New Delhi: Just a few days after Samsung launched their long awaited smartphone, the Galaxy S III, they've gone ahead and released the source for the Android 4.0 OS being used on the device. The phone comes pre-installed with ICS but it's not one of the first smartphones to have it.
However, the fact that developers can download the source code and modify it to their liking is an interesting thing. Samsung has recently been known to get closer to the developer community.
Sometime last year, Samsung decided to gift the CyanogenMod team some four Galaxy S II phones without any charge. CyanogenMod is a popular Android ROM developing team that makes customised ROMs for phones and tablets. They are particularly popular because they are able to deliver latest Android updates to phones that don't have official updates available to them, by their manufacturers.
The fact that developers can download the source code and modify it to their liking is an interesting thing.
Samsung later also showed more interest in the mod customising development by hiring Steve Kondik, who headed the CyanogenMod team. CyanogenMod is responsible for bringing a whole bunch of additional features and performance hacks to the smartphones.
With the source of the Galaxy S III being out, ROM developers such as CyanogenMod should find it easier to make custom ROMs for the device. Most manufacturers are usually very strict with their devices, not letting them make changes to them by rooting it and upgrading firmwares.
With the source being made public, Samsung is sending out a different signal to the development community. The source being made public of course is the kernel and the core of the phone, not necessarily all of the additional features such as S-Voice, the voice companion utility that’s designed to take on Siri for the Apple iPhone 4S.
HTC is one of the few other mobile manufacturers who've encouraged users to unlock their phones. They’ve too released bootloader unlockers that will allow users to unlock their bootloaders on some of their phones. HTC announced that phones released after September 2011 could be unlocked using this tool. However, HTC like other manufacturers are a little cautious making it clear that the phone warranty will be void if users unlock it.
Samsung launched the Galaxy S III, in India day before yesterday. The successor to the very popular Galaxy S II ups the ante, not only for Samsung, but for Android smartphones as well.
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- Samsung Galaxy S III to hit stores on June 4
- Samsung Galaxy S III available online for Rs 38,900