Jun 28 AT 7:57 AM Brooks Barnard 23 Comments

Android 4.3 being tested on Play Store Edition Galaxy S 4

PSE GS4 Android 4.3 Bean

Last night brought us some interesting screen shots of Android 4.3 running on a Google Play Edition (GPE) Galaxy S4. This tells us some interesting things in my opinion. First, it’s more evidence that Android 4.3 is real if you were still suspicious. Second, Google is providing test builds of Android 4.3 to the GPE manufacturers. This can put your minds to ease, if you were concerned about delayed Android updates to GPE devices. With Google doing this, manufactures of GPE devices will have timely access to source code to make their custom kernels or whatever they need to to get those Android updates as fast of they can.

If you haven’t heard about what Android 4.3 might be bringing to the table, it’s a small update. Hence the jump from 4.2.2 to 4.3. We’re hearing that the developer API level may be upgraded to version 18, it will bring support for Bluetooth Smart and possibly OpenGL ES 3.0.  Additionally, 4.3 will be bringing a much needed update to the stock camera app which is already available on the GPe devices.  The updates to the camera app makes changes to camera settings much easier by placing settings options in clear view while in use unlike the 4.2 camera. This 4.3 camera is not officially available from Google yet, but it’s pretty easily found out there on the world wide web and supposedly will work on any device. You don’t even have to be rooted.

The screenies that have been provided can be found below. We have the standard Jelly Bean Android version image, a screen shot of the new 4.3 camera in use, and the about phone settings screen shot.  The build numbers present in the about phone settings image will likely be different than what’s pushed out to the GPE devices when 4.3 is officially released. We originally heard 4.3 would be released along with the White Nexus 4 on June 10th, but that’s obviously come and gone. We’ll be sure to keep you updated when we know more about a release date.

So, what are you thoughts on the screenies? They’re really not too exciting, but it gives me hope that 4.3 is just around the corner. I’m also glad that these GPE devices will likely be getting updates as promised. What are you looking forward to most with 4.3? Or do you feel like it’s such a small update you won’t even feel the difference?

PSE GS4 Android 4.3 Screenshot 1 PSE GS4 Android 4.3 Screenshot 2 PSE GS4 Android 4.3 Screenshot 3 PSE GS4 Android 4.3 Bean

Source: SamMobile

Brooks is an engineer living in the Bay Area recently dislocated from the Great Northwest. He's an Android enthusiast who decided to start doing something (productive?) with his countless hours Android modding and theming. He has a hot wife, is a father of three, an avid F1 fan, and enjoys watching sports when he can. His current devices include the Nexus 6 and 7 (2103) both running stock roms and may or may not be rooted. You can follow Brooks on Twitter @Brooks_Barnard.

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  • Broseph Stalin

    With small changes like the APIs, I suppose it’ll be good for developers and apps, but not so much different for the end user. I hope KLP will be coming later in the year to really provide new features.

    • Kendall

      Im sure they could bring their apps over.. but do they *want* to? I think Samsung and HTC are likimg the differentiation and certainly hearing people cry for their value adds is not going to make them add to it.. they want you to buy their skinned ones of course! And get all hooked to S-life etc etc

      • Kendall

        delete button?? :/ (not meant to reply here)

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  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    So if OEMs are going to be responsible for pushing out updates and not Google, why can’t they leave some of their software in like the camera apps? I mean I’m sure it’s faster to update stock Android versus a skinned version but if only they could have kept the camera app for both phones.

    • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff

      Likely because that software relies on deeper changes to the kernel than what’s in the GPe of phones.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      I was thinking the same thing. I was reading through XDA last night and apparently the GPE rooms aren’t as stock Android as I thought. It’s more like they’re a stock android skinned touchwiz that’s bloat free and very light. So, with my limited understanding on the subject at the moment, it seems like bringing the touchwiz camera app to the device wouldn’t be that hard.

      • Bpear96

        The majority of the /system/apps are AOSP or propriety Google apks. However in /system/framework, atleast on the HTC One system dump HTC Framework files are still present. They should not be needed on a 100% AOSP build.

        So its not really a sense/touchwiz themed firmware. But it is an AOSP firmware with HTC Framework still present. AOSP Framework is there along side it. So all the visible portions are from AOSP.

        • Bpear96

          Thinking about more, seems that the HTC files are there for beats audio support, and probably the legacy button overlay/blackbar. Who knows though.

    • David “Undastood” Rodriguez

      Because they would also have to keep the (for this example) TouchWiz or HTC Sense framework and UI changes to bring those particular camera features over to stock Android and when you’re modifying the “framework.jar” and “SystemUI.apk” you’re no longer using a pure, stock edition of Android.

    • Kendall

      Im sure they could bring their apps over.. but do they *want* to? I think Samsung and HTC are likimg the differentiation and certainly hearing people cry for their value adds is not going to make them add to it.. they want you to buy their skinned ones of course! And get all hooked to S-life etc etc

  • aholland1

    Hoping the big win here is the Bluetooth upgrade with a bump in AVRCP to improve data delivery to head units in vehicles and other paired devices which will be important with future devices like Glass and Smartwatches. There may be little for the end-user to enjoy right away, but the under-the-hood upgrades will translate to better performance and improved functionality overall…I hope.

  • matt

    This is pretty disappointing and not sure this is a great strategic news with a new Iphone and a completely redesigned ios7. Just having a small update to 4.3 and not a major feature update to 5.0 is not going to excite many people to get a new phone or even to consider Android from an iPHone, esp since many of the new iPHone features are features that Android had. Im not excited at all..and Im one of those on the fence of whether to continue on Android or not. Ive had so many problems with Android and Android phones…Everyone I know and meet has an iPHone and they always cant understand why I havent switched already, esp since I have a Mac

    • http://www.androidandme.com Brooks Barnard

      I didn’t mention in the post that 5.0 (key lime pie) is supposedly coming in the fall. It should be bringing some big changes. Unlike apple, Google usually announces and releases their Android builds around the same time. iOS 7 is still in beta and also won’t be released until the fall. I’d expect that Android 5.0 will likely come around the same time as revamped Nexus devices.

    • CTown

      Android 4.3 is what game developers need. Android 4.0 was the big UI update. It made designing a modern UI that would be consistent with the platform much easier for app developers. Android 4.1 made things consistently smooth. Android 4.2 built on what Android had (like adding QuickTiles to the Notification Center and adding widgets to the lockscreen).

      Still, iOS is still the better platform to build games on because their is less hardware to build games for. That is what OpenGL ES 3.0 is for. It’s the next generation API to build graphic heavy programs like games. The Adreno 320 (Qualcomm’s GPU) has support for it RIGHT NOW. Who knows how long Android 5.0 needs. Also, Sony, Google, and Apple are making conectivity devices right now. The new bluetooth features cannot wait either.

    • Mike Ehrmanntraut, Albuquerque

    • Josh

      Have you ever tried having a nexus phone? It’s android heaven since it’s where nearly all your problems fade away. IMO, iPhone iOS 7 has more flaws than the nexus s, galaxy nexus and nexus 4 running Jelly Bean and probably even the galaxy s4 and HTC one play store editions have less flaws than iOS 7 too.

  • Al willton

    Coming from an iphone and upgrading to a nexus 4 was a big jump and I am glad I did it. I am sure 4.3 will make my phone even better. Sure with any phone there’s problems but with the nexus there are way to fix them (rooting). Jailbreaking was a real pain and I could never get my iphone to work right. Thank you ANDROID!!

  • Wuzzer

    Excited for this. Can’t wait till somebody releases a rooted rom for TouchWiz versions of the S4!!

  • donger

    4.3! Release it already!

  • teecruz

    You did not just say screenies.

    I can’t with this takeover.

  • Shawn Clark

    Where is the 4.3 update…we been waiting for a while…I mean before you know it…LKP will be around the corner.