The “normal” versions of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One – or at least some models – will be compatible with the software of their respective Google Play edition versions, although don’t expect it to be a hassle-free procedure.
MoDaCo’s Paul O’Brien said as much on Twitter, and even though this doesn’t come officially from Samsung, HTC or Google, it’s still good news for those Android users that purchased a Galaxy S4 or HTC One before the Google Play edition versions were launched – of course, don’t expect Samsung and HTC to be too thrilled about this anyway:
You WILL be able to flash your 'normal' One or S4 to Google Play edition software. So don't feel bad if you can't order one! :-)
— Paul O'Brien (@PaulOBrien) June 26, 2013
Digging deeper, you’ll find out that the HTC One Google Play edition firmware has already been leaked and is available to flash on your current HTC One model, although you’ll have to root your device, and closely follow the procedure as described on the xda-developers forum.
Phandroid has already flashed the ROM on the handset, and it looks like everything is running as expected, with “the only part that’s ‘broken’ [being] data usage settings.”
More importantly, you’ll have to know this all seems to apply to GSM versions of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, with O’Brien having pretty much said so in his Twitter conversations that followed the tweet above. Verizon and Sprint Galaxy S4 and Sprint HTC One owners may find it difficult to flash the Google Play experience software on their devices for now, although the community may fix the problem in the future. There’s a whole discussion on reddit going on about the matter.
We’ll remind you that we don’t encourage you to install any unofficial ROMs on your devices and we can’t be held responsible for whatever you do with your smartphones and/or tablets. But since they’re your devices and you can do whatever you want to them, please make sure to back up your data and follow all the necessary steps to get to the desired end result as described, particularly if you’re not feeling too comfortable about rooting and/or installing custom software.
To get a small taste of what the Google Play edition software has to offer, you can always try the new camera app, the boot animation and the live wallpaper that come preloaded on these devices without actually flashing a new ROM on your device.
That said, will you install Google Play edition software on your devices?