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!]
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: