July

Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean" may actually be making an appearance next month, as the build has been spotted on the Samsung GT-i9505G, aka the pure-bred Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition smartphone which Google recently started selling for $649 USD unlocked. This phone is the same on a hardware level as the one sold outside Google Play, but sports pure Android – no Samsung bloatware and/or UI modifications here.

The leak stems from a Samsung insider with access to an early build of Android 4.3 (JWR66N) as the company adapts it to run on the phone's hardware. This insider, who provided screenshots as proof, believes the phone will actually be updated with the latest "Jelly Bean" installment this July. That said, we'll likely see the HTC One Google Play Edition get the same first-class Android 4.3 love next month along with the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10.

The same source that provided the screenshots and insider info may have provided the firmware to download and test as well. As seen on SamMobile, it's the very one fitted for the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition, but the site ported it to a standard Galaxy S4 and reportedly received some "outstanding" results. The port is working perfectly, the site claims; nothing is apparently broken. The build date was June 26, so this firmware is essentially fresh out of the oven. Download and install at your own risk!

Despite other reports, Android device owners shouldn't expect a drastic overhaul or a long list of new features; that will be addressed in Android 5.0 "Key Lime Pie." Think of v4.3 as a service pack, whereas Android 5.0 will be a jump in technology that will supposedly have better support for cheaper, lower powered devices like phones in emerging markets, appliances, wearable tech, laptops and more.

Overall, wireless carriers will likely start rolling out Android 4.3 to a handful of devices this fall even though the Google Play devices may see the upgrade next month. As always, it takes seemingly forever for carriers to roll put updates (bloatware takes a while to inflate it seems), so many qualified devices may not see v4.3 until around 4Q13 or into 1Q14.

As for Android 5.0, there are a wide number of laptops and desktops, like HP's own Slate21 AIO PC, slated to be released at the back end of 2013, and we're betting most will be stocked with plenty of Key Lime Pie. Of course, HP's Slate21 AIO PC will launch this September with, for now, Android 4.2.2, which seemingly blows the whole Android 5.0 theory out of the water.

Thus, how the Android 5.0 rollout will play with Android 4.3 is unknown at this point, so it will be interesting to watch how Google's evil scheme for world domination will unfold over the next several months. At least we know what's coming in the next few months, and it's not any kind of Key Lime dessert unless we head to Walmart's bakery section.

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  • codo
    meanwhile waiting for 4.2 on my S3. cant wait for the EOS to come out to ditch android for WP
  • Grandmastersexsay
    I don't know why companies like Samsung, or even google for that matter, let these carriers put their garbage on these phones. Apple doesn't let them put a whole bunch of crap on the iphone. How many people buy an iphone to avoid that crap? Companies like Samsung are loosing sales because they won't stand up to the nickle and diming SOB carriers.
  • house70
    Anonymous said:
    meanwhile waiting for 4.2 on my S3. cant wait for the EOS to come out to ditch android for WP

    Your phone working fine? If so, don't obsess over latest OS version, the OS is just a canvas to run the apps you need. Having the latest version means sometimes you become a beta tester.
    If you really have to have it, get a Nexus device or a GE edition of the phones.
    In many respects 4.1 is better and more stable than 4.2. I don't care anyways, because the version-specific apps are made available on Play, so I can have them regardless of the OS version.