Feeds

Google limits Android support for CDMA phones

Android power users may face hobbled handsets

High performance access to file storage

Google is dropping full support for CDMA handsets running Android, leaving millions of customers wondering if their phones and tablets will be able to cope.

Last Friday, Google posted a message on Google Groups to say that in the future, the Chocolate Factory wouldn’t provide full support for CDMA devices, such as those supported by Verizon – and, presumably, China Telecom and other CDMA-system users. It also amended the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) website

“For various technical reasons, recent CDMA Android devices implement core telephony functionality in .apk files provided in binary form by the carriers,” said the posting. “To function correctly, these .apk files must be signed by the so-called 'platform' key. However, when an individual creates a custom build from the AOSP source code, they don't use the same signing key as these CDMA flies were signed with. The result is that these files don't work properly, and pure AOSP builds running on these devices can't place calls, access mobile data, and so on. “

The news caused a storm of protest among users concerned that their handsets, like the recently launched Samsuing Galaxy Nexus, would no longer be supported. Many suggested this was a result of Google’s ongoing spat with Verizon over the Google Wallet payment system. On Monday, however, Google clarified its position, saying that there was no need for panic: mainstream devices would still be supported, just not custom builds.

“Just to be clear this change is only related to AOSP support for these devices – that is, personal custom builds,” said a new posting from Android engineer Dan Morrill. “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.”

While this answer will reassure many, there are still questions over the issues that linger, particularly for Android power users who are looking to customize their own handsets. There's also uncertainty about what this new policy might mean for CDMA users of Android worldwide, and if other devices such as tablets running Android will be effected.

El Reg contacted Google for clarification, but no answer has yet been received. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.