A happy bit of news today from Android developer Jean-Baptiste Queru, the CDMA variant of the Nexus S (more commonly known as the Nexus S 4G) has officially been reinstated as fully supported by the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
Readers may recall that there was a bit of a stir in February when it was announced the CDMA versions of the Nexus devices, including the Galaxy Nexus (currently only available as a CDMA device in the US) were no longer being supported by AOSP. This didn’t mean those devices were no longer going to be getting updates from Google, but rather, that they required proprietary software modules which couldn’t be distributed with the open source code that makes up Android. This posed considerable logistical problems when building and distributing firmware images for those devices, so the decision was made to drop them.
But in today’s posting, Jean-Baptiste Queru made the somewhat unexpected announcement that those problems had been resolved for the Nexus S 4G:
We’ve been able to resolve the issues around Nexus S 4G, and we can
now properly distribute its CDMA and WiMAX binaries. That allows Nexus
S 4G to work with AOSP just as well as Nexus S.
As a result, we now consider Nexus S 4G to be fully supported in AOSP,
with no restrictions.
With the news that the logistical issues of the Nexus S 4G CDMA and WiMAX binaries have been sorted out, the next logical step is to bring the top of the line CDMA Galaxy Nexus back into the warm embrace of AOSP.
Unfortunately, it looks like things might not be quite as clear cut for Google’s flashship device. Jean-Baptiste Queru made the following comment on the issue of whether or not the CDMA Galaxy Nexus will ever be fully supported by AOSP again:
It’s hard to tell. For toro (i.e. the VZW Galaxy Nexus), there are
really 3 aspects at play here:
-What we’ve just done for Nexus S 4G is good news: it shows that we’re
equipped to handle proprietary APKs for AOSP, and that’s a big step
-The next step for toro would be to check that we (Google) have the
rights to distribute all the necessary files for CDMA/LTE.
-The difficulty is that even if we bring toro on par with maguro,
we’re still left with a build where the camera, GPS and NFC are
broken, so the result is still not satisfactory. It’s hard to justify
putting much effort into it if I know that the result won’t be good
enough to be usable as a daily phone.
So while the latest bit of news is a good sign, it unfortunately doesn’t guarantee we’ll be seeing a similar turn of events for the Galaxy Nexus anytime soon.