Yesterday, the Google Play Editions of HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 went on sale, and just earlier in the day today, Samsung and HTC released the GPL-compliant source-code for their respective stock Android devices. It has not taken long for the fans to repackage the firmware to run on standard editions of these phones.
The source code for the HTC One was released via HTCDev and Samsung released it through their Open Source Release Centre. The first repackaged firmwares of the Google Edition devices have now surfaced in XDA-Developers forums.
The repackaged HTC One Google Play Edition firmware comes with busybox pre-installed, and it remains Odexed; so boot times should be more fast and secure. An unlocked device can easily be flashed with this ROM through a custom recovery. It is recommended that you factory reset your device before you commence with the flashing, and it is mandatory if you are coming from another custom ROM.
Similarly, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 has also seen a number of builds dumped by various XDA forum members. There are more than 4 builds for the GS4, some more functional than the others in some respects. The same steps apply to to flash the stock firmware. Sony is also planning to release a Google Edition of Xperia Z. Hopefully, that happens soon enough and all the top flagships of Android can finally be free of their customised skins.
Users can now finally experience Android on non-Nexus devices the way it was meant to be experienced.