UPDATE: The Android Team’s Dan Morrill has posted an explanation for the removal of the Galaxy Nexus and other CDMA devices from the official developer support page. This has nothing to do with Google Wallet (we never thought it did) and everything to do with the way the Android code is compiled for CDMA devices. In short, if a dev were to simply compile the pure AOSP source code for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus the build would be lacking in full telephony functionality. Google still plans to support the devices directly via software updates.
A quick visit to the Android developer support page reveals some startling news. It appears as if Google is dropping the “developer device” tag of once-listed CDMA models. The Samsung Nexus S 4G, Verizon’s Motorola XOOM, and even the LTE Galaxy Nexus have disappeared from the site, leaving us with a note explaining exactly which versions of these devices will be supported moving forward. For the XOOM, only the “wingray” WiFi-only version of the slate gets developer designation. The GSM “crespo” version of the Nexus S also retains support. For the Galaxy Nexus, the GSM/HSPA+ “maguro” build is supported, but only if it originally shipped with the “yakju” build of Android 4.0.
We can speculate as to exactly why Google has decided against the inclusion of CDMA developer devices, but the fact that Sprint’s Nexus S 4G didn’t make the cut should silence those ready to blame Verizon and Google’s past disagreements about Google Wallet. In reality, Google is likely looking to simply streamline support and GSM tends to be the more global-ready network technology. CDMA devices function on a very limited portion of the globe’s cellular networks (despite Verizon and Sprint, two of the world’s largest carriers, both utilizing CDMA).
Does the removal of these devices from the developer support page mean they won’t be treated to the quick Android software version updates typically associated with the Nexus line? We get the feeling OS updates will still reach these devices just as quickly, if only due to their stock user interfaces. It’s hard to imagine Google neglecting any member of their Nexus family, lest they want to send mixed signals. And we’re not looking to have our hearts toyed with like that.