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The day that many ROM enthusiasts have been dreading has arrived: the CyanogenMod Team has announced the end of life support for the original Nexus One, along with other first-generation Snapdragon devices, including the HTC EVO 4G, [Droid] Incredible and Desire and others. None of these devices have official builds of CyanogenMod 9 (though plenty of independent ROM developers have done their best) and they won't be getting any CM updates beyond the 7.X Gingerbread branch.

cm nexus

The reason is a limitation in the media libraries of most of these devices, as well as a general lack of on-board storage in the second generation of Android hardware. Trying to bypass this could lead to a lot of undesirable issues. Here's the CyanogenMod team's official line:

The Nexus One, along with the other first generation Snapdragon devices (devices with the QSD8x50, MSM7x25, MSM7x27 and MSM7x27T SoCs), will not be supported beyond the CM 7.x (Gingerbread) branch.

We’ve been holding off on finalizing this, looking for ways that we could make this work and be happy with the release. Sadly, it never panned out, and we’ve decided that it’s time to stop our efforts.

The Nexus One in particular would have required a custom hboot to repartition the internal memory (which itself was limited to 512 MB, like most devices of that generation) and the proprietary libs available (from 2.3) would have required compromises in the CyanogenMod code that we are not willing to make. The wide variety of MSM7x2x(T) devices, on top of these problems, also have a complete lack of media libraries that are compatible with the new APIs introduced in ICS (video decoding and encoding, specifically). The pieces just aren’t there.

Does the capability to run ICS or Jellybean exist on these devices? Yes, with enough time, effort, and hacks it can be made to work. Do we feel the experience is worth all of that? No.

To measure our releases, we use the same subjective criteria as users do: “speed”, “jank”, “butter”, but also factor in user experience (UX) and other intangibles. However, beyond this is something that we can (and do) use as a ‘pass or fail’ mechanism, the Android Compatibility Test Suite. The CTS is used by device manufacturers to ensure that their changes to Android source do not break Android API, platform and other standards. This, in turn, brings stability to the Play Store for app developers. Breaking CTS would lead to a bad and inconsistent experience for app devs, which in turn would lead to a bad experience for you guys as users. If CyanogenMod was perceived to be blatantly violating CTS, developers could eventually blacklist CyanogenMod users from using their apps (or worse, Google could blacklist CyanogenMod from the Play Store altogether). No one would win by going down that path.

If, in the future, a solution is found that passes CTS, we will revisit the topic. For users that are adamant about trying to run ICS and beyond, options exist. We are not going to recommend other builds however, as they are more than likely breaking CTS, and therefore our quality assurance standards as well. You can find them if you look in the usual places.

-The CyanogenMod Team

Edit The list of affected devices are as follows: blade, bravo, bravoc, buzz, c660, click, cooper, desirec, e510, e720, es209ra, espresso, hero, heroc, inc, legend, liberty, morrisson, motus, one, p500, passion, robym, s5670, supersonic, tass, u8150, u8220, z71, zero

For those of you who don't keep your code names memorized, the affected devices are:

  • Commtiva Z71
  • Geeksphone One
  • Geeksphone Zero
  • Google Nexus One
  • HTC Aria
  • HTC Desire
  • HTC Desire CDMA
  • HTC Droid Eris
  • HTC Droid Incredible
  • HTC EVO 4G
  • HTC Hero
  • HTC Hero CDMA
  • HTC Legend
  • HTC MyTouch 3G
  • HTC Wildfire
  • HTC Tattoo
  • Huawei IDEOS
  • Huawei [T-Mobile] Pulse
  • LG Optimus Chic
  • LG Optimus One
  • LG Optimus Pro
  • LG Univa
  • Motorola Cliq
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace
  • Samsung Galaxy Mini
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
  • ZTE Blade

The move isn't altogether surprising - the CM team said before the CM9 launch that most older and single-core phones wouldn't get an official build. The good new is that most of these devices are at least two years old, so those intent upon keeping an up-to-date CyanogenMod experience are at least eligible for an upgrade. And after all, Steve Kondik and his band of merry developers have supported pretty much all of these devices long after the manufacturers and carriers have forgotten about them.

CyanogenMod - Google+

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • New_Guy

    As long as my T-Bolt isn't in that list, I'm alright =)...

    • http://profiles.google.com/flamesbladeflcl Flame Blade

      The thunderbolt never had cm official support so it will not be on that list but it will likely not be on the list for cm9 either (unless an official update eventually comes through to base it on.

      • New_Guy

        How so... The cm team has been posting its roms in rom manager for over a year. CM7.1 is in there right now. CM even mentioned that certain phones would never see 7.2 only because they are going to 9. The T-Bolt was mentioned in that list. You lost me...

        • Skylar McNeil

          With all the ril/data issues that I've heard that are going on with the Thunderbolt the only way it would see official cm9 support is if it gets its ICS OTA from HTC/Verizon, which from the rumors that I am hearing may not happen. (although seeing that the Incredible 2/S is getting ICS it would be pretty silly if the Thunderbolt didn't)

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

          The easy answer, CyanogenMod doesn't like to do Official support for a device on a specific version of Android unless there is an official release of the kernel from the OEM on that same version of Android. They aren't strict about this, as can be seen with examples like the Galaxy Tab line which got CM9. Most of the time, they can hack together pretty good drivers from other phones that use the same camera/audio/radios/etc... If that doesn't work, sometimes they can use wrapper code to get old drivers to work. In the case of the Thunderbolt (which is just a slightly upgraded version of the Desire HD/Inspire), some of the components were never used again by a device that got ICS, or they were very early iterations that had some known faults (like the LTE radio that was never completely fixed). The significantly limiting factor is that ICS changed the driver model for many components, meaning that some drivers couldn't just be tweaked to work in the new version, much like they were done in previous updates.

          All of that is a part of the reason there's a big push to get signatures on the petition for HTC to release an official Desire HD ICS update (minus Sense UI). If that update (and kernel code) come out, the original DHD and each of the carrier variants will have good ICS drivers. If those drivers come out, as far as I'm aware, the Thunderbolt should only need to get the LTE radio worked out and it will get official CM9 support.

  • Dragod

    I don't think anyone can really complain about this.

    Before my EVO 3D, I had a CDMA Hero and CM7 was pretty great. The devs, though awesome, were unable to make ICS anything but a "Look what I can do" project. It was slow as hell and 3/4 of the features didn't work. Sometimes we just need to face facts and accept that software needs the hardware to back it up and, except for a few brave souls, people aren't willing to sacrifice a majority of functionality just to say "I'm on the latest version"!

    • Simon Belmont

      I agree with you and followed the same path, phone wise. The JB ROM that is being worked on for the Hero CDMA is actually a LOT smoother than the ICS ROM (though the ICS ROM has working camera and other things that the JB ROM doesn't at the moment).

      I can only attribute that to Project Butter working its magic even on the older hardware. I understand where you're coming from, but I love watching the boundaries of older hardware being pushed and these developers seem to be up to the task.

  • Ken Masters

    Well, shit. My Evo 4G had a good run while it lasted.

    • Evan

      The unofficial CM9 build from jmz on XDA (wow, that was a jumble of acronyms) runs pretty well. There are some technical limitations (no front facing camera comes to mind) and it isn't as snappy as CM7 but if you want a solid daily driver for ICS on the Evo, I would suggest checking it out.

      Hell, you'll be making a nandroid of your current setup anyway so you can easily roll back if it isn't for you.

      • Simon Belmont

        JMZ Taylor's CM9 is a great IC ROM for the EVO 4G. I totally agree with you.

        In my experience on my wife's OG EVO, I've actually found it to be smoother than CM7.2. He's working on an unofficial CM10, that is apparently going to be even smoother since it implements Project Butter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Do/614128545 Andrew Do

    what about the infamous LG G2x?

  • Alm0s

    When the CM dev team tells us the hardware is too old for the latest release, we totally believe them. They tell us the exact problem, and a sound reasoning.

    Now, why is that when Samsung, HTC or Sony tries to tell us the same thing, it always ends up to be bullshit?

    Also, I'm really happy I bought the Galaxy S instead of the Desire :)

    • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

      That's because the CM team is not trying to sell you a new smartphone.

      • Alm0s

        Being profit oriented doesn't justify lying to your users.

        • Thomas

          The Nexus One can actually handle ICS pretty well, so i wouldn't say that performance is a big issue on the device.

          Sure load times may be longer, and it may need to kill apps more due to the higher memory overhead, but it's still pretty smooth.

          The issue as they mentioned, atleast for the Nexus One is that making an the build work requires flashing a hacked hboot image and repartition the nand before being able to flash it.

          None of that would be particularily userfriendly, and it could potentially damage the unit beyond repair.

    • warcaster

      Because the manufacturers should've been smarter about how much space they leave for future upgrades, instead of leaving their phones to run into this sort of problems later on. Both HTC and Samsung were too shortsighted to see this problem down the road, or they just didn't care/expect to upgrade them for a long time.

      • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

        This is the exact reason that I said the SGS3 (and other flagship phones) should have 1.5 or 2 GB of RAM. Buying future-proofed hardware is eventually going to catch on with people who expect to keep a device around for a long time (especially if they plan to pass it on to other people someday).

      • http://twitter.com/mxfox408 Jake Fox

        Not really, you got to understand that at the time there wasn't much needed for those devices compared to now. they where excellent product of the time, hell they still make decent mid range devices, but other than that

  • Simon Belmont

    Sad to see my Sprint HTC Hero no longer supported, but not entirely surprised. It literally went from Android 1.5 to Android 2.1 to Android to 2.2 to Android 2.3. Four major versions if you don't count that it skipped Donut (Android 1.6). There are actually still ROM developers on xda-developers working on ICS and JB ROMs which amazing for a first generation Android phone.

    I am a bit surprised that the OG EVO 4G is being removed from CM7.2+ support though. The alpha ICS and JB ROM for that phone are actually very smooth and battery efficient. All they lack is (at the moment) is front facing camera support and WiMax (though WiMax may be fixed soon). As long as the base for CM remains Gingerbread, I don't see why JB features couldn't be back-ported. CM7.2 runs great on my wife's EVO 4G. Outstanding battery life and it's super smooth. Anyway, I appreciate the CM developers for all their hard work and I respect their decision.

    • Simon Belmont

      Also, one more thing. I'm really hoping that we see official CM9 / CM10 support for the EVO 3D.

      HTC should be dropping the kernel source soon enough. It should be quite doable. Devil's Toast CM9 for the EVO 3D has nearly everything already working even with a hacked up GSM kernel. Imagine what the actual CMDA kernel source will provide.

  • http://twitter.com/ro1224 Robert Oliveira

    Much earlier I had that sinking feeling that my EVO 4G would never see CM9 and while this turned out to be reality, I'm just pleased to have reached CM7.2 on the device. I've since upgraded to a Galaxy Nexus on which I enjoy the RC2 of CM9 while anxiously awaiting CM10.

    Kudos to Kondik and team for staying true to their internal QA standards and being mindful of a need to peacefully co-exist with the Android ecosystem. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/psych2L Joseph Lee

    I blame the new mascot Cid for this lol

    • Scott

      Arghhhhhhh. Idk just wanted to say that. Good to see you on here!

  • Simon Belmont

    You know, rereading what was said above by the CM team. It looks like all of these phones will still be supported by CM7.x, for example CM7.3, when it comes out.

    "The Nexus One, along with the other first generation Snapdragon devices (devices with the QSD8x50, MSM7x25, MSM7x27 and MSM7x27T SoCs), will not be supported beyond the CM 7.x (Gingerbread) branch." See how that says "beyond the CM 7.x branch" in that paragraph? It seems like the CM team is just putting any CM9+ rumors to rest here. But, you'll still see features brought to these devices in the form of back ports from future iterations of Android, like CM7.3 may have JB features, perhaps. I could be wrong. That's just how I read it.

    • http://twitter.com/CrashSerious CrashSerious

      they have said that there will be no new 7.x releases after this one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnbenedictrobles John Benedict Robles

    they are always giving us updates before, it's about time we upgrade our phones :)

  • http://profiles.google.com/mechanizedapathy Shawn Brandel

    Time for some new phones, peeps.

    • cornandbeans

      I would like one, if there is micro SD card support and removable battery for any flagship phones (not from Samsung).

  • N1 fanatic!

    I just finished booting an alpha Jellybean CM10 port on my trusty Nexus One and the only glitch after about 15 min was the camera force closing. Not bad IMHO! CM may not officially support it but there will be Dev's who do. Not all these devices are dead yet!

    • Zakir

      Which rom are you using? Evervolv?

  • AgustinRodriguez

    Yay, no droid x on the list.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Alden/100000469737019 Christopher Alden

    Good to see that the G2/Desire Z isn't on the list. Then again, I should have guessed it wouldn't be; after all, Andromadus works fantastically on it.

    • Scott Standish-Parkin

      my feelings exactly, although I did purchase a SGS3 and gave the G2 to my fiance, it's still a great phone and shes happy with it running ICS.

  • http://twitter.com/LinkTwit Bill Pairaktaridis

    LG Optimus hub is the E510...

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angel-Hernandez/1404427127 Angel Hernandez

    And with this post I hereby turn my back on Official Cyanogen. Excuse me if some people can't afford the latest and greatest phones, I love my EVO and with the unnoficial JMZ CM9 and umcoming unofficial CM10 ports I will enjoy my phone the way I want to. Not because you don't see it being viable well I do.

  • http://twitter.com/mxfox408 Jake Fox

    Well I use an unofficial build of CM9on my HTC droid Incredible and it is awesome, aside from a few minor glitches but it works well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/safzae Safeer Ahmed