HMD Global, the exclusive manufacturer of Nokia-branded phones, has done a pretty good job of keeping their devices up-to-date. Late last month, for instance, the company opened up the Android 8.1 beta for the Nokia 8. But this doesn't change the fact that it's been 136 days since HMD's Chief Product Officer, Juho Sarvikas, tweeted that the kernel source code for the Nokia 8 would be shared with the open-source community — and it still hasn't happened. Read More
Xiaomi's mixed record for releasing kernel sources continues, as the company has still not posted sources for the Mi A1. While Xiaomi has previously stated their internal goal for releasing kernels is "within three months," according to XDA-Developers, the Mi A1 is well past this mark, as it was released last September. With the apparent end of the Nexus device program, the Mi A1 would be a prime candidate for custom ROM development, in place of the 2+ year old Nexus 5X. Read More
The lifecycle of device modification usually goes a little like this: a phone gets released with an unlockable bootloader -> that phone's kernel source gets released -> the same phone then gets increased developer attention resulting in custom kernels and ROMs. Today the Razer Phone has hit that intermediate milestone, and the source code for its kernel has been released to the public as per the terms of the GPL. Read More
Essential, the tech startup by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, released its first phone back in August. There has been exactly zero ROM development for the PH-1, but part of that is because Essential had yet to release the phone's kernel source code. Just over a month since it started shipping to customers, the PH-1's kernel source is now available to download. Read More
It's always nice to see companies respect the GPL, which requires OEMs to release the kernel source code for phones they create. HTC is usually pretty good about releasing source code for new devices in a timely manner, and to that end, the company has uploaded the U11's kernel code to its website. Read More
Last year, Motorola skipped on updating the Moto X line of devices, in favor of introducing the Moto Z. The device's main selling point was 'Moto Mods,' modules the user can hotswap to add functionality. Unfortunately, the expensive cost of both the device and the Moto Mods, as well as the lack of a headphone jack and short battery life, led it to fall below expectations. Read More
Last week we heard a rumor that Android 3.2 could be rolling out to the Motorola XOOM "within days," and it looks like that claim may have been realized starting today. According to Droid-Life, the update is rolling out in small batches at the moment and, along with the nifty new zoom feature, brings the long-awaited support for SD Cards. Other than that, it appears that this is more of a maintenance update, as the other features of 3.2 don't really apply to the XOOM.
In similar news, Google released the GPL portions of the Android 3.2 source code today. Read More
Update: Linux devs are not happy about this.
Update #2: And just like that, only a few hours after this article, HTC released the Thunderbolt kernel source.
If you've been following the "drama" around Android kernel source release timelines and device manufacturers (such as HTC), you should be already aware of 2 forces pushing in opposite directions:
- On one side, we have the Android community, which maintains that according to GPLv2, Android kernel sources need to be published together with a given device release. Since Android kernel sources are essential to custom ROM development, it is clearly in the interest of the community to see them released sooner rather than later.