Google Dumps Samsung S4 Play Edition
In 2013, Google’s US Play Store listed devices from Samsung, Motorola, HTC and even Sony, with each sporting the “pure” Android experience, free of TouchWiz, Sense or any other custom UI additions.
This changed last month to list only three devices – the Moto G, HTC’s One M8 and the Galaxy S4 – with Samsung’s Galaxy S5 nowhere to be seen in a Google Play Edition, according to 9to5Google.
Now comes the news that the Galaxy S4 has been obliterated from the list by the Google Death Star, with no Luke Skywalker available to save the rebellious S4 from its axing.
Oddly, Samsung and Google never came to an arrangement to release a Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S5, which begs the question over how well Google’s Play Edition handsets are selling.
This concern is magnified when visiting the Google Play store in Australia and clicking on the Devices tab.
Here we see only Nexus devices being promoted, alongside Android Wear watches and the Chromecast streaming dongle, with no HTC, Moto or other models in sight.
Play Edition Androids could be purchased from overseas, however, with grey importers in Australia such as Mobicity having offered Play Edition models to customers that wanted them.
Finally, the entire episode raises questions over whether Google will bother with future Google Play Edition models.
The company has made no statements regarding the matter, but perhaps we’ll see renewed efforts by Google to promote its Play Edition models once the next version of Android arrives.
This new version was previewed at the 2014 Google I/O conference, sporting a consistent new “material design” that finally aims to match the clean, friendly and very consistent Apple iOS.
Android OS releases have been named alphabetically, with the current version called KitKat version 4.4.4.
Android L is expected to be called Lollipop, but whether it will be Android OS 4.5 or Android OS 5.0 is yet to be seen.