If you’re an Android fan, and even the slightest big technically-minded, you probably understand that the platform is based around Linux. Underneath the Android runtime and all the code that makes Android “Android,” you’ll find a Linux kernel. Right now, if you’re running any recent build, that means your phone is on the 3.4 kernel – which itself dates back to May of last year; we are long overdue for an update. Recent signs point to work at doing something about that, bringing the Linux 3.10 kernel to Android in the near future.
That’s a big deal, because it would deliver a whole lot of changes: everything introduced in all those other releases between 3.4 and 3.10. Those includes things like filesystem fixes (that everyone can enjoy), and some others that should really help models with current and next-gen chipsets: 64-bit memory addressing for ARM chips (like that rumored 64-bit Exynos), and baked-in big.LITTLE support.
But will this be in Android 4.4? Right now, it seems iffy. Leaks that have surfaced to date have shown 4.4 still running a 3.4 kernel. That’s not to say that 3.10 won’t be a part of the final 4.4 release, but we may have to face it not arriving until a future Android version. In either case: good things to look forward to.