A download of the upcoming version of Android, versions 4.3, has been leaked. The ROM which has been leaked can be installed on the Samsung Galaxy S IV according to Samsung blog SamMobile.
It’s been quite some time since Google last updated Android. We’ve had 4.2 since the official release date of 13th November 2012, and the latest minor update 4.2.2 was released on the 11th February.
It appears that the leak has come from within Samsung, indicating that they (and possible other phone manufacturers) have been given access to the next version of Android 4 early.
Some users have already used the leaked download to install the software on Samsung Galaxy S4 model GT-I9505 and everything appears to have installed without incident and the software and phone appears to be working perfectly.
Of course we can’t recommend that you update as this isn’t an official release – if you do decide to update then you do so at your own risk. Installing it almost certainly will void your warranty. It also requires some skills in how to flash ROM.
The date of the ROM is incredibly recent – June 26th. It only appears to work on the exact version of the S4 listed above and requires Custom Recovery to work.
Changes to this version of Android appear to include options that apparently ‘avoid weak Wi-Fi connections’. We’re not entirely sure what this does, but perhaps it simply doesn’t list weak wifi networks on the available network list to avoid dropping signal.
There’s also a change of wallpaper to one similar to the wallpaper that is modelled on the Google Edition S4. This perhaps suggests that the Google Edition will ship with Android 4.3.
A further update allows ‘emergency broadcasts’. These include alerts you can choose to display or not depending on threat level. You can choose to show only ‘extreme’ threats or’severe’ threats or a combination of neither or both, and you can also choose to receive so called AMBER alerts about child abduction so smartphone users can try to help save kidnapped and runaway kids. It’s not clear if these are only applicable to people in the USA or if they will work worldwide.
If you want to install it you first copy the ROM to the internal SD card, enter recovery mode then do a factory reset. Then you flash the new ROM and reboot your device.
We do recommend you wait though. As it’s clear Samsung and other OEMs have this they are clearly working on producing upgrades that we can all do simply and without voiding our warranty. Hopefully this won’t take too long, and given those who have installed this leaked ROM already haven’t had any issues it might even be available by the time the Google Edition S4 ships.
Sadly it appears that 4.3 is a minor update, and one we’re a little surprised isn’t simply called 4.2.3. We expect the main changes other than those listed above are just bug fixes. It looks like for a big update we now really will be waiting for Android 5.0 which has been expected for some time now.