Samsung is known for the powerful hardware it produces, but the TouchWiz interface has not found the fancy of many. People have also complained about the TouchWiz interface slowing down the UI experience, and have, on many occasions, asked for stock (“vanilla”) Android without the overlay of Samsung’s TouchWiz. Samsung/Google have obliged finally, and here comes the Samsung Galaxy S4 ‘Google Edition’ – The same powerful hardware, but with the stock Android with no customizations whatsoever from Samsung, and the device will be carrier-unlocked.
Google announced the device at the I/O even which took place yesterday, and said that the quad core variant which comes with a Snapdragon 600 and LTE will also be supported.
Two major reasons why buyers should be glad – Firstly, there will be no TouchWiz overlay which would be hogging available RAM, and secondly, there will be no delay in Android updates – Samsung is known to take their own time in releasing updates, but with the Google edition being available users will not have to wait for Samsung’s updates anymore, and they would be receiving updates at the same time as Google Nexus devices, which are the first ones to get the update.
The S4 Google Edition will be available June 26 onward, at a price of $649 from the Play Store, and will have an unlocked bootloader which means users will be able to flash their own custom ROMs without any restrictions.
To summarize, the current S4 users will not be getting updates directly from Google while users of the S4 Google Edition will be getting the same. Also a point worth noting is that Google may or may not decide to include features which are seen in Samsung’s updates; for example Smart Stay, Eye Gestures, etc. So, this might be a treat for stock Android lovers but you might have to give up on a few features, time should tell.