For those of you who don’t know Google dropped official “developer device” support for the CDMA (Verizon) version of the Galaxy Nexus last week. While a statement was released explaining why, it apparently required further explanation as it wasn’t officially explained in full as to what this drop actually meant. So without futher hesitation here is what the official Google Group’s post has to say:
“Hi, all! Thanks for all the questions. Here’s a quick omnibus to answer the questions folks have asked…
First, just to be clear this change is only related to AOSP support for these devices — that is, personal custom builds. These are obviously still officially-supported Nexus devices for everyday use, they will receive official software updates, and so on. Similarly, these are still fully-supported development devices for app developers.
Second, as I noted at the top of the thread, Nexus devices will still have unlocked bootloaders, and we’ll continue to make available as many of the closed-source binaries as we can. CDMA support in AOSP has always been more challenging than GSM, and this change is a reflection of that reality.
On that topic, here’s a quick clarification on the core issue. Every device has a number of closed-source software packages included on it. Though Google distributes some of these binaries for Nexus devices for use with AOSP, Google does not own the software. Rather, this software is variously owned by the device manufacturer, the carrier, and their suppliers. We try to get distribution rights for as many of these binaries as possible, but in some cases it is difficult or impossible to obtain these rights. (CDMA specifically has a tricky history of intellectual property.) Combined with the technical issues of needing to sign the apks correctly, this has prevented us from obtaining the distribution rights we need to support these devices in AOSP.
Finally, we will of course continue to work on improving support. If we can resolve these issues, we’ll certainly restore CDMA support to AOSP. In the meantime, we’ve updated our docs to be more accurate about the degree of support.”
For those of you worried that custom ROMs won’t work or that development has been halted this is simply not true. Usually developers take the time to pull the CDMA binaries straight from the device at hand. Even with Google not distributing them this should not be an issue. Given that Google doesn’t have license to use the binaries they can’t fully come out and say that the device is supported. The device will still get timely updates and is officially supported for every day use. Also it will come with an unlockable bootloader so it is still very much a Nexus device. If you want the technical break down you can also check out the link below. While some may still cry foul I feel that this can help the rest us breathe a sigh of relief. What do you think?