Google doesn’t consider the CDMA Samsung Galaxy Nexus a developer device anymore [Updated]

Verizon_galaxy_nexus

Well, this is a rather sad piece of news: Google has removed the CDMA Samsung Galaxy Nexus from its list of supported developer devices. 

Thousands of people had purchased the Verizon LTE variant of Google's flagship phone, but now the company that praised it so much doesn't even consider it a pure Googlephone. And really, isn't the whole point of a Nexus device to receive pure Android the way Google intended it to be? 

Google didn't stop there, either. The first line of text in that picture says, "No CDMA devices are supported." So, as you guessed, Sprint's version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4G was later pulled, followed by the Motorola XOOM (which we don't cover).

After my disappointment in Google had subsided, I realized that this is probably a more cost-effective way of helping developers make apps. The majority of cellularly-connected countries use GSM, so by getting rid of a typically American standard, Google probably will just have an easier time updating those devices in a timely and graceful manner. 

I am curious, however, how you feel about this news if you're an owner of a Verizon Galaxy Nexus? I think I would be pretty upset. 

Update: As pointed out in the comments, Google has issued a response to the news of the LTE Galaxy Nexus' removal from the list of supported developer devices. You can read the response in its entirety after the break, but essentially, CDMA devices just don't play nicely with pure Android builds. 

"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!"

[Droid-Life 1, 2]
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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts