August Plans – Change of mind, new version and GSIs are back

A few months ago, with a aim to fulfill the demands of more users and reach out to a bigger user base, we decided to release a second version, we implemented some extra customization to our source code… But well, we could not make everyone happy with these decisions.

Thinking about that, we decided that the PixelExperience Project will still have two versions… But in a different way.

Low acceptance and more complains

As you all know, nowadays our maintainers have the choice to deliver two types of editions. The first one is the Pie Edition and the other one is the Pie CAF Edition, and with the release of the Pie CAF Edition builds as well as our customization inclusion to the basic Pie Edition, we were very confident that we would get a better response from our users by a certain level of acceptance and usage. But we did come across with two things, that was quite unexpected.

1. Many users didn’t approve the fact of adding customization options and stated that it destroys the original point and experience of the project. In simplified words: We could not reach out the users who used our builds just to have a pure “form” of a Pixel device feeling and even our users gave a feedback that with adding the extra customization we have diverted from our ultimate goal to have pure stock experience.

2. The second fact that was again quite unexpected is we had a good hope that we will reach out to more users with our CAF Edition builds. But even after 4 months and more since we introduced our CAF Edition, we could not find the acceptance and usage that we expected. Even we realized that the CAF Edition builds aren’t even getting a comparable download count as we get from our Pie Edition. Rather maintainers are getting diverted to stabilize the CAF builds and forgetting to maintain the Pie edition properly.

Our solutions to this problem

So after a lot of discussion within the team members we came with the following conclusion:

Starting from today, the CAF Edition support, across all the supported devices, will come to an end. All the builds will be archieved and will be stored until the last week of October 2019. After that, all the CAF Edition builds will get deleted from our host server. To be a little more simple, we are completely discontinuing the CAF Edition support for all the official supported devices. We took this step, so that our maintainers can focus on delivering better support to the most popular version (AOSP Edition).

With this, we are having some good hoping to get our second problem solved.

Now to get some effective solution to our first issue, we have decided to remove all those basic customization options from our sources, so that again we can achieve the goal of the pure Pixel device like experience.

Now everyone must be having the following doubt: 
“What about the users who happily accepted the customization options?”
So we have something for them.

So after discontinuing the CAF Edition we have decided to introduce a new Edition of Pixel Experience to our users.

Here we introduce the brand new edition, called “Plus Edition”. As the name suggests, the builds of the Plus Edition will have all the Pie Edition stuff “plus” some other stuff beyond that, which includes all our old customizations along with few other new additions to them.

We will be enforcing new rules for the maintainers, such as that every maintainer must release the Pie edition according to the updates period.
And releasing the Plus edition will optional for the maintainers.

The Plus Edition builds will start to roll out from the beginning of August after merging the latest security patch. Also there will be a small migration process for all Pie Edition users that use the builds made before August. They will automatically receive the new Plus Edition builds as OTA updates as the our now old Pie Edition is containing some of the customization options. Basically we can state that the nowadays Pie Edition is actually our new (and rebranded) Plus Edition. And any user who want to use our new Pie Edition that will not be having any sort of extra customization is suggested to do a clean flash to migrate there.

And finally, also starting from August, we are coming back with the GSIs (Generic System Image) builds (ARM and ARM64), with monthly updates. The only edition available for the GSIs will be the Pie Edition.

For those who don’t know yet what is a GSI, you can check at this article: https://telegra.ph/What-is-a-GSI-07-17


Thanks for reading