Getting the kernel source code for devices is something of a right of passage for new Android phones. In the United States and other parts of the world with heavy smartphone penetration, the focus is on the big, flashy flagship models - the sooner the kernels are published, the sooner those ROM makers can get cracking on custom ROMs and kernels. But considering the immediate response that Google's Android One program has received, I think those phones may turn out to be some of the most popular ROM recipients around.
The hype machine for the OnePlus One continues to accelerate, and since part of its charm is that it runs a customized version of CyanogenMod, it's only natural that the creators are quick to release the necessary source code. While the device and build repositories for the phone's unique "11S" ROM aren't available yet, you can download the kernel source code here. Talented ROM developers should now be able to build a standard AOSP or CyanogenMod release.
The Moto E is Motorola's bid to dominate the low-end and developing markets, but that doesn't mean it's not worthy of attention from developers. As always with new Android phones, Motorola has posted the kernel source code for developers (and anyone else who wants to mess with it) at their official GitHub page.
The company also posted the updated source code for the RAZR M and RAZR HD (the international GSM variants of the Verizon-exclusive DROID RAZR M and DROID RAZR HD).
HTC has just uploaded the open source bits for several variants of the new HTC One M8. Available for download right now is the Android 4.4.2 kernel source for the Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and Optus (an Aussie carrier) versions of the device.
The Google Play Edition kernel source that was posted then yanked by HTC a few days ago is still no where to be found. Update: The GPE sources are back as well.
Update: HTC has pulled down the kernel source and framework files for the time being. The reason is unclear. Perhaps they were posted early, but we'll keep an eye on them. You can grab the kernel source from this rehosted link and framework files from this one for now.
We're still a few weeks away from the ship date for the HTC One M8 Google Play Edition, but the kernel source is just a click away.
Samsung has updated its open source pages with kernel source for the Sprint version of the Galaxy Note 3, but this isn't just any update. You can now download the long-awaited KitKat source for Samsung's phablet on Sprint. If we take a lesson from recent history, the OTA could be announced as soon as tomorrow.
While no US carrier-branded variants of the Galaxy S4 have received an official update to Android 4.4/KitKat yet, Samsung has dropped the KitKat kernel source for the Sprint's model. While that by itself is really only of interest to developers, its implications will matter to a much larger audience. Generally, Samsung does not release kernel source for builds that aren't official. Historically, once source code is made available, official OTA updates follow in reasonably short order.
You can't just run down to the corner (or Amazon) and pick up one of Samsung's new Pro tablets, but the source code is already posted for a number of these devices. Samsung's open source site now lists KitKat downloads for two versions of the TabPRO 10.1 (its first appearance), as well as some new variants of the NotePro 12.2.
The new Samsung Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 might be really expensive, but you know what isn't? The kernel source. That's available for download on Samsung's open source site right this minute.