Google thought its Google Play Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S4 would be a device exclusive to its stock Android software, as well as exclusive to certain mobile carriers. However, developers have proven the tech conglomerate very wrong as there is now a custom ROM of the vanilla Android 4.2.2 from the Google Play Edition Galaxy S4 for the original Galaxy S4 on the Verizon network.
While Verizon is popular for its extensive coverage, the carrier is notably slow in releasing devices onto its network. Some propose this is in order to beat product shortages that undoubtedly occur when popular devices release on multiple mobile carriers at the same time. Others think it is because Verizon takes its time installing its own brand-specific bloatware and other features onto devices. But this is something the network has never explicitly explained itself.
Another downfall to Verizon is that it passes on Nexus-brand devices, largely due to the use of stock Android operating systems that don’t allow for the installation of carrier bloatware. The carrier often opts for devices that will be exclusive to its own network, such as the various Droid brand devices that it has advertised for many years. Currently the Droid Razr Maxx HD is the carriers’ flagship device.
When the Google Play Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 and subsequently the Google Play Edition HTC One were introduced, it was announced that both devices would be powered by GSM networks AT&T and T-Mobile. Verizon and Sprint were left out of the running to power the Google Play Edition, devices because they are CDMA networks.
But considering how mod-friendly the Android operating system is, Google couldn’t have been surprised that developers would find ways to make the Google Play Edition Android 4.2.2 available for customers on CDMA networks.
Enter the guys at the XDA developer’s forum, who have created several custom ROMs of the Google Play Edition Android 4.2.2 for the Samsung Galaxy S4 (SGH-I545) on the Verizon network. Additionally, developers have created a Google Play ROM for the Galaxy S4 (SPH-L720) on the Sprint network.
Keep in mind that installing firmware onto any device will void its warranty, so proceed with caution if you plan to do so. Check out XDA for specific instructions on how to install the custom ROMs.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition Custom ROM for Verizon Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition Custom ROM for Sprint Galaxy S4
Will you install the Google Play Edition Custom ROM on your Verizon or Sprint Galaxy S4? 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.