Google has finally published the factory images for its new Nexus 7 tablet, just days after the employee responsible for managing the images quit the role over an apparent dispute with chip-maker Qualcomm (which appears to have been resolved.)
Factory images and the accompanying binaries are important resources since they provide a reference to restore Nexus tablets and smartphones to their original (“factory” stage) state. They are used by those who like to tweak the Android software on their devices, and need a back-up when customization goes wrong and a device refuses to boot.
Now owners of the 2013-version of the Nexus 7, which is codenamed ‘razor’ and launched in the US last month, can modify the device to their heart’s content safe in the knowledge that there are resources to fix issues they encounter.
The images are finally available here on the Android developers site — via this Hacker News post – but the release of them was significantly delayed, as Android Police pointed out earlier this week, and that hinted at some issues.
Jean-Baptiste Quéru, the Google staffer who looks after Android factory image software, quit the responsibility earlier this week, as GigaOm reports, due to the delay and what appeared to be some politics behind it.
In a post on Google+, Quéru said:
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.
The device in question is (almost certainly) the new Nexus 7, but it is unclear exactly what kind of problems kept Google and Qualcomm, the company that develop’s the GPU for the device, from releasing the images. With the issue attracting press this week, it is good to see a resolution has been found in order to serve Nexus 7 owners.
However, the issue appears to have cost the Android community since Quéru — who is well-respected by developers — will no longer be involved in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
After news of his decision to quit AOSP got out and Android fans began placing the blame on Qualcomm, Quéru expressed his disappointment that many were planning to boycott Qualcomm products in protest.
It’s not clear whether he will return to his AOSP role now that the images are public. His initial post suggested there were some deep issues behind his decision, which would make an about-turn unlikely.