There is some delightful news for Nexus One owners running custom CyanogenMod Android 2.2 Froyo ROM. The latest nightly release of CyanogenMod ROM is packaged with some excellent stuff that includes FM Radio Support (courtesy MIUI) for the device, that has been lacking from the previous versions of CyanogenMod.
While this update currently applies to Nexus One only, it may mean much more than just that. This breakthrough will likely pave way for future stable Android builds to include FM Radio support for all Android handsets equipped with essential hardware for the job.
You can download the CyanogenMod Android 2.2 Froyo nightly buid with FM radio from here but please remember that being a nightly build, it might not be very stable. For those of you who don’t know about it already, nightly builds are churned out automatically based on whatever source code has been added on any particular day, which may be experimental or broken. That said, most nightly builds of CyanogenMod end up getting quite positive responses from those who try them out, and often have little-to-no glitches. Still, we will encourage users with less experience to stay away from this for now, as a stable version will carry the FM radio very soon. According to Android Central, the code for this FM Radio was compiled from scratch by the genius developers behind MIUI ROMs, rather than using any pre-loaded and hidden code provided by HTC in this regard.
It’s a shame how some devices running an open-source operating system are shipped equipped with the necessary hardware for a particular feature, yet the software required for that feature is either not included, or not made open-source on a platform like Android that is built upon the open source philosophy. It takes independent developers a lot of time and effort to write code from scratch to enable such features in third-party ROMs, which could be a piece of cake if the required source code would be available in accordance with the free and open-source nature of Android.
Let’s hope this scenario changes in the future, and the device manufacturers start acting in the true philosophy of a platform they are building upon, eliminating the need for users to wait for independent developers to hack up a fix for a problem that should not exist in the first place.