As the latest update to Android looms ever closer, we've got our eyes peeled for anything that may hint at what's to come. While most of that information comes to us through leaks or hidden surprises, sometimes it will try to hide in plain sight. Over the last few weeks, an increasing number of code commits have been made to the android-3.10 branch of the kernel/common project. As you might be able to guess from the names, kernel/common is the codebase from which every device kernel is eventually derived.
Sony's Xperia Z1 (nee "Honami") made a bit of a splash at IFA in Berlin a few weeks ago. The phone's focus on high-quality imaging via a 20.1 megapixel camera, combined with the undeniably slick high-end industrial design that Sony has been putting out for the last few years, has already earned it a few fans. As usual, Sony has posted the required open-source kernel files for the new device to their developer website, this time before the hardware is actually available for purchase.
Say what you will about Samsung (and we do - it's pretty much our job) but they don't mess around when it comes to timely source code availability. The company just posted the kernel source code for the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, even though it hasn't been released yet. In fact, to our knowledge Samsung hasn't said where or when you can expect to see the shiny new tablet, or for how much.
As Motorola's first phone developed start to finish under Google's corporate umbrella, the Moto X is getting more than a little attention from developers, modders, and ROM enthusiasts. They'll be happy to know that the kernel source code for various models of the Moto X are now available on SourceForge. Kernel code is available for three models: AT&T (XT1058), T-Mobile (XT1053), and Sprint (XT1056).
The choice of models is a bit surprising, since there's still no word of when Sprint will start selling its version of the Moto X, though they've had a sign-up page for weeks.
If you're a heavy custom ROM user or a dedicated modder, you want this app. Flashify is a brand-spankin' new tool for root users with a ton of advanced function, specifically tailored to those who use custom recoveries, kernels, and boot images. The app can flash any of them right from Android, automatically rebooting your phone and applying your changes. It can do the same with more generalized Zip update files as well.
Kernel source code is an important part of a ROM developer's everyday life. It's what enables them to bring new features to your favorite device. What gives them with the opportunity to improve battery life, overclock (underclock) the processor, and so much more. For the average Joe, it's no big deal; for developers, however, it's a valuable asset.
Today, Samsung has made available the kernel source code for some of its new LTE devices: the Galaxy S 4 Active on AT&T and Note 8.0 LTE.
Having been announced just a handful of days ago (on the third), the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0's 7.4mm chassis has just barely rolled out of the factory, but – in keeping with old habits – Samsung has already posted up the open source code for the eight-inch tab's kernel. This, by the way, comes just over two weeks after kernel source code for the Tab 3 7.0 dropped.
It's that time again: the software engineers at Samsung are on an open-source bender, and they won't stop until every last Galaxy phone has been served. Today Samsung posted kernel files for some big (as in widely-used) devices, and some not-so-big (but still actually pretty big) devices. Verizon's version of the Galaxy S4, the vanilla Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, the Galaxy Mega 5.8 Duos, and the GSM version of the Galaxy Mega 6.3 all have kernel source code posted at Samsung's open source repository.
Since their announcement last month, we haven't heard too much about the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3 (barring rumors of a delayed release). That doesn't mean Samsung plans on breaking its pattern of timely (or early, depending on your perspective) kernel source code releases. Keeping with form, Samsung has released kernel source for the 6.3" Mega's I9205 (LTE) variant.
There's no sign of the Mega's I9200 version (or the Mega 5.8) just yet, but given Samsung's track record, we can expect it any time now.
Note from Artem: The post's author, Justin Case, also known as jcase in the Android community, is an xda Elite Recognized Developer, AP team member, and an all-around knowledgeable guy when it comes to Android's internals. When he speaks, I tend to listen.
The Android world was slapped in the face when well-known developer AndreiLux made a post in the XDA Galaxy S4 forum titled [Info] Rooting will be impossible on newer stock kernels.