The Samsung Galaxy S4 was released about two years ago, being based around a 1.9 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor with 2 GB of RAM, a 5.0-inch Super AMOLED screen, a replaceable 2,600 mAh battery and a 13MP rear camera. However, in North America perhaps what was more interesting was that the device was released as a Samsung TouchWiz version and a new concept in the Android world: the Google Play edition (GPe) version. The Google Play edition of a given handset represented something of a compromise between the Nexus range of devices, which at the time was the LG Google Nexus 4, and the TouchWiz version of the Galaxy S4. If customers wanted the same (essentially) stock user interface as the Nexus 4 but the disposable battery and MicroSD card slot of the Galaxy S4, this was an option. The Google Play edition devices also promised speedier updates, as whilst the code is not the same as the Nexus (the S4 has different hardware, such as that MicroSD card slot, so Google approves Samsung’s software build before it may be released) it lacks the complicated overlay that the manufacturers put onto their normal, skinned, devices.
Today, the news is that the Galaxy S4 Google Play edition is to receive Android 5.1 Lollipop, after having seemingly been forgotten about, following the release of 5.1 Lollipop earlier in the month. Strangely enough, the Galaxy S4 GPe was among the first to receive the initial update to Android 5.0 Lollipop but did not receive the interim updates through 5.0.1 and 5.0.2. Because of the lack of interim updates to Android 5.0 and again because 5.1 Lollipop did not arrive for the S4 Google Play edition, there were some concerns that the S4 was not to receive the update to Android 5.1 Lollipop. Today’s news is encouraging! However, there is no information on what subsequent updates the S4 Google Play edition is set to receive. Nor is it clear when the update to Android 5.1 is set to start for the Google Play edition version of the Galaxy S4, but as soon as it starts we will let you know. Until then though, GPe Galaxy S5 owners can rest assured their device has not been forgotten about.