The wait is nearly over for the Google Play Editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One smartphones, which are now available for preorder at the Google Play Store and will ship July 9. But with new reports that suggest that the devices’ pure Android operating system isn’t as pure as once thought, those who were interested in getting one of the devices may be rethinking their decision.
It has been discovered that, while the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Editions do run stock Android, the system kernels for these devices were developed by their respective manufacturers, which means future system updates will be pushed out by Samsung and HTC as opposed to Google.
When the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition was introduced at the Google I/O conference in May, Vice President of Android Product Management at Google Hugo Barra announced that the device would “receive system updates promptly with every Android platform update.” Many assumed that those system updates would come directly from Google; however, that was never emphatically stated. Now we know that system updates for the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Editions won’t be pushed out at the same time as updates for Nexus brand devices such as the Nexus 4 smartphone. However, the wait for updates will likely not be as long as updates for devices with their own manufacturer user interfaces.
“On background, we will be working very closely with Samsung and HTC on future software updates for these devices, and they will receive software updates shortly after a new version is released,” PR for Google told tech website Droid Life in a statement.
How long Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Edition owners will have to wait for these updates remains uncertain. Regardless of who pushed out the updates for these devices, they do still have stock Android, which is exactly what enthusiasts wanted. In the end, it makes sense that a non-Nexus device would not get the complete Nexus experience.
How do you feel about Samsung and HTC being in charge of the stock Android system updates for the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Editions? Let us know in the comments below.
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Fionna Agomuoh is a Technology Reporter for the International Business Times, a vegan foodie, and a lover of Electric Dance Music.