Feeds

Google limits Android support for CDMA phones

Android power users may face hobbled handsets

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.