Yesterday Google announced the new Nexus 6, a Nexus 9 tablet, and its latest Android 5.0 Lollipop software update, but that might not be all the company has planned. Earlier this year rumors of a Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition surfaced multiple times, and it looks like it could be coming after all.
The Galaxy S4 was the first “Google Play Edition” device to run stock Android instead of its respective manufacturers skin, and if history repeats itself, the Galaxy S5 could be the first Android 5.0 Google Play edition device.
Earlier this year after the Samsung Galaxy S5 was announced and released in April, many expected a Google Play Edition to quickly follow running stock Android 4.4 KitKat, but that never happened. We even saw the device appear on the Google Play Store by mistake, which was quickly removed. However, Google could be teasing prospective buyers again this week.
For those curious, a Google Play Edition device runs pure stock Android instead of the tweaked and modified version manufacturers like Samsung, HTC and others make to the handsets. Updates are handled directly though Google with no interaction from carriers, making upgrades to the latest version of Google’s Android software much easier.
That, and they run stock Android, something that many purists or Android enthusiasts prefer. It’s this that made the Galaxy S4, HTC One, and HTC One M8 Google Play Edition devices rather popular for some Android buyers that didn’t want a cheaper Nexus device. And even though the new Nexus 6 is a flagship device, some may want to choose a stock Google Play Edition Galaxy S5 instead.
The screen is smaller, it’s IP67 dust and water resistant, and it has a better 16 megapixel camera. There are a lot of things to like about the Galaxy S5, especially if those were added to stock Android 5.0 Lollipop and sold directly from the Google Play Store.
The image above comes right from the official Android.com homepage for Google’s operating system. After scrolling down you’ll find a collage of Nexus devices, Android Wear watches, and Google Play edition smartphones like the HTC One M8. However, you’ll also notice twice they have a stock Android 5.0 Lollipop powered Galaxy S5 listed. Coincidence? Or maybe just an accident.
To get directly to the full resolution image users can click here.
It’s worth noting that before Android 5.0 Lollipop was announced yesterday a very similar image was present with the Galaxy S5 running Android 4.4.4 KitKat, but that doesn’t rule out the fact that Google’s showcasing a stock Galaxy S5 on its homepage.
Earlier this year rumors from very reliable sources confirmed a Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition was coming soon, then it appeared and was removed from the Google Play Store, then rumored some more. That all said, it never ended up being announced and we’re now in October with no Google Play edition available.
Most of the Google Play Edition devices were removed from the Google Play Store a few months ago, but this could be the first sign that a few more handsets are set to make a debut with the new Android 5.0 Lollipop release. We’ll keep an eye out for more details.