The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the latest Google Play Edition smartphone to get the chop from the Play Store, leaving only the HTC One M8 behind. It was the only Samsung smartphone you could buy with pure Android and no TouchWiz, but its age made its discontinuation an inevitability.
Google and its partners have been slowly but surely phasing out Google Play Edition devices, with the original Moto G, the One M7, and others getting the chop in recent months. HTC’s flagship One M8 still remains, but with a One M9 right around the corner, it may not be available for long.
This marks the impending end of the Google Play Edition program, which gave Android users the opportunity to access pure Google software on third-party devices. When it was introduced at Google I/O in 2013, it was well-received by fans, but its demise has come somewhat sooner than expected.
It’s unclear whether disappointing sales or other factors are to blame, or whether Google has simply chosen to focus on its own Nexus hardware instead. But if you want pure Android on next-generation devices from HTC, Samsung, LG, and others, it seems you’ll have to flash it yourself.
Are you disappointed the Google Play Edition program is dying out?