The Essential Phone received a fair share of buzz when launched. It later remained in the news for the unexpected delays in shipping without the promised 360-degree camera. Reviewers from significant publications went gaga over the Essential Phone but didn't quite like the software. However, despite the spotty start, Essential seems to be heading in the right direction. The company has released the phone's kernel source code.
Essential Phone comes with an almost stock Android build with lesser bloatware in comparison to other non-Google Android phones. It also features an effortlessly unlockable bootloader. In a recent AMA, the company has opened up about bringing custom ROMs. The first step towards the new strategy is taken today, as Essential has released the kernel sources to support ROM development.
The company tweeted about the availability of the kernel sources for the Essential PH-1 along with the WiFi drivers on the Essential website. Anyone can freely download it from the website and compile. This is the first time when kernel source code is not being hosted by a service like GitHub. Instead, Essential is offering ZIPs directly with the source code and drivers for all. These ZIPs are expected to be updated whenever Essential Phones receive an update. Besides, the company has also announced that it will be release factory images shortly.
Download the package
For those who know about how to compile Kernel source code, you can head to the Open Source section on Essential's website and download the package (around 165MB in size). This marks the first step towards building custom ROMs, but the company still needs a robust developer community to take it further. The kernel source code release is expected to boost the interest of developers.
We will update this article once Essential releases the factory images for the custom ROMs. It is expected to go live in the coming weeks. Once the process starts, we hope to see Essential custom ROMs debuting in the space.