In a rather strange move on HTC’s part, HTCDev lists it has released the HTC EVO 4G LTE Android 4.3 kernel source, even though reps are still reportedly claiming that the official update has not been released to the public. This move comes as somewhat of a shock to me, as HTC’s usual M/O is to sit on the kernel source for nearly 90 days before releasing it to the general public, or waiting until the next version of the OS is pushed so that kernel source is useless.
Update: HTC just mislabeled the 90+ day old source for the last kernel; expect this one sometime around June.
What’s interesting is that the 3.17.651.4 update listed was the last release version which is Android 4.1/Jelly Bean on the EVO 4G LTE. The files contained in the kernel package are dated January 13, 2014, with a readme file dated Feb 21. So hopefully this is just someone’s typo and they’re not just now releasing the kernel source to the incredibly minor update from October, which would be over 90 days.
What this means to you: if you’re not rooted, nothing.
If you are rooted, and that’s actually the 4.3 kernel that works with this release, this means that the Sense 5/Android 4.3 update we just got via RUU from HTC can now have custom kernels.
A custom kernel allows for things like underclocking, overclocking, sweep/slide to wake, tether/ip routing mods, fast charge mods, and of course the ability to install a kernel so bleeding edge that it blows your phone up entirely. (That last one’s probably not going to happen.)
If you’re a kernel developer or just curious as to what a kernel release package is, you can grab the source at HTCDev’s kernel download page. Just put in that you’re on the HTC EVO 4G LTE, the region is WWE (not US). The download is around 98MB and hopefully contains the source to the Sense 5/Android 4.3 kernel.
If anyone can confirm that HTC actually released 4.3 and not 4.1 here, I’d appreciate it. I don’t have the tools on my system to compile a kernel at the moment. I’m sort of doubtful even with the file dates that HTC managed to not sit on the kernel source until May, but it would be nice if I’m wrong.