Google Open Source Code for Wi-Fi Calling
One of the best features about an open-source operating system like Android is the fact that developers are given a chance to rip apart fundamental code and rebuild it to their own ends. Yesterday, Google posted the latest version of AOSP, Android-5.1.1_r5, and within it can be found the code to support Wi-Fi-calling, which could potentially be quite a big deal. Straight off the bat however, we have to point out that initially this won’t be the amazing treasure chest that many hope it will be, and instead may end up being rather limited. Let me explain…
Firstly, not all carriers support Wi-Fi calling. Sprint and T-Mobile in the US do for example, along with EE in the UK and a handful of others in different countries, so if you’re not with one of those this won’t be useful in the slightest. The carriers themselves need to support the feature, so unless someone out there is very devious indeed you won’t be able to port this functionality to a device on an unsupported network. Really the main attraction for this code will be for developers to try to implement it on unofficial software. It should be pointed out that the source code is primarily for the Nexus 6, but with luck this can be implemented to other stock and AOSP-based ROMs, so more could benefit regardless of their phone preference. Developers may already be working on adding this code to their custom ROMs, meaning that users of smartphones where this is already possible without rooting and flashing, like many recent flagships, could finally be able to enjoy this feature on top of modified software.
Really however, what many people are most excited about is the potential for Wi-Fi Calling to be ported to devices that don’t officially support it, like the Nexus 4 and 5. This is where things get really difficult, because transferring this functionality to phones where it wasn’t designed to be implemented amounts to a huge task for developers. This would almost certainly involve modifications to the radios, kernels and at other deep software levels, and with that comes the potential of bricking the device in question. Still, the Android community is a resourceful one at the very least, and it will be interesting to see what can become of this source code. If you want to try your hand at it, take a look at the code itself here. Good luck!