Although Motorola has been slow to roll out Android 10 to most of its devices globally, the company is at least keeping developers happy with steady kernel source releases. Over the past few weeks, Motorola has released updated source code packages for most of its phones, accelerating the creation of custom ROMs and recovery partitions.
Though stable Android 11 builds haven't yet arrived for the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro — they're still on Android 11 DP4 — OnePlus has already gone ahead and published the Android 11 kernel source. This means that developers can get a small head start on custom software like ROMs and recoveries.
After much anticipation, Microsoft launched its very first Android device last month. In Corbin's review, he called it a phone for enthusiasts, and that's something Microsoft seems to be embracing. Microsoft has released the Surface Duo's kernel source, which will assist third-party developers in building custom ROMs and kernels for the unique device.
Asus revealed the Zenfone 7 and 7 Pro last month, following months of rumors and speculation. If you don't plan on sticking with the stock ROM, Asus has now released the bootloader unlock tool for both phones, as well as kernel source code packages for developers to try out.
Customizability has always been a key component of Android, with third-party developers being able to modify and create their own tweaked builds of the software. When companies release the kernel source for their devices, it makes this process much easier. Motorola may not have the best reputation when it comes to software updates, but it's usually pretty good about releasing this low-level code, and it's doing so now with the Motorola One Fusion+, Motorola Edge, and Moto G7 Power Android 10 kernel sources.
The license for the Linux kernel at the heart of Android requires that any changes, including modifications by device manufacturers, need to be publicly available. Some companies are faster to release their changes than others, but after only a few weeks on the market, kernel source packages for the OnePlus 8 series is now available.
The Motorola One Power was one of the first of the company's phones to get Android 10. If custom ROMs are more your style, Motorola has now released the kernel source code for the Android 10 update, making it easier for developers to create ROMs and recoveries based on Android 10.
LG has published the kernel source for its latest smartphone, the V60 ThinQ. The code is available for two variants of the device: LMV600N and LMV600NO. The phone was released with LG's skinned version of Android 10.
Android is built on top of the Linux kernel, but it has always used a heavily-modified version with changes from OEMs, chip manufacturers like Qualcomm and MediaTek, and Google. There have been efforts over the years to close the gap between the two kernels, but now Google is getting more serious about it.