Chinese OEM Xiaomi has a poor reputation when it comes to OS updates and the timely release of kernel source code. It took a Twitter backlash and criticism from several tech blogs to get the company to finally release the Nougat source code for the Android One-toting Mi A1. A similarly lengthy wait had to be endured before the Oreo code was provided last month. Xiaomi has now stated its intention (again) to release kernel source code within three months of a device's launch.
As the Android operating system is built on a modified version of the Linux kernel, it's subject to the General Public License v2 (GPLv2). This means that anyone who uses and modifies the code has to release it to the public, for the good of the open source community. A number of Android device manufacturers have been slow to comply with the license terms, but Xiaomi's dithering has been particularly noticeable given its Android One partnership.
A three-month release window has been stated by Xiaomi before, although it has only ever been an internal goal up to now. In a statement given to XDA developers, a company spokesperson has reiterated its aim to "release the kernel source of a device within three months after its launch." Xiaomi also provided lists confirming which of its phones it had released the source code for and which it had not. Sadly, there were a number of recent devices on the "not yet" list, so let's hope Xiaomi sticks to this latest commitment for new models going forward.
- XDA Developers