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Google’s worst-kept secret is the upcoming Android 4.3 update for devices powered by its mobile OS (though a lot more secrets have come to light recently), and we’re starting to see that update make its way to the handsets of owners who aren’t afraid to experiment. SamMobile reports this morning that Android 4.3 has been spotted on both the Google Play Edition and the Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S4, and should work fine on both for users who aren’t afraid to mess around with flashing their ROM and voiding their warranty.
Android 4.3 was first spotted by SamMobile running on the Snapdragon Galaxy S4, which is a version that’s normally running Samsung’s own modified Google OS. Screens depicted an updated camera interface, as well as some other interface tweaks, but by and large the look of 4.3 is very similar to the look of 4.2, the current version of Jelly Bean and the latest officially acknowledged by Google.
Google may not have come out and admitted that 4.3 is in the works, but test builds have been spotted on Nexus 4 hardware as early as a month ago, and I’ve heard from people close to the project that the Android team has been hard at work on the latest update for a while now and continues to make refinements ahead of its public launch.
Google didn’t talk about Android 4.3 at I/O this year, as some expected it would. The developer-focused event was very developer focused this year, and an announcement of a new version of its mobile OS may have attracted attention away from the things it did discuss. Plus, if 4.3 is mostly an improvement and maintenance update like it appears to be, a big reveal might not be what Google is looking for here.
For those of you with a Galaxy S4, either the Snapdragon variant or one of the shiny new Google Edition versions, getting the preview build on your device is pretty easy, and you can find instructions here. Reports claim that all the parts work, too, which is a nice change for pre-release software.