Update: since this post was published, developer Nikola Majkic stepped up to assume maintenance of the GSM version (maguro) of the Galaxy Nexus. There is still no maintainer for the CDMA model (toro). Support for the GSM model will continue for now.
It comes a time in the life of every phone when updating it to the latest version of Android becomes more trouble than it’s worth. For the Galaxy Nexus, that time came when Google announced it wouldn’t receive the upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat. However, a number of custom ROM projects clung on to the aging device, including the popular CyanogenMod.
Now a commit to the CM open source project suggests that support for Galaxy Nexus is going to be dropped. In the commit comments, CM’s Abhisek Devkota explains that the reason for the drop is the lack of ongoing support for the processor powering the Galaxy Nexus. Texas Instruments, the maker of the OMAP 4460 chip inside the Galaxy Nexus, pulled off from the mobile market in 2012 and stopped supporting its chips, which makes it difficult for developers to support devices that feature OMAP processors.
Another problem, Devkota said, is that CM for Galaxy Nexus lacks a full time maintainer that would be able to solve issues with the builds.
Under these conditions, the chances for the Galaxy Nexus to continue receiving new CM builds are slim – in Devkota’s words, “this will not survive the jump to L. R.I.P.” However, support could be resumed if a maintainer is found for the project.
Devices based on other “legacy” processors, including old Tegra and Exynos chips, are probably on the short list for discontinuation as well.
While other custom ROM projects, including Paranoid Android and Omni, are continuing to support Galaxy Nexus, it’s hard to blame CyanogenMod for giving up on an old phone that became very difficult to maintain. Google itself abandoned the Galaxy Nexus after the release of KitKat, and refused to change its stance even when users of the phone started a petition with thousands of signatures.