Rumors of a Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition have been floating around for months, but we’re now potentially seeing some new developments. Last year Google and Samsung surprised many Android users and enthusiasts by releasing a Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition offering stock Android as Google designs it, rather than Samsung’s interface changes and overlay. It was the first device of its kind, and has since been followed by similar offerings from HTC, Motorola, Sony, and even LG with the G Pad 8.3 tablet.
This year, many were expecting the same type of announcement at Google I/O in June following the April release of the new Samsung Galaxy S5, but that never came to fruition. For months we’ve been hearing rumors of a Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition, and today they’re heating back up thanks to some recent changes to the Play Store.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition has been available from the Play Store for months, but this morning Google officially removed it from the storefront. In the past these devices have been removed in favor of a successor, leading credence to the idea that a Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition will be announced and released in the near future.
Earlier this year the HTC One M8 was announced, and the same day the company unveiled a Google Play Edition version with stock Android sold direct from the Google Play Store. Since then buyers have been waiting for Samsung to offer the same, or LG for that matter with the G3, but they’ve yet to arrive.
With Samsung being the first to offer a Google Play Edition device, many expected the new Galaxy S5 to follow the same footsteps. Back in April just weeks after the Galaxy S5 launch around the globe Google updated the Play Store listing of the Galaxy S4 with an image of the Galaxy S5, sparking rumors of a Galaxy S5 GPe. Since then however, we’ve heard nothing from either party, nor seen any additional developments, until last month.
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Famed leakster evleaks essentially confirmed the Google Play Edition at the beginning of July, posting an official press render of the Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition running stock Android 4.4.4 KitKat. The image above was revealed by the leakster, which was then followed by more hints from Google. Android.com has been teasing a GS5 GPe for months, but potential buyers still can’t get one.
The device above is right on the Android.com home page when users scroll down, essentially showing a poorly photoshopped (on screen buttons) of the Galaxy S5 running stock Android. At this point we’re pretty confident one is coming soon, but no one knows when.
Over the past few months most of the Google Play Edition devices have been removed from the Google Play Store. This is leading many to believe Google is making room for more products. Some of those being the rumored Nexus 6, Nexus 8 tablet, and of course the Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition.
As stated above, this morning Google finally removed the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition from the Google Play Store. Making the popular handset no longer available to those wanting stock Android and quick updates on Samsung’s latest hardware. Given all the hints and photos that have leaked as of late, it’s likely a Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition will go on sale from the Play Store in the near future.
As it stands right now, there’s only two of these kinds of devices remaining. The HTC One M8 GPe, and the Moto G variant. This could be a sign that a Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition will be debuted soon, or simply the end of these devices as Google focuses more on the Nexus lineup, and the rumored Android Silver.