30/12/2014

Xiaomi to release Redmi 1S kernel source on December 31st; custom roms development to prosper

Xiaomi had promised to release the kernel source of the Redmi 1s when the phone was initially launched in India. Looks like it has decided to live up to its promise and as an end-year gift, will be releasing the Redmi 1S kernel source on the last day of the year i.e. 31st December, 2014.

Donovan Sung, Director of Product Management at Xiaomi Global, took to the MiUi forums to announce that the kernel source will arrive on the aforementioned date. Xiaomi had earlier told the eager Redmi 1S development community that its kernel source will be released in December 2014, while that for Mi3 will come at some point in Q1 2015. While Mr. Sung has apologized for the delay in releasing the kernel source, Xiaomi is actually completing its promise in time, as December 31st is technically still December 2014. Many companies, like HTC, Sony, Motorola and Nexus devices etc. release their kernel source at the launch of a device itself, giving the developers a push to develop for that device. So it may be that Donovan realized that though Xiaomi is releasing the kernel source within the timeframe it had promised, it is still lagging behind times when compared to many others.

To those not aware of what a kernel source for a device means, and how it can benefit the end user, all Android devices run on a modified Linux kernel. A kernel is the innermost layer of an operating system, while the user interface i.e. everything we interact with, on any computer/smartphone. In layman terms, the kernel source has the code which can help a developer change the way the software works with the hardware. If a particular custom rom has some bug interacting with the hardware, having the kernel source can help the developer rectify it. For instance, there is a Lollipop based Mokee rom for Redmi 1S already available, but it has a major bug - the sim cards don't work. Once the kernel source releases, the developer should be able to solve this issue, thus providing us Lollipop sweetness months before Xiaomi officially releases it for the Redmi 1s (if it ever does).

Kernel source will also let developers build custom kernels, and tweak the way the phone manages memory, allocates the processor, handles multitasking and more.

All in all, if you are a Redmi 1S user, or are planning to buy one in any upcoming sales, this should be a welcome news to you.
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