May 4, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It seems like just one month ago when CyanogenMod 11 M5 was released to supported devices—oh wait, it was just one month ago. Now a mere 29 days later, we’re one incremental step closer to CM11 stable. This is, of course, all thanks to the latest CM11 monthly snapshot build.
Just like last month’s M5 release, today’s M6 release should be relatively stable and daily driver-capable on the vast majority of devices. M6, just like the other monthly snapshot builds, can be viewed as somewhere in between a nightly build and a release candidate in terms of stability. At this time, it’s not clear what exactly changed in M6 versus the previous M5, but given the late stage in development, it’s likely that the majority of changes have to do with ironing out the last few remaining bugs.
The M6 build will be available for all officially supported devices. And at the time of this article, the tally is at 27 devices and counting. So if you’re a CyanogenMod fan, head over to the CyanogenMod Download Site and pick up the latest snapshot build. Then, be sure to head over to the XDA forums to share your experiences and get in on the additional modifications like kernels, root-level apps, mods, and themes.
[Many thanks to everyone who sent this in!]
May 2, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Some OEMs are more developer-friendly than others. One of the friendliest is Sony, which gives its user the ability to unlock their bootloader. Many mobile carriers don’t quite share Sony’s enthusiasm towards open source and lock their phones, leading to the “Bootloader Unlock Allowed: No” message.
A while ago, we talked about the Sony Xperia SP receiving a CyanogenMod 10.2 port for locked devices. XDA Forum Member bagyusz went even further and ported Android 4.4 in CyanogenMod and SlimKat flavors. This is even more impressive, because these ports have no known bugs remaining, so both builds can be considered stable.
Bagyusz also shared his sources on Github, so everyone can now try his/her hand at creating a port to the SP or other Sony device. After all, it’s most likely the case that this hijacked ramdisk method works with other models.
[Thanks to XDA Senior Member mrjraider for the tip!]
April 7, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat with Sense 5.5 update is coming to the Verizon HTC One Max today! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews some of the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is the announcement that the Verizon LG G2′s KitKat update was leaked, as well as a story about how to convert your Carrier HTC One M8 to Google Play Edition! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the exciting news coming out for development starting on the Nokia X with TWRP and CWM ported to it and the announcement that CyanogenMod 11 has hit Milestone 5! Pull up a chair and check out this and other XDA Developer TV videos.
April 5, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
There plenty of great options available for those looking for a large-scale, multi-device custom ROM. But despite this, CyanogenMod is still the first name that comes to the minds of most Android users. There’s good reason for this, as CyanogenMod was the first source-built community distribution of its kind. And though the years, we’ve seen great development work come from its team.
Today, the CyanogenMod team has released the Milestone 5 release of CyanogenMod 11. With this, the team is one step closer to CyanogenMod 11 stable. Compared to the M4 release, M5 brings various fixes and feature additions. As stated on the CM Blog:
Trebuchet – Fix last icon from hotseat disappearing
Trebuchet – Fix custom home transition effect
Volume Panel – Increase opacity of transparency (previous level led to visibility concerns)
WhisperPush – Relocate to Privacy menu
WhisperPush – fix NPE on viewing identity if unregistered
Translations – Initial imports from CrowdIn (followup blog post next week)
MultiSim – Additional support patches (25+)
Privacy Guard – Additional AppOps permissions
Additional Right-to-left (RTL) layout mirroring support
Settings – Add ‘screen color’ support
Quickboot support (device specific)
Stylus – Fix eraser being disabled by palm rejection
NavBar – Allow toggle in runtime (needs kernel support)
Add ethernet icon support to status bar
Dialer – Open Source forward/backward/incoming look-up
The builds are currently in the process of building, and there are 26 ready at the time of this article, with many more on the way. While these milestone releases are still technically not CM11 final, you’d be hard pressed to find any major bugs on most devices. So if you’re a CM user, head over to the source link below, download and update, and then head over to the forums and the comments below to share your experiences.
March 17, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
The Android 4.4.2 KitKat OTA for the Bell Canada Galaxy S 4 is now rolling out! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this weekend’s news is the announcement that CyanogenMod 11 has been released for the HTC Desire Z and the Motorola Milestone 2 gets a functional KitKat build! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the exciting news coming out of Google, as they patenting PIE controls and why that could be a good thing. He also covers how Google Wallet is dropping support for Pre-KitKat Devices in a month! Pull up a chair and check out this and other XDA Developer TV videos.
March 16, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find an Android-powered smartphone with a hardware keyboard. And although larger screens, better software keyboards, and super thin device profiles can win over the hearts of the masses, rabid texters will often accept no substitute for the physical keyboard. As such, many users still desperately cling on to their older devices with hardware keyboards, such as the Motorola Milestone 2.
Work has been underway for quite some time to bring Android 4.4 KitKat to the Motorola Milestone 2. Not too long ago, XDA Senior Member Engle_Mars released a relatively functional build for the device. But now, thanks to the work of Senior Member czechop, we have an almost fully functional unofficial CM11 build.
Czechop’s ROM is based on previous work for the Motorola Defy by Recognized Developer Quarx, with additional credit going to Tezet, Blackd0se, and others. While Czechop’s build was initially released back in November, recent releases have fixed practically all bugs, such that there are no known issues at this time.
Those desperately clinging on to their hardware keyboards should head over to czechop’s unofficial CM11 thread to get in on the action. And if you’re a developer looking to base your work on what czechop has already accomplished, head over to his Github.
In recent months, we have talked about various devices getting official and unofficial KitKat builds. Some devices were never slated to receive and update due to technical limitations, but developers have spent countless hours porting device trees, libraries, and kernels to iron out bugs and squeeze the most performance from these older devices. The level of success is different for every device, but people have tried crossed some pretty impressive boundaries.
The HTC Desire Z was released in late 2010, and it is one of the few smartphones that offers a physical keyboard. A little over 3 years after its launch, the Desire Z received an unofficial port of KitKat by XDA Recognized Developer Flinny, who ported CyanogenMod 11 to the Vision and Saga. The ROM is still considered alpha, but a list of working things is getting longer from one release to another. It’s impressive to see older devices getting so much support from developers.
A change log, links, and release notes can be found in the development thread.
March 12, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Due to their bargain basement prices and high apparent value, it should come as no surprise that MediaTek devices are growing in popularity—especially in emerging markets such as India. But because of a frequent lack of GPL compliance and nonexistent developer openness, original development for these devices is slim to none.
Luckily, there is still progress being made on these devices. And despite an uphill battle, development is happening thanks to source code leaks and the hard work of developers like XDA Senior Recognized Developer Xplodwild and Senior Member Dr-Shadow in filling the gaps. And now after an unnecessarily long journey spearheaded by Forum Member bucefal82, quite a lot has been accomplished.
XDA Recognized Developer chrmhoffmann recently released a KitKat 4.4.2-based work-in-progress CM11 build for the Wiko Stairway. Currently, a decent amount is functional, including the device’s primary SIM, audio, sensors, WiFi, and application support. However, it’s not quite daily driver capable for most, as the camera, second SIM, hardware video decoding, GPS, GPU acceleration, and a few other items are still broken. Despite this, it’s good to see development advancing on the device, and on these closed platforms in general. And since the device runs on the MediaTek 6589T SoC, which is also seen on various other budget-friendly devices, so it’s only a matter of time before this also benefits other MediaTek device owners.
If you own a Wiko Stairway and would like to try out an unofficial CM11 build on your device, or if you own another MediaTek device and wish to port the ROM over, head over to the original thread to get started.
[Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter Titokhan for the tip!]
March 10, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat over the air update for the HTC Butterfly S is now rolling out! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that CyanogenMod 11 Milestone 4 has been released and 2011 Xperia devices running CM10 have a mod for recording 720p30 video! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the exciting news coming out of Google including the “always listening” Google Nexus 5 proof of concept and the announcement that the wearable tech SDK will be released is two weeks! Finally, Sony added widget functionality to Firefox OS! Pull up a chair and check out this and other XDA Developer TV videos.
There are quite a few major players in the source-built custom ROM world nowadays, but undoubtedly the most prominent is still CyanogenMod. Having made a name for itself way back when on the G1, the CM team now officially supports a rather extensive list of devices, and has contributed a great deal to the Android community at large.
Nearly one month ago, the team reached Milestone 3 status for their Android 4.4 KitKat-based CyanogenMod 11. Now, the team has finished work on Milestone 4, which means that we’re just that much closer to CM11 Final.
The new release brings quite a few updates, including a tweaked recent apps panel for low end devices, various bug fixes, expanded profiles support, left-hand mode for the system navbar, a new Easter Egg, and much more. These changes are covered in greater detail on the CyanogenMod Blog.
Those looking to get in on the latest M4 action should head over to the CM Downloads link below. The builds are currently in the process of compiling, and should be available for your download pleasure as soon as they’re fresh out of the oven.
Android is an amazing OS because OEMs can offer their users devices that suits everyone’s individual needs. A high-end flagship is not the best choice for everyone, hence why there are quite a few mid-tier and low-end devices released to the market.
One OEM that releases cheaper, but still nice devices is Sony. One of their devices intended for the mid/low-range market is Xperia M, code named Nicki. The device features some decent technical specification consisting of a dual-core 1 GHz Krait 200 CPU, 1 GB RAM, and 4 GB of internal storage.
FreeXperia announced official support for the Xperia M starting from FXP309. Much credit belongs to XDA Senior Member PecanCM, who did a great job bringing up the device tree and kernel. This announcement is a special one for FXP, as it’s the first device (and surely not last) to receive official support in 2014.
A new build for Xperia M is available to download on the project’s website. In the mean time, you can visit the thread by PecanCM and get the unofficial port for that device and read the full story on FXP blog.
February 21, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 has been leaked! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that Samsung devices are getting unified CyanogenMod 11 builds. Google Project Tango has also been made public, and this project promises Kinect-like abilites for smartphones! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Physical Button Music Control, then he reviewed the Lepow U-Stone 12000 mAh Power Bank, and he gave us an Android App Review of OmniSnitch. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
February 19, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
Before Motorola was acquired by Lenovo, the OEM released two very interesting smartphones. The Moto X and Moto G were the first and probably the last devices made by the formerly American OEM in a cooperation with Google. Not so long ago, we talked about the Moto G receiving an unofficial CyanogenMod port. Now, however, the G and a few other Motorola devices will receive official CyanogenMod nightlies.
The CM team has released three unified builds, which is a bit of a surprising move, considering that the list of supported devices is quite long. The “mysterious” moto_msm8960 build will work with the Photon Q, Atrix HD, Razr M, and Droid Razr HD. The second build, dubbed moto_msm8960dt, should work with dual-core devices like the Moto X, Droid Maxx, Droid Mini, and Droid Ultra. You need to figure out which phones are which, as builds for other devices will simply not work properly or even can brick your device. So be sure to double check before flashing, and check your home forum here on XDA to get the necessary info.
A build for the Moto G is separate due to its internal hardware. And I can’t can’t write about official nightlies for device code named falcon without mentioning XDA Senior Member dhacker29, who did a terrific job bringing up the device tree for this phone.
Motorola devices aren’t the only receiving these new unified builds. A couple of Samsung devices will receive unified builds as well. The list of phones is quite long and includes following devices:
Builds include only Qualcomm-based devices, as Exynos devices are still using platform-specified builds.
As you can see, the CyanogenMod team are on fire and make things as easy as possible both for developers and end users. The builds are located over on the official CyanogenMod download page. You can also check out the source code by visiting team’s Github and typing the name of the device in the search box.
[Big thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor herna for the tip!]