February 14, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android KitKat 4.4.2 is now available for the unlocked and developer edition HTC Ones! 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 3 is available for 50 devices and their is now a way to turn your Moto G into a Play Edition! 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 Complete Action Plus, Jordan taught us about ART the Android Runtime compiler, and TK gave us an Android App Review of Quickr. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
February 10, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Nowadays with the growing popularity of rooting and device modification, there are quite a few legitimate players in the large-scale, multi-device custom ROM scene. There are new greats such as OmniROM making a splash with impressive new features, as well as older giants like ParanoidAndroid and AOKP, both of which have been home to quite a bit of major innovation over the years. However, there’s one large-scale, multi-device custom ROM that for better or worse stands in its own category, and that’s CyanogenMod.
After its relatively recent incorporation, CyanogenMod Inc started doing some pretty interesting things. We recently took a look at the CyanogenMod edition of the Oppo N1, and are all very excited to see if OnePlus One really amounts to two. But luckily, despite all of CyanogenMod Inc’s progress as a company, they have still kept up with their original mission of developing for the community.
Now the CyanogenMod team has gotten one step closer to the “stable” build of CyanogenMod 11, with the release of CyanogenMod 11 Milestone 3. Unlike their nightly builds, these nearly monthly snapshot builds are highly polished, with almost no major bugs or issues. That said since these are not final builds, there may be a few minor issues here and there that have crept through the cracks. In any case, these are likely to be incredibly minor. So if you’re a CyanogenMod user, you should definitely give the M3 builds a shot.
You can get started with M3 by heading over to the source links below and downloading Milestone 3 for your device, as well as the appropriate Gapps. Then once you’re done downloading and installing, be sure to head over to your device forum here at the XDA Forums to get in on the discussion and also share your thoughts on M3 in the comments below!
February 2, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
In the last few months, we’ve talked about various Android 4.4 ports for various well known devices. Some of them were quite surprising like the port for the HTC HD2, which was never intended to run Android in the first place. Other were expected, as they were fairly new devices with a strong development backing. Now, another legendary device, the Samsung Galaxy S II, has received official CM11 nightlies.
SGS2 owners out there may have used a homebrew version prepared by XDA Recognized Developer milaq. Now, however, the CM team decided that i9100 can have its own official nightly releases. We must mention that this great achievement wouldn’t be possible without help of such developers as XDA Senior Recognized Developer codeworkx and Recognized Developer Wayland_ACE. As CyanogenMod is a community project, these three weren’t the only ones involved. And as such, I didn’t mention many developers involved in the process. The nightlies seem to be pretty stable and ready for daily use. Just keep in mind that it’s still a “nightly” so you may notice some problems here and there.
It’s pretty much accepted that any device that was released with a version of Android as old as 2.2 Froyo has not been given any official support from its manufacturers for a long time, and the Samsung Galaxy SL is no exception. Released in 2011, it only received one official update to 2.3 Gingerbread from Samsung, with the OEM citing the Galaxy SL’s 1 GHz CPU and 478 MB of RAM as insufficient for running any later versions of Android and TouchWiz.
But it seems like this doesn’t really matter, because we now see the Galaxy SL running Android 4.4.2 Kitkat thanks to XDA Recognized Contributor and Developer dhiru1602. The ROM comes in the shape of an unofficial CyanogenMod 11 build that is currently an alpha, which means there’s still bugs that are yet to be fixed,. Although remarkably, the only function that seems to be not working is WiFi tethering.
Although the Galaxy SL shipped with the 2.6.35 kernel 3 years ago, dhiru1602 has also managed to port over the 3.0.101 kernel to the device, which now serves as the foundation of the Android 4.4.2 ROM. A Gapps package has been provided by dhiru1602 for those needing the Google app suite, but it should be noted that the package does not include Gapps that can be downloaded from the Play store—namely Google+, Hangouts, and more.
If you’re interested in what you’ve read and would like to find out more, visit the original thread for more details.
January 10, 2014 By: Samantha
Although only released last year, one wouldn’t really say that the Sony Xperia M is a very distinguishable device, especially in the vast sea of Android phones. With some middle of the road specs including a 4-inch screen with 480 x 854 resolution, a dual-core 1 GHz CPU and 1 GB of ram, one will probably be forgiven to think that it’s simply ‘just’ another Android device.
But despite this, it’s still great to see it receive attention from developers, as there’s now a highly-functional Android 4.4.2 KitKat build for the Xperia M. Thanks to the efforts of XDA Senior Member PecanCM, Xperia M users will be able to experience Kitkat in the form of an unofficial CyanogenMod 11 build even before Sony has given any indication of an official KitKat update.
Although the build is still in its alpha build, the working is remarkably extensive and includes all the important functions such as:
Despite this, it should be noted that because the build is in its alpha phase, there will be bugs and hiccups that may not have been reported or documented yet. Additionally, the dual-sim variant of the Xperia M is not officially supported by PecanCM, but XDA Senior Member ansebovi has figured out a relatively straightforward way to get this working with the dual-sim Xperia M.
If you would like to follow the development progress of Android 4.4.2 on the Xperia M, visit the original thread for more details. And for owners of the dual-sim Xperia M interested in giving this a go, check out ansebovi’s workaround post.
January 8, 2014 By: Samantha
If you rewind back to a couple of months ago, you may remember that dual boot was achieved on the Samsung Galaxy S Plus. Well, there’s been more happening with this device, the refresh of the perhaps more popular Samsung Galaxy S. Shipped all the way back in 2011 with Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread, it only received an incremental, official update to Android 2.3.6 before being discontinued by Samsung.
Fortunately however, Galaxy S Plus owners will see the abandoned device get back on its feet and march on, as XDA Recognized Developers CastagnaIT, Christopher83, educk and ivendor, and Recognized Contributor krislibaeer have teamed up as DevConnection_Team and delivered the latest iteration of Android, 4.4.2 Kitkat to the Galaxy S Plus. The ROM comes as an unofficial CyanogenMod 11 build, and is currently in its beta phase, but despite this, the rom seems to be stable with all of the major functions working as they should. The working list so far includes:
This is quite the achievement, as this was only possible with a hybrid memory allocation solution involving both ION and PMEM memory allocation, with the latter only required for the camera librarys and drivers. Thanks to this solution, this team of developers were also able to bring unofficial builds of CyanogenMod 10.1 and 10.2 to the Galaxy S Plus.
If you would like to find out more on the development progress, visit the respective forum threads for more details:
Just under a month ago, the CyanogenMod team released CyanogenMod 11 Milestone 1. Unlike previous milestone builds, CM11 M1 was only for “actively AOSP-supported Nexus devices.” In other words, this meant that only the Google Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 7 (2013) could join in the fun. Thankfully, nightlies appeared for other devices the very next day—but these were nightlies rather than milestone releases.
Now, CyanogenMod 11 Milestone Release 2 is here, and this time, there are many, many more supported devices. In fact, according to the CyanogenMod Blog, builds are queued up for “over 65 devices,” with exactly 50 available at the time of publishing this article.
If you’re a CM user and you’ve been lusting after a milestone release, make your way over to the CyanogenMod Download Portal to get started. Then once you’ve downloaded your build and compatible Gapps package, make sure to head over to your device’s home in the XDA forums.
Are you going to load CM11 M2 on your device? Are you excited that non-Nexus devices can now join in on the fun? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below!
You may recall that just yesterday, we featured a highly functional KitKat build for the Sony Xperia Ion, a somewhat forgotten device that was only officially updated to Android 4.1.2 and never received stable aftermarket builds of Android 4.2 or 4.3. Yesterday’s work came from XDA Senior Member MrGezz and Recognized Developer RaymanFX.
As it turns out, several loyal readers sent tips and told us in the comments about RaymanFX’s previous work on a different, but related device. Today, we’re going to take a look at another build created by RaymanFX (and the OpenSEMC team), this time for the Sony Xperia S.
Like yesterday’s build almost everything works. In fact, the minor bugs that afflicted the Ion release such as the nonfunctional charging light and battery status wonkiness are not present in the Xperia S release. The currently known issues are relatively few and minor, and include things like a nonfunctional FM Radio, the lack of stereo sound on the hardware speaker, and the notification drawer not rendering smoothly. Essentially, unless you have very specific use-cases, this is more than capable of being your daily driver.
If you wish to give KitKat a try on your Xperia S, make your way over to the original thread to get started.
[Many thanks to our commenters who pointed out this build!]
January 1, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Despite all of Sony’s recent developer-friendly awesomeness, a few relatively recent devices have fallen through the cracks and have been left without official Android updates. While most of these devices generally have found vibrant aftermarket development communities that have filled these gaps, this isn’t the case for every device.
One such instance is the Sony Xperia Ion, a device that was only officially updated to Android 4.1.2 and never received stable aftermarket builds of Android 4.2 or 4.3. Now thanks to hard work by XDA Senior Member MrGezz and Recognized Developer RaymanFX, a nearly fully functional Android 4.4 KitKat build has appeared for the device. This release comes in the form of an unofficial CyanogenMod 11 release, and it builds on work originally created by FXP for their CM10 builds.
There are currently two known bugs: The LED indicator does not light up when charging, and the battery percentage does not initially show properly in the status bar. The first bug is only a minor inconvenience, as the battery still charges even though the light does not come on. The latter, while annoying, has a functional workaround that is accomplished by changing the battery status style in CM settings.
If you’ve got an Xperia Ion and want to give KitKat a try, head over to the original thread and get in on the action.
[Thanks to Forum Member XPERIA ION for the tip. I wonder what device he uses. :P]
December 24, 2013 By: Tomek Kondrat
Over the years, Sony has released several devices with low-end hardware. But the lack of a good camera and a limited number of cores hasn’t proven to be an insurmountable burden when porting Android 4.4 KitKat to devices such as the Motorola Defy and Google Nexus One.
The Sony Xperia Tipo is one of these low powered devices. Released in June 2012, it is a small 3.2” phone with 800 MHz Cortex A5 processor and Adreno 200 GPU. It is also a very popular device on our forum. But despite this, it hasn’t received much developer attention. Now thanks to XDA Senior Member srl3gx, the Tipo has received unofficial CM11 KitKat goodness. We also can’t forget about XDA Recognized Developer FXP, who first ported CyanogenMod to this device.
So far, CM11 is not fully usable, as GSM, Bluetooth, WiFi, vold, and camera don’t work. However, these things should be ironed out soon, and the Xperia Tipo and hopefully other legacy Xperia phones like Miro, J or E will be fully stable while running KitKat.
If you own a Sony Xperia Tipo and want to check the progress of this project, please make your way to the development thread and give it a try.
[Thanks to XDA Senior Member Abadguy10 for the tip!]
December 10, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Video capture on Android devices has been notoriously troublesome. Yes, there are several solutions already available, but many of them have limitations of either being for pay or excruciatingly slow with choppy frame rates. Now, the CM team is testing their first party screen recording app, which brings many useful features and make them as easy as taking a screenshot.
The screencast functionality is initiated by pressing power + volume up. After pressing the key combination, you are given a prompt to start screencasting. Once initiated, the app records your device’s screen along with audio from your microphone. This makes it very useful if creating something like a walkthrough or tutorial.
The app is currently in open beta, and you can test it out on your own device. However, you have to meet a few criteria first. To get in on the action, you must first be running the latest CyanogenMod 11 nightlies. Luckily, they’re quite easy to find over on the CyanogenMod download server. Then once that’s taken care of, join the CM Google+ Community, as well as the beta program for the new app. Once you’ve done that, you can then find CyanogenMod Screencast in the Google Play Store.
Luckily, the additions are open source, so other developers can peer into the code by making their way over to the CM Gerrit. Have you already tested the new screencasting app? Are you a developer incorporating this into your own CM-based builds? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
December 10, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
While secure text messaging systems have been available on Android for quite some time, many users (even power users) have failed to set them up on their devices. This isn’t because privacy isn’t important, but it’s often one of those things you don’t think of until it’s too late.
Now, CyanogenMod is taking a great first step by incorporating an existing and open source secure text messaging platform into CyanogenMod. The integration comes in the form of TextSecure, which is maintained by Open WhisperSystems and lead engineer Moxie Marlinspike. Moxie is also in charge of the CM integration of the app, ensuring functionality and a degree of security. New to the CM implementation is SMS middleware functionality. This functions similarly to the Google Voice integration in CyanogenMod.
The way it will work for end users is simple: If you are running CM and send a message to another CM or TextSecure user, your messages will be automatically encrypted and secured. However, if your messages are sent to recipients without either, a standard unencrypted text message will be sent.
Now, you might be wondering when you can get your hands on these goods. Luckily, You just have to make your way over to GitHub (1, 2) if you’re a developer looking to incorporate the code into your own work, or if you simply want to snoop around. And if you’re an end user, rest assured that the latest CM10.2 nightlies already feature TextSecure integration. Integration into CM11 is coming soon as well, depending on how things go with the CM10.2 integration.
December 9, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.1 KitKat is now available for the Nexus 7 (2013) WiFi-only version. Official KitKat is also available for the Nexus 10! That and much more KitKat news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that 2011 Sony Ericsson Xperia Devices get unofficial Android 4.4 KitKat and the article talking about browsing every AOSP code commit in Android 4.4.1 KitKat!
In other important news, Jordan talks about the announcement that CyanogenMod 11.0 M1 is available for current Nexus devices. Also, there are official OmniROM nightlies for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 LTE. Finally, Motorola open sources the Moto G! Be sure to check out other videos on on XDA Developer TV. Pull up a chair and check out this video.