[UPDATE: Google responds] Verizon Galaxy Nexus, other CDMA devices, no longer listed with Google developer support

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.

[via DroidLife]

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  • Adam Truelove

    Just because they have removed developer support, doesn’t mean they’ve stopped supporting the Verizon Galaxy Nexus.

  • Jason Purp

    The only developer support we need is that of those on RootzWiki, and we still have it.

    • Adam Truelove

      Most people (like me) only care about update support, not developer support. I don’t plan to ever root my phone as long as I get prompt updates from Verizon/Google.  The day they drop update support (assuming I don’t have a new phone by then) I will mess with ROMs.

      • TRENT_PALMER

        If you have not fastboot oem unlocked it, you’re holding it wrong.

        • Jason Purp

          Exactly. You’re gonna do it eventually; might as well get it over with from the start. That’s what I did, and I decided to mess with ROMs about 2 days later.

      • Jason Purp

        Well you don’t have to worry then, because developer support is in jeopardy, and not update support.

  • Redhillblood357

    I hope Google still pushes updates to the verizon galaxy nexus if not this would absolutely suck

  • GawkerRedesignSucks

    EFF

    THAT!

    I wait all this time for VZW to get a Nexus device and when they finally do, Google drops it like a bad habit!?  WTH!?!

  • http://twitter.com/pof Pau Oliva

    Official update from Dan Morrill on the issue: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/android-contrib/phz3S5ZdveU

  • JulianZHuang

    Even google cant fix the galaxy nexus haha. I should have waited…now i am stuck with a sgn….

    • Scott Norcross

      Fix the nexus? What’s wrong with the galaxy nexus?

      • http://twitter.com/nerdstaz Drew Walters

        a lot. DTMF. Muted 1 way calls. Camera….I am trying to be a lover but…

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NMLBXRAGSUQCJDM3RCZIMAU3IA Larry

          I dont have DTMF or muted call problems. My camera works great as well, but they are not always in focus I shoot from the hip. You should reset your phone or replace it.

    • Guest

      :)  No you have been samsunged.  You should have known when “galaxy” was listed first in front of “nexus”.    Oh well, live and learn.

  • Covert_Death

    i DO blame Verizon partially, they want to have everything there way and not Google’s way and that i what leads to this i believe. now as far as sprints S 4g i think its the same thing, only on the hardware, sprint allowed stock from the get go with no interference but it required a CDMA chip to run, which from Google’s side makes things slightly more complicated. i think they are simply picking the easiest SINGLE device from each generation to support as dev devices. in this case, GSM phones and WiFi tablets make the most sense

  • TheScientists

    @ Krause:  See this from Dan Morril ->  
    https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/android-contrib/phz3S5ZdveU
    “Hello! This is a quick clarification about support for CDMA devices.For various technical reasons, recent CDMA Android devices implement core telephony functionality in .apk files provided in binary form by the carriers. 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. Because we aim to make sure that we are as clear as possible about the degree of support that devices have, we updated the docs over at source.android.com to reflect this reality.We will still make available as many as possible of the closed-source binaries for these devices, and Nexus devices will continue to have unlockable bootloaders. And, of course, GSM/HSPA+ devices are still supported, as are any other devices we’re able to support. We’ve simply updated the documentation to be clearer about the current extent of CDMA support.We are of course always working to improve support, and we’ll keep everyone updated as we make improvements. Thanks as always for your interest in AOSP!- Dan”

  • Mike in NJ

    This smells REALLY bad! Google, please explain! Only developers with good GSM service get support? WTF?

  • http://twitter.com/PhaseBurn PhaseBurn
  • Loren Cogar

    Geez people stop jumping to crazy conclusions!  Read the freakin clarification by google.

  • JBrowne1012

    So America now doesn’t have the latest developer device from google? Yeah goog you should have stayed with GSM and cut the carrier branding like you planned with the first nexus.

  • http://twitter.com/nerdstaz Drew Walters

    So, for us upcoming developers….how is Google going to respond to taking our < 60 day old device and just axing it at the hips when we are "stuck" with it two years?

  • Aaron soles

    Be nice to have htc make a nexus device again. I like htc sense but I think a nexus device would be great for them

  • scuttlefield

    I’m really wondering right now why there hasn’t been an official US version of the GSM Galaxy Nexus released. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

  • Brian S.

    cdma has its advantages but i just cant bring myself to switch to cdma no matter how much i hate att. and since tmobile is going to be in my area now – no way. verizon should think about their future with cdma – NOW.

    i never knew that there was a compiling issue on cdma phones though but that does give them another huge disadvantage. i get that most ppl probably dont see this but this is a pretty big deal.

  • AnjunaSpeak

    At this point I’m soooo glad I bought the wifi Xoom. I do blame verizon for a lot, but I only have to deal with the service. Not their bloatware (thanks to the rooting community) and all the propriety that they think they deserve! Thank you Google for keeping the Xoom (wingray) in your sites! At least I didn’t get $am$unged! I love you Motorola!

    • Tim242

      You obviously have no.clue what you are talking.about. This has nothing to do with Verizon specifically. It has to do with.CDMA radios. Nothing has really changed. Updates will still come, ROMs will still be built.

  • elarella

    I always knew that VZW getting a Nexus device isn’t a good thing.

  • Joe Olesweski

    Long live the T-Mo GSM Nexus!  My phone RULES! 

  • jawman

    More fragmentation?

    • aiden9

      Lower reading comprehension? 

  • dara_parsavand

    CDMA has some interesting technical advantages over GSM, the main one being able to take advantage of the fact that when you aren’t talking, your transmission is suppressed and this frees the network a bit.  But overall, I think it was a big mistake to roll out these networks when the world standard (GSM) worked well enough.  CDMA should have stayed in the labs until it was accepted for worldwide adoption (I’ve lost track, but I think it is part of several upcoming standards).  I so wish the US had a single standard and a single phone could move from carrier to carrier easily and then this story would be a non story (which some people claim it is anyway).

  • Aeires

    Now if only US carriers would drop CDMA and get with the rest of the world.  

    • lynyrd65

      It’s happening, They are all (save T-mo) switching to LTE Data and VoLte Voice.

      You can sim swap with LTE.

  • nleksan

    I have had my Galaxy Nexus since December 15th, 2011 (9:08AM EST), and I spent the months leading up to the release reading everything I could, every day, to make sure I wouldn’t miss out on what seemed to be the ONLY phone known of that had the potential to viably last two years, until the next “upgrade” was bestowed upon me by the almighty Big Red, without becoming so quickly outdated like so many phones do (most phones from a year ago don’t mean anything anymore; yet, there are some stand-outs… the 2yr-old Droid1, the HTC-something(incredible?), the Nexus One, and the Nexus S).  I had an OG Droid since its launch, and while it was no longer able to keep up, it did do most of what I asked of it (albeit slowly).

    The Nexus was released, and I got my Unlimited Data grandfathered-in so now I have a wicked-fast phone with a huge 4.65″ AMOLED 720p screen, UNLIMITED 4G DATA, WiFi N support, AND THE OEM VERSION OF ANDROID 4.0!!

    However, it’s not without it’s negatives.  Here are the pros and cons, in my experience.
    PROS:
    + Super fast, smooth, powerful CPU/GPU combination
    + ICS is amazing in so many ways
    + 4G is ridiculously fast when in a good area (I’ve gotten over 30MBs down and 15MBs up), and WiFi range is excellent for a phone
    + Screen, well, it’s just plain GORGEOUS; I can watch HD movies/tv, browse the web, whatever, for hours without any eyestrain whatsoever; also, I happen to like the AMOLED screen because it is vibrant, extremely clear, visible in sunlight, etc; it only has the “rainbow” effect if I have lots of finger smudges on my phone, and I could care less about “PenTile vs RGB” when it has over 310ppi!!

    CONS:
    – KEEP AWAKE BUG; ridiculous that my screen is on 1hr20min yet my “Keep Awake” time is 3hr32min… WTF?
    – BATTERY LIFE IS HORRIBLE, I am lucky to get 10hrs of moderate use before needing to plug it in, thus I have to carry my charger and a car adapter with me everywhere I go (they should have come out with a new kind of battery for this new-kind-of-phone; a 7,840mAh Li-On+ the same size as the current battery would make this phone truly unbeatable
    – Verizon being a bunch of dicks and not letting it shine 100% (“enable/disable” instead of REMOVE for the VZW bloat bullcrap programs, although there are only 3 of them)
    – BETTER SIGNAL RETENTION

    Overall, pro’s outweigh the cons