Recently, Samsung has received a lot of criticism from the Android modding community and developers for the relatively closed source nature of its Exynos platform. The Exynos platform powers all the high-end products from Samsung including the Galaxy S3 and the Note 2, and the closed source nature of the platform hinders development for these devices.
After a lot of complaints and negative feedback, Samsung promised that it is looking into the situation of open-sourcing its Exynos platform.
Today, the company announced via its Twitter account that it will be open-sourcing the “integrated source code” of its Exynos 4 family of processors by the end of 2012. The company will also setup a git server which will be available to the public by November 2012.
Don’t jump to any conclusions and start praising Samsung here. The company will only be open-sourcing the source code for its OrigenBoard development board. The problem is that CyanogenMod developers still need the source code for other parts of the phone such as the Yamaha audio chip on the Galaxy S2, the Camera on the S3 and more to get a stable AOSP ROM on the S3 and the S2.
Until and unless Samsung open-sources or release AOSP compatible binaries for other closed source parts used on its handsets, getting a stable AOSP ROM on Exynos powered Samsung devices is going to be quite a challenge for developers.
While everyone with an Android phone is waiting for Jelly Bean to arrive on their phone, either via a custom ROM or right from their OEM, the CM team has silently rolled out CM9 RC2, which is based on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, for all its supported devices.
The CM team had released the first release candidate of CM9 late last month, which supported more than 50 devices. With CM9 RC2, the team has managed to add suport for a bunch of more devices including all the variants of the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, AT&T Galaxy S2/Skyrocket, T-Mobile Galaxy S2 (Hercules), AT&T Galaxy Note and the international Galaxy S III (I9300).
The RC2 build of CM9 does not contain any new features or major changes. It does, however, contain some bug-fixes and updated translations. CM9 RC2 paves the path to the final version of CM9 which is “just around the corner”. The CM9 RC2 builds for various devices can be downloaded from get.cm.
After rolling out RC2 for CM7.2 based on Android 2.3.7 a month ago, and nearly CM7.2 RC1 nearly three months ago, the CM team today has finally released the final version of CM7.2 for a bunch of Android devices. Compared to the last two RC releases, the final version of CM7.2 does not contain any new features. It mainly consists of bug fixes, and some stability and performance improvement. Some of these bugs have been plaguing quite a few Android handsets for a long time now including the popular ringtone disappearing from SD card issue.
Apart from this, the final version of CM7.2 brings support for tons of new handsets including Samsung Galaxy Ace, Mini, Motorola Atrix, Sony Ericsson Xperia Live, Pro, Active and more. While the development pace for CM7.2 did slow down heavily, the CM team made up for it by back porting some features from CM9 to CM7.2 including Smart Dialing, and ICS like animations. The whole change-log for the update can be found here.
Going forward, CM7.2 is going to be the last release for quite a few handsets that can perfectly run Ice Cream Sandwich including the Nexus S and Galaxy S II. However, development as a whole for CM7.2 won’t stop as the developers will keep on trying to support as many devices as possible and fix any new bugs they come across.