Kernel Sources for the Essential Phone Are Now Live, Factory Images Coming Soon
Essential seems like they want to make the Essential PH-1, most commonly known as the Essential phone, at least a partial spiritual successor to the Nexus phones. The Essential phone comes with a close to stock Android build with little to no bloat included, comes with an easily unlockable bootloader (with the company providing instructions themselves), and in one of their latest AMAs they’ve also vowed to support custom ROMs and development for their device. Now, they’ve made another step towards better supporting ROM development: kernel sources.
The company took to Twitter to announce that, starting today, the kernel source for the PH-1, as well as the WiFi drivers for it, are now available from the Essential website for everyone to freely download, have a look, and compile. In a weird turn of events, though, they decided to not use any kind of git service (like GitHub) to host the source code alongside a commit history. Instead, they are providing ZIPs directly with the source code and drivers for anyone to freely download to their computers and compile at will. Those ZIPs would presumably be updated whenever the Essential phone receives an update. Also, they’ve announced that factory images for the Essential phone are coming soon, and while they didn’t announce an ETA, we’re guessing that they may be released in the following weeks.
If you would like to download the kernel source code, either to have a look at the code or compile your own kernel, head over to the Open Source section of their website to download everything (~165MB). There’s still a long way to go before this phone actually has a good developer community behind it, but the kernel source code release should help boost development quite a lot. If you’d like to know more about the development state of the Essential Phone, be sure to check out our XDA official forum, where you’ll find all development progress.