While the Mi A1 is by no means Xiaomi’s most powerful or greatest overall smartphone, the 5.5-inch mid-ranger’s launch back in September represented a big milestone in the Chinese OEM’s international evolution and Western expansion efforts.
That’s because the inexpensive dual camera device was billed as “created by Xiaomi, powered by Google”, with its participation in the Android One program theoretically guaranteeing an always “pure” software experience, fast updates and long-term support.
Unfortunately, the Xiaomi Mi A1 has already hit a number of hurdles on its path to stable Android Oreo, and to make matters worse, independent developers had their work cut out by the inexplicable public absence of kernel sources.
Technically, the General Public License (GPL) that covers the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) requires any program modification or distribution to be freely doled out for devs to tinker with if they so desire.
But it’s only this week that Xiaomi decided to comply with Google’s policy, finally uploading Mi A1 Nougat-based kernel source code on GitHub. Why Nougat, and not Oreo? Because obviously, Xiaomi’s Oreo “optimizations” are still quite buggy, which means “modern” custom ROMs may need to wait at least a few more weeks. Hopefully, not months this time around.