Aug 07 AT 1:00 PM Dima Aryeh 13 Comments

New Nexus 7 may not get factory images due to legal issues, JBQ leaves AOSP over it

New Nexus 7-1

When the Nexus 4 was released, there was a big debacle about the factory image and source code not being released in full. No one commented on it, and reasons were not given. It somewhat defeated the purpose of having a Nexus device, if you couldn’t modify it to your heart’s content with the source code. However, those issues were eventually worked out.

Now it seems that the new Nexus 7, codenamed Flo, is going through the same ordeal. And Jean-Baptiste Queru, the man in charge of things like images and binaries, expressed upsetness and frustration when the Nexus 7 launched. About a week after the Nexus 7 was announced, he tweeted this:

When asked about when the factory images will be released, he said that there is no ETA and that he doesn’t know if they’ll ever be released. He couldn’t comment on why, but he did mention that Google didn’t release the factory image for the Nexus One either (HTC had to do it themselves). Why is that important? Because this marks three Qualcomm-based devices that have had issues with factory images.

While the non-Qualcomm devices didn’t have issues with factory images being posted, these Qualcomm devices have consistently run into trouble. And looking at JBQ’s tweet, it looks to be legal issues at the root of the matter. In light of these complications we have to wonder why Google didn’t dump Qualcomm after the Nexus 4 incident and go for a Tegra 4, but they must have had a reason.

In the end, Jean-Baptiste Queru decided to leave the AOSP team.

Well, I see that people have figured out why I'm quitting AOSP.

There's no point being the maintainer of an Operating System that can't boot to the home screen on its flagship device for lack of GPU support, especially when I'm getting the blame for something that I don't have authority to fix myself and that I had anticipated and escalated more than 6 months ahead.Jean-Baptiste Queru

It’s sad to see someone so important leave over such an issue, but I can at least understand why he decided to do this. It’s a ridiculous situation, and I wish him the best in future endeavors.

Unfortunately, we don’t know if these issues will be resolved. Qualcomm and Google are having some problems, and we can’t do anything but wait and see. Are you disappointed to hear this? What’s your best theory on why this is happening?

Source: +Jean-Baptiste Queru, Android Police

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian
    • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

      um, sorry, pasted this in the wrong spot! :-/

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    This really sucks. JBQ was on “our side” for almost everything!! He’ll definitely be missed!
    :’(

  • Dirge

    Damn, this sucks. :(

  • thel0nerang3r

    I don’t know if going with Tegra would have made the GPU issue any easier. NVidia has not been very good at sharing with the linux kernel project. It took a ran from Linus to get NVidia to release drivers, http://www.geek.com/games/torvalds-rant-against-nvidia-works-new-linux-drivers-double-gaming-performance-1527025/

    • renz

      i’m not an expert on technical stuff but i believe the performance increase with linux games has nothing to do with linus complaint on nvidia. it was something nvidia has been working with valve to improve gaming performance with linux (maybe it has something to do with steam box).

    • Rudolf

      Nvidia is usually pretty good with free/open source stuff. They at least don’t treat Linux like a second class citizen.

      I don’t understand what Qualcomms issues are. Google should let everyone know why the he’ll Qualcomm is pissing in everyone’s Nexus cereal.

      • thel0nerang3r

        I disagree. For example, look at any Tegra2 device. Regardless of Android version, the are still using the 2.6 kernel. Most JellyBean devices are using 3.4 and some 3.6.

  • Christopher Price

    NVIDIA has had no problem with sharing blobs. Linus’s complaints about NVIDIA were separate from this issue.

    People have been sharing binary blobs of drivers for decades, Qualcomm has no good (as in, ethical) reason to change this practice…

  • donger

    Nooooooooooooooo.

  • renz

    there were few reasons why google ditching tegra for current nexus 7. first tegra 4 is late because it was purposely delayed by nvidia so they can speed up T4i development. the lack of open gl ES 3.0 compliance and the need for separate modem could also lead google to use qualcomm chip instead. also the asking price of tegra 4. i don’t think nvidia want to sell it so cheap so google can meet the price point intended for nexus 7. performance wise tegra 4 should be able to rival snapdragon 800 so i think nvidia might want to price their chip accordingly with competition. except for the lack of Open GL ES 3.0 i think the most suitable SoC for Nexus 7 is T4i but unfortunately the chip won’t be ready until next year.

  • hp420

    “He couldn’t comment on why, but he did mention that Google didn’t release the factory image for the Nexus One either (HTC had to do it themselves). Why is that important? Because this marks three Qualcomm-based devices that have had issues with factory images.

    While the non-Qualcomm devices didn’t have issues with factory images being posted, these Qualcomm devices have consistently run into trouble.”

    How quickly we’ve all forgotten about the ever-important Nexus S. It was not only qualcomm based, it also had timely and abundant updates!

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      Nexus S was a Hummingbird based device, and the Hummingbird was a Samsung made processor.

  1. This really sucks. JBQ was on “our side” for almost everything!! He’ll definitely be missed!
    :’(

  2. Damn, this sucks. :(

  3. I don’t know if going with Tegra would have made the GPU issue any easier. NVidia has not been very good at sharing with the linux kernel project. It took a ran from Linus to get NVidia to release drivers, http://www.geek.com/games/torvalds-rant-against-nvidia-works-new-linux-drivers-double-gaming-performance-1527025/

    • renzGuest 2 years ago

      i’m not an expert on technical stuff but i believe the performance increase with linux games has nothing to do with linus complaint on nvidia. it was something nvidia has been working with valve to improve gaming performance with linux (maybe it has something to do with steam box).

    • RudolfGuest 2 years ago

      Nvidia is usually pretty good with free/open source stuff. They at least don’t treat Linux like a second class citizen.

      I don’t understand what Qualcomms issues are. Google should let everyone know why the he’ll Qualcomm is pissing in everyone’s Nexus cereal.

      • I disagree. For example, look at any Tegra2 device. Regardless of Android version, the are still using the 2.6 kernel. Most JellyBean devices are using 3.4 and some 3.6.

  4. Christopher PriceGuest 2 years ago

    NVIDIA has had no problem with sharing blobs. Linus’s complaints about NVIDIA were separate from this issue.

    People have been sharing binary blobs of drivers for decades, Qualcomm has no good (as in, ethical) reason to change this practice…

  5. Nooooooooooooooo.

  6. renzGuest 2 years ago

    there were few reasons why google ditching tegra for current nexus 7. first tegra 4 is late because it was purposely delayed by nvidia so they can speed up T4i development. the lack of open gl ES 3.0 compliance and the need for separate modem could also lead google to use qualcomm chip instead. also the asking price of tegra 4. i don’t think nvidia want to sell it so cheap so google can meet the price point intended for nexus 7. performance wise tegra 4 should be able to rival snapdragon 800 so i think nvidia might want to price their chip accordingly with competition. except for the lack of Open GL ES 3.0 i think the most suitable SoC for Nexus 7 is T4i but unfortunately the chip won’t be ready until next year.

  7. hp420Guest 2 years ago

    “He couldn’t comment on why, but he did mention that Google didn’t release the factory image for the Nexus One either (HTC had to do it themselves). Why is that important? Because this marks three Qualcomm-based devices that have had issues with factory images.

    While the non-Qualcomm devices didn’t have issues with factory images being posted, these Qualcomm devices have consistently run into trouble.”

    How quickly we’ve all forgotten about the ever-important Nexus S. It was not only qualcomm based, it also had timely and abundant updates!

    • Nexus S was a Hummingbird based device, and the Hummingbird was a Samsung made processor.