In keeping with its promise of releasing the kernel source codes of all its new smartphones within weeks of their commercial launch, Xiaomi has now uploaded the Android Pie kernel sources for the Redmi Note 8 (ginkgo) and Note 8 Pro (begonia) on Github. The devices, which were unveiled in China a few weeks back, are expected to be launched in India next month.
The relatively quick release of the source codes for these two devices is further proof that Xiaomi is aligning itself to the mainstream of Android smartphone vendors like Samsung, who typically releases the kernel sources of its devices before their global launch. The lack of kernel codes have earlier hindered third-party development for Xiaomi’s smartphones in the past, so fans will now be happy to see that the company is following through with its promise.
Xiaomi has often been criticized by FOSS proponents and developers for its failure to abide by the GNU General Public License v2 license, which governs open source software such as Android. The company has often either completely failed to release kernel sources for its smartphones and tablets, or released them long after the launch of the device, both of which are an outright violation of the GNU GPL license.
While one has to respect Xiaomi’s definitive commitment to abide by the GPL, the three-week delay is still a bit disappointing, especially when companies like Samsung have been extremely forthright in releasing the kernel sources of its devices. With its growing stature in the global smartphone market, the Chinese tech giant will, hopefully, make it a point to start releasing the kernel codes simultaneously with the launch of the respective devices.