1. SumitAgarwal's Avatar
    Hi, long-time iPhone user and developer who is considering leveraging my next smartphone to learn Android a bit better.

    I'm very keen on using stock Android with frequent google-supplied OS updates (like I experience on iOS right now) but not keen on shelling out an unsubsidized price for it.

    So here's my question: I know that the Google Play Edition ROM's can be loaded on rooted S4's and the HTC One's, but what I'm wondering is if this effectively "converts" the phone into a Google Play Edition phone? Specifically, does this mean that after loading the ROM I can follow the exact same OS update method as if I purchased directly from Google, or do I still need to wait for the ROM updates to be cracked and ported over to the non-GPe hardware each time an update is released?

    Thanks. Telecomm and manufacturer meddling with Android, and thus the large dependence on independent developers/hacks, has kept me away from Android for a long time. Hopefully this hurdle has now been cleared. I don't want to spend large amounts of time managing my smartphone, because I would prefer to use my smartphone to streamline and improve my life rather than the other way around.
    07-01-2013 04:20 PM
  2. VDub2174's Avatar
    So here's my question: I know that the Google Play Edition ROMs can be loaded on rooted S4's and the HTC One's, but what I'm wondering is if this effectively "converts" the phone into a Google Play Edition phone? Specifically, does this mean that after loading the ROM I can follow the exact same OS update method as if I purchased directly from Google, or do I still need to wait for the ROM updates to be cracked and ported over to the non-GPe hardware each time an update is released?
    Typically, once a phone is rooted and ROM'd, you won't get any update notifications which means you would then have to flash an updated ROM once it's available. This process isn't as bad as you may think. A lot of devs have it set up so that you don't have to wipe your phone clean in order to update.. Some of the ROMs I've used only require a wipe of dalvik/cache in order to update which leaves my phone exactly how I had it before the update.

    In all honesty, updates tend to come through faster through devs than they would through carriers.
    07-02-2013 07:35 AM
  3. SumitAgarwal's Avatar
    Typically, once a phone is rooted and ROM'd, you won't get any update notifications which means you would then have to flash an updated ROM once it's available. This process isn't as bad as you may think. A lot of devs have it set up so that you don't have to wipe your phone clean in order to update.. Some of the ROMs I've used only require a wipe of dalvik/cache in order to update which leaves my phone exactly how I had it before the update.

    In all honesty, updates tend to come through faster through devs than they would through carriers.
    Thanks a lot for the guidance. Would you say that when it comes to running stock Android you're in a better position buying a phone that has a Google Play Edition available, even if you're not buying the GPE? For example: will I have better results running stock Android on the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One versus, say, the S4 Active or maybe even the Note II?
    VDub2174 likes this.
    07-02-2013 08:07 AM
  4. VDub2174's Avatar
    Thanks a lot for the guidance. Would you say that when it comes to running stock Android you're in a better position buying a phone that has a Google Play Edition available, even if you're not buying the GPE? For example: will I have better results running stock Android on the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One versus, say, the S4 Active or maybe even the Note II?
    Not necessarily. Stock Android can run smoothly on pretty much any device, it really depends on the ROM. I have stock Android running on my Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 and it's very smooth. Same goes for the stock ROM on my HP TouchPad. I have a Note 2 (on AT&T) and have flashed a stock ROM to it but I actually like the Touch Wiz ROMs available. It's a matter of taste.

    If you're looking for stock experience, I would research different devices and see how their dev community is. If they have a strong backing and have a good selection of ROMs to choose from then chances are you're going to have a great experience.
    07-02-2013 08:28 AM
  5. SumitAgarwal's Avatar
    Not necessarily. Stock Android can run smoothly on pretty much any device, it really depends on the ROM. I have stock Android running on my Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 and it's very smooth. Same goes for the stock ROM on my HP TouchPad. I have a Note 2 (on AT&T) and have flashed a stock ROM to it but I actually like the Touch Wiz ROMs available. It's a matter of taste.

    If you're looking for stock experience, I would research different devices and see how their dev community is. If they have a strong backing and have a good selection of ROMs to choose from then chances are you're going to have a great experience.
    Sounds great. The S4 and One should both have robust dev communities based on their popularity. I still feel I might be more comfortable using the "deoxed" (I have no idea if I'm using correct Android terms) GPe ROM on the S4 or the One rather than a full dev-community port to another phone... probably just nervous since I'm coming from iPhone, but I worry that on community builds there could be little incompatibilities with random obscure apps, things like that.

    I also need to mention that free tethering is extremely important to me, and is a big part of why I never upgraded from my jailbroken iPhone 4S to the iPhone 5. But as far as I can tell that's not much of a factor in which Android phone I pick or which OS build I use and free tethering is generally an easy go.
    07-02-2013 10:39 AM

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