open source

Samsung releases Galaxy S II ICS source code

Good news, open source enthusiasts: as they've done with pretty much every one of the Android phones and updates, Samsung has posted the open source code for the Ice Cream Sandwich version of the Galaxy S II's operating system. While the update itself is only available in Europe and South Korea, any international version of the i9100 can apply it, and with the open source code ROM builders and other modders will be able to do more advanced ports and advanced ROMs.

Onskreen Cornerstone brings windowed apps to Android tablets

Tablets are big. Smartphone apps are small. This would seem to present an obvious answer to the many, many Android apps that scale up to massive resolutions instead of adjusting their total user interface Ice Cream Sandwich-style. But no, apps form unconcerned or merely oblivious developers continue to scale up, as if someone ran over an Android smartphone with a steamroller. Enter Cornerstone, a method for managing windows of apps on Android, jut like on Linux, OS X and, uh, Windows.

Google clarifies CDMA debacle: still supporting developer phones, not publishing AOSP code

After a firestorm of controversy late last week, Google, Verizon and a lot of others caught flack for apparently abandoning support of the CDMA flavors of its developer devices: the Galaxy Nexus and Motorola XOOM on Verizon, as well as the older Nexus S 4G. After the devices disappeared from the listings on the Android.com developer portal. The only thing remaining for any CDMA device is the early builds for the Galaxy Nexus, and those are marked  as "for reference only". This led to speculation that Google had halted support for said devices, and in a way, they have.

Chinese OEM Xiaomi publishes MIUI open source code

A lot of you are familiar with MIUI, a family of community-authored custom ROMs that's popular with modders due to its heavily altered user interface. The project notably became the very first custom ROM to be features on a retail device, namely Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi's MI-One. Now the company has published the source code for the latest MIUI ROM, including several applications that were previously closed-source. Developers can download the code from Github and compile or kang to your heart's content.

Google ends full support for CDMA devices, including Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus

Disturbing news from the official Android developer website: it appears that nearly all reference to CDMA phones and tablets has disappeared from the official documentation. This includes Android source code and factory ROMs for Verizon's CDMA version of the Galaxy Nexus and Motorola XOOM, as well as the Nexus S 4G. What this implies (and only implies) is that Google is no longer providing official updates for the removed devices, as is generally expected of "developer" hardware. The GSM Nexus S and WiFi-only Motorola XOOM are still present, as are the two initial images for the Galaxy Nexus CDMA/LTE, though these are marked as "archived, for reference only".

US Government claims that secure Android phones can be updated in just 2 weeks

Anybody who's bought an expensive Android phone in the last couple of years can probably commiserate with all those waiting months and months for an official update. Many times users root and install custom ROMs not out of any particular desire to mod, but just to get the features in the current version of Android. US Government officials made a bold claim on CNN this morning, saying that they can send out major software updates to their secure Android-based phones in just two weeks, side-stepping both manufacturers and carriers to deliver updated code based on Android's open-source releases.

Google CEO claims Android still doesn’t make much money

Despite objections from certain multi-national software conglomerates, Google claimed in its latest quarterly report that Android still isn't making much money - or at least not as much as it could. While Android is reaching towards 50% smartphone market share in nearly every world market, Google CEO Larry Page said that it still has a long way to go. " We are in the early stages of monetization for a number of our new products, and Android is one of those."

Dear Google: Android deserves a Nexus Certification Program

If Verizon's ridiculous handling of the Galaxy Nexus US launch has taught us anything, it's that the carriers are still firmly in control of the mobile world, at least in the United States. While there's no confirmation, strong evidence indicates that Verizon's desire for a carrier-controlled NFC payment system, which isn't even anywhere near launching, caused weeks and weeks of delays. Consumers in Google's own country stewed while seemingly everyone else in the world got a hold of the very first Android 4.0 hardware. All we could do was cry foul until the release, something that a few of Google's top brass must have been doing as well.

CyanogenMod for the HP TouchPad reaches Alpha 3.5, delivers better gaming performance

Most of the excitement in the custom ROM world is circling around Ice Cream Sandwich at the moment, but we haven't forgotten about the best tablet deal of the year. In the latest incremental update to the HP TouchPad version of popular custom ROM CyanogenMod 7.2, the team has focused on UI and gaming improvements, allowing the TouchPad to be at least as capable at 3D gaming as a modern mid-range Android smartphone. Alpha version 3.5 is available for download at RootzWiki now.

Android is the most closed open source OS, say analysts

Google gets a lot of praise for bringing open source to the masses with Android, and a lot of flack for some of its more closed-off activities. On a technical level the company complies with the fundamental principles of open source software, but not always in the way that FOSS proponents would like. A perfect example is Android 3.0 Honeycomb, which never saw an open source release until version 4 was already available. These tendencies and more technical details led VisionMobile to rank it the "most closed" open source OS among a field of the most popular examples.
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