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New Camera UI, Boot Animation, and Wallpaper Arrive With Google Play Edition Phones – Still Android 4.2.2

htc one google play

Now that the Google Play Editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One are available for purchase and in the hands of a select few media outlets, we’re starting to see a look at the version of Android they are both running. Surprisingly enough, they appear to be running slightly different versions than any of us have, even on Nexus devices, though the version is still Android 4.2.2.

So what’s different? 

New Camera UI

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The first thing we noticed after looking through JR Raphael’s write-up over at Computerworld, was the new camera UI that first appeared on a Nexus 4 running Android 4.3 a few weeks ago. We assumed this new camera UI, with a much more intuitive-stacked menu system, was going to be a part of the oft-rumored 4.3 update, but that’s clearly not the case. Again, the new Google Play Edition phones are still running JDQ39 (Android 4.2.2), but the camera app is indeed a newer version than what is publicly available today.

In the current stock Android camera UI, the menu functions as a circle that can be impossible to navigate because your finger often covers up the options. With this new stacked version, your finger is never in the way.

New Wallpaper and Tweaked App Drawer

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The second thing we noticed was the new red-themed Phase Beam wallpaper. On Nexus devices (and many other non-Nexus phones and tablets), Phase Beam in purple and blue has been a standard for as far back as I can remember. On these new special edition devices, we’re seeing this slightly tweaked version that may or may not come to Nexus phones. If you want to experience the red Phase Beam today, you can grab a third party version from Google Play.

In terms of the app drawer, Google appears to have tweaked the Google Play Editions to a 4×5 layout. On the Nexus 4, we’re seeing 5×5, but the Nexus 4 also carries a slightly wider resolution ratio than the Galaxy S4 and One, which could be the difference in layouts. It’s nothing major, but still something different.

New Boot Animation

Last, here is the boot animation from the One “Google Play Edition.”  I think the takeaway here is that these are non-Nexus devices, so you won’t see the Nexus X that is currently used on Google’s lineup of phones and tablets. These are Google Play Edition phones, so Google went ahead and created a special boot animation for them. I actually like it, and can’t wait for it to be turned into a flashable file for all of us to enjoy. The new animation semi-mimics the refresh animation you see on the Google+ app for iOS.


Via:  ComputerWorld

  • cal

    There is no new boot animation at least not for the nexus devices in fact the main changes are under the hood. There are a few changes under the settings the camera is new the red phasebeam is not included in the ROM and it is fast and smooth.
    I have a nexus 4 with build JWR66N

  • Robert Macri

    And the new camera apk is on XDA… Love those guys


  • Holy crap that phone booted up and was ready to use before my Droid Razr would have even loaded up the Motorola Logo!

  • joejoe5709

    OOooo. I like the camera. Someone please kang this for the GNex!

  • Ray

    ..of course its 4.2. What were you expecting, 5.0? lol

  • Dave12308

    So with these out now, what exactly is the difference between these and a Nexus device? Is it that a Nexus is a reference hardware platform for a specific OS? Or is this just today’s equivalent of a “Google Experience Device”?

    • Matthew Merrick

      Nexuses (Nexii?) are reference devices for the OS, development platforms. Think like the qualcomm dev tablets, but affordable.

      These are just Google-maintained phones.

  • Dingo

    So basically the camera UI is the difference. Sorry, but boot animations and wallpapers aren’t noteworthy. Neither have anything to do with the function of the phone.

    • JMonkeYJ

      i enjoy hearing about them and i think others do, too…

    • Ray

      I agree. Who cares about the boot animation or wallpapers? lol

  • Mark Webb

    Perfect! My VZW S4 Dev Edition shipped today from Samsung….can’t wait for someone to dump these babies so I can ROM away!

  • Goldenpins

    If you want to experience the new phase beam . don’t buy the one in the link.Its preset to red ONLY. Get Ice Cream Sandwich Live WP from Vector and Pixels Indiegames. They allow you to change the colors and you get 4 ICS LWP in 1. All colors can be changed and its smooth like butter. I recently bought it looking to try out the new phase beam.

  • Travis Erickson

    that boot animation is one used on chrome currently

  • JMonkeYJ

    i wonder if you can access Google Now from the lock screen

  • TeeJay1100

    This is proof that Android 4.3 is on the way!!

    • SemahjLam

      not really

      • Ray


  • n11

    Why can’t anyone seem to just make a decent camera UI?
    They’re all so intrusive, or unintuitive, or difficult to see on screen. Just give a side-bar menu for god’s sake.

  • anezarati

    someone get me a free version on the wallpaper, asap!

  • BRIM

    I think this is Google’s away to give some needed room for manufactures to “catch up.”

    Essentially, will close the gap on “fragmentation” because although phones will vary between being on 4.1, 4.2 and eventually 4.3…they can be said that all of those are on “Jelly Bean.”

    So when reports come out, like Apple likes to poke fun, it’ll look…”better.”

    • JMonkeYJ

      i’ve been suspecting this, too. it’s sort of similar to what Apple does, where it claims all its devices are on eg iOS6, but really iOS6 is slightly different on many of the devices.

  • shecalledmejay

    so is there anyway to flash the new camera app onto my GNex right now?

    • MariaxXT

      wait few days someone will make it happen

  • D3nkianma

    How long do you think it will be before we see rips of these roms for the carrier GS4?

    • PhoenixPath

      A day at most. Probably by the time I get home tonight…

  • NorCalGuy

    Hopefully this means more phones might be able to finally upgrade to sphere camera, it kinda defeats a little bit of the purpose of having it if the only way for people to view your pictures is if they look at your phone, have g+ or have sphere camera.

  • TheRobotCow

    Someone pull the boot animation!

  • red014

    GNex still has a 4×5 drawer, so there’s more evidence that it’s just the N4’s wider screen res.

    • Tyler

      Didn’t even realize it until you said it. But i agree it probablly has to do with the 768 x 1280 vs 720 x 1280.

  • rick kaptein

    camera apk please?

  • Ryan Stewart

    Maybe I can be optimistic and think that this means Google has made the Camera app yet another “system” app that can be updated regardless of Android version. That way people who have phones that are a version behind can still have the hot new features.

    Not that it matters personally as nexus user but it can only help the ecosystem if everyone has access to the stock applications and that those stock applications are up to date..

    • Joshua Wise

      Perhaps it’ll show up in the play store sometime soon.

    • This certainly seems like their trajectory, and it’s a good one.

    • michael arazan

      I want to know if I can install the Nexus Edition software on the Galaxy S4 unlocked edition for verizon with ease, If Sammy or Google provides a download I would probably get it


    hope this means that Google is appifying more of the OS to serve those with lousy OEM skins…

  • Charles Hobbs

    First person to pull that camera APK and post it online gets a gold star!!!

    • coolsilver

      Banana Stickers

  • Nick Norman

    Hello Verizon S4! Can’t wait for this to get to XDA!

  • Geoff Johnson

    Love the fast start-up time!

  • Joshua Bailey

    Boot animation is very nice.

    • duke69111

      And that phone boots in seconds. my gnexus takes up 30 seconds or more.

      • Joshua Bailey

        A beautiful thing

      • Dave

        My GN2 takes 15. My Droid X on liquid took nearly 3 minutes from button push to ready.

      • Ryan Stewart

        Such is progress. My N4 is about 25 seconds from vibrate to lock screen and it looks like that one was about 20 seconds. I wouldnt think 30-35 is really all that bad for a phone running the newest OS but launched in 2011.

        • duke69111

          I misstated my boot time on Carbon. I counted it from vibrate and it was 53 seconds to the lock screen and another 20-30 seconds before it was fully booted and usable.

          • Ryan Stewart

            Yeah that sucks. BTW, you go to WSU? I was born not far from there in Wichita.

          • duke69111

            I did. I graduated in 2006. Decided to live there as well.

  • elemeno

    “Nexus X” almost gave me a heart attack…