August 14, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Ever since the release of Android 4.3 a few weeks ago, most device owners have been impatiently waiting for their slice of the pie. No, not key lime pie; but sweet 4.3 goodness, nonetheless. Of course, with dedicated teams of aftermarket firmware developers such as CyanogenMod, Paranoid Android, and AOKP, we all knew that it was only a matter of time.
Well, that day is now here, as Android 4.3 has made it to various handsets by way of CyanogenMod 10.2 nightlies for various devices. So what devices are supported? Quite a few, actually. A full build roster is not yet available, but according to the CyanogenMod Google+:
Tonight, we are not building for every device we support – there are always some stragglers. The rest will come when they are given the green light and that will happen when they are ready. …
As these builds are in progress (and some may fail) a full 10.2 build roster will be posted later.
And a quick glance at the CyanogenMod Mirror Network shows that quite a bit of progress has been made in the migration. However, this is all old news to at-home builders and kang-bangers, as stated by the CyanogenMod Blog on August 9th:
In the meantime, the majority of our 10.1 roster have transitioned to being 10.2 capable. This means for you at-home builders, things should be in a fairly good spot for your own personal builds.
To get the (prebuilt) goods on your own device, hit up the CyanogenMod Mirror Network to see if your handset is one of the chosen devices. Be sure to leave your thoughts in your home device forum, as well as in the comment box below. Developers looking to merge the changes into their own builds or just in it to learn a bit more about what went into 10.2 can head over to the CyanogenMod Gerrit.
A list of the devices that have already received the goods can be found below.
July 29, 2013 By: TheRomMistress
Coinciding with the release of Android 4.3 and and an updated stock camera, stage one of the CyanogenMod team’s top secret “Project Nemesis” was finally unveiled on July 26. According to the development group’s weekly wrap-up on www.cyanogenmod.org, the goal of this project is to bring users the best custom operating experience possible. As such, Focal, a feature-packed camera application, was announced as the first component geared towards reaching that goal. CyanogenMod developer Guillaume Lesniak (XDA Recognized Developer XpLoDWilD) posted details about the new camera on Google +, explaining almost a dozen new and improved features that were integrated into the Open Source app.
Included in the announcement was a video showing Focal in action. It’s no doubt that you have all heard the expression, “being in the right place at the right time.” CyanogenMod has expanded on that by claiming Focal will provide you with “the right pixel, look, path, spark, and feeling at the right time.” There are two key components at work within the UI that help backup that claim: a side bar and personable widgets within the sidebar. With a simple swipe, widgets can be reordered and hidden depending on your preference. When the screen is rotated, all widgets and the sidebar stay in place to avoid cluttered distractions while trying to take a picture. “It just feels natural,” said Lesniak. Doubling tapping on the viewfinder will turn it into a Quick Capture mode that allows you to take pics no matter where you tap on the screen. By use of a “rule of thirds” grid that helps frame your shots, you can achieve a more professional looking photo with Focal.
Those who have a tendency to take “selfies” will love the timer and burst mode features, which are sorely lacking in the stock camera. Not only does the timer allow you to set up a delay after pressing the shutter button, but it also has a built-in voice trigger that snaps your mug as soon as you say, “cheese,” “cid,” or “whiskey.” The burst mode takes a series of shots in increments of 5, 10, 15, or more without the need to press the shutter button multiple times.
Light metering is a major component to getting the proper exposure of your subject. With the addition of a meter ring alongside the standard focus ring, your subjects will be less likely to turn out too bright or too dark. Depending on your device, different metering modes are available including frame average, spot metering, and weighted point.
A swipe-enabled review drawer has been implemented for quick reference to your recent photos. Wherever you are in the app, swiping down in portrait mode of left in landscape will allow for easy access to your pics. When shooting in burst mode, a mini review drawer is available in real time. You can also take a picture while the drawer is open and it will slowly fade out of view. Like stock, swiping gestures also allow you to instantly delete unwanted photos; and tapping on a photo will automatically open it up in gallery.
The ability to take video snapshots while recording is now available to all devices by simply double-tapping the screen or pressing the volume up key. By using the volume down key or tapping the screen, Focal also allows you to refocus your video. Different effects can be added/changed while shooting by keeping the corresponding widget open while recording.
Google’s new “auto-awesome” feature has been extended to Focal by adding an automatic picture enhancement system. Within five seconds of taking a picture, Focal will automatically enhance all new pictures you take. Panorama mode has also been enhanced so your pictures come out better than ever! Rather than the previous 160 degree panoramic, the new app allows you up to 360 degrees of landscape.
The CM team has also created a better software HDR algorithm that according to Lesniak, first matches the shots before blending them together and then applies them as a real tone-mapping. “It takes a little bit more time to process than our previous implementation, so you might not want to use it on all your pictures, but it’s definitely worth it on your special occasions,” he said.
One of the great new features added to the Android 4.2 stock camera was Photo Sphere. Unfortunately, not every device is compatible with it, and those who really wanted to use it had to exchange all CM enhancements in order to use it. With Focal, a similar feature called PicSphere has been introduced. PicSphere is an opensource replacement for Google’s PhotoSphere, and allows for complete 360 degree panoramas.
While Focal is not available quite yet, the team promises to publish the source along with its official repositories as soon as the last few bugs are worked out. Once the source has been released, you can expect to find it in subsequent CM nightlies. The source code is split into two different repositities: android_packages_apps_Focal and android_external_Focal. As an open source app written under version two of the General Public Licence, the android community is being strongly encourage to contribute to the success of Focal by adding new widgets and settings. Lesniak said that this is to “achieve the final goal of the app” which is to “have a complete camera software, opensource, that is both powerful and compatible with every device.”
As this is only the first phase of the Nemesis project, Steve Kondik said in a Google + post that there will be much more to follow. “My goal for CM has always been to break open these mostly proprietary mobile devices so we can turn them into the product we really want…What’s most important to me is that anyone can get the code, hack on it and change whatever you want, build it, and flash it to your device.” he said. “Nemesis is our plan to improve the user experience in the right places. The new camera app, Focal, is just the start. Without giving too much away, invoking teaser videos, or giving ETAs, I can confidently say that awesome things are going to keep coming.”
May 10, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
CyanogenMod 10.1.0 RC1 has been released for various devices. That story and more are covered by Kevin, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the Windows Phone 7.8 updater tool Sharp7Eighter and FireFox OS making an appearance on the juggernaut device, the HTC HD2.
Kevin talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Steve talked about unlocking the bootlader of the new HTC One, Kevin talked about spring cleaning for your Android and TK released an Android App review of Pocket Converter. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
April 8, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
XDA held a roundtable discussion with Nvidia and Project SHIELD. That story and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is a discussion of the CyanogenMod Stats debacle and the Multifunction script for the Asus PadFone 2.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Steve had an App Shootout between the Twitter Apps of Android, Windows Phone and iOS and XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce rapped to us about Ranking Hacker Schools. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
I’m going to guess that you heard about CyanogenMod no longer giving users the chance to opt out of providing anonymous usage statistics. You did not however, hear it from us. This is simply because right before our article about the change was due to be posted, we received word that this was being reverted. Here’s a little of what you would have read:
“Recently, it was announced that a change has been merged into CM stats that removes the ability to opt out of having anonymous usage data reported. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “ZOMG, OH NOEZ! My privacy!! Won’t somebody think of the children!!1!!11!” Okay maybe not, but there does seem to be some confusion over this decision.”
Apparently my assessment of some people’s reaction as “confusion” was a little off. A more accurate description would have been something along the lines of an uninformed, foot stamping tantrum—one which resulted in the reversal of the change and the CM team’s quest for realistic and usable usage statistics being sent swiftly back to square one. We were going to explain to those concerned precisely why you shouldn’t be bothered about the change and exactly what information was being collected and why. That seems like a bit of a waste of time now, but you guessed it, we’re going to anyway.
The reason behind the change, according to Google+ posts by various members of the CM team including Koush and Cyanogen himself was simple. This data is useful to them. They don’t feel that they are getting an accurate depiction of the user base by offering the ability to opt out. And guess what, they’re probably right. There are three devices in my house alone which have run various versions of CyanogenMod, but never once had the reporting option enabled. Don’t judge me, I’m a habitual “opter outer,” and I’ll bet I’m not alone. Those CM Statistics would probably take a huge leap if this had been non-negotiable from the beginning. Not only would this have allowed the CyanogenMod team to get a much better grasp of their user base but – in the opinion of one Elite Recognised Developer – being able to show a substantial potential market of users who do not care about software differentiation to OEMs is bound to give them food for thought.
Now, of course I understand people having concerns about privacy; and I appreciate the point of those that wish to retain the chance to opt out for whatever reason. That said, it is incredibly frustrating to see a group such as the CM team effectively being railroaded into reverting this change by people who (in a lot of cases) don’t fully understand exactly what they are complaining about. The data collected is completely anonymous, and probably pales in comparison to the wealth of information already siphoned from your device by Google themselves and numerous third-party applications readily available in the Play Store. Vigilant readers will remember our article on enabling anonymous usage statistics on any ROM. This mod is based on the CM stats application itself and could mean that any number of ROMs available all over the Internet are already sending this information back to developers without your knowledge. There’s a reason that people want to collect such information and ultimately that is because it helps them to provide you, the end user, with a better final product.
The official reason for the reversal of the decision according to Mr. Kondik himself was that:
“I do not want CM to ever be perceived as a group who doesn’t respect the privacy of it’s users”
You can’t really argue with that, and the rest of his post explains that the change was for purely analytical purposes that seem insignificant in light of the “incredibly dubious things” carried out by some other applications. He also acknowledges that this is more than likely the reason for most people’s concern.
If you are somebody who objected to this without a full and thorough understanding of exactly how it would (or more accurately, would not) affect you, I implore you to take some time, look into the subject further, and enable that reporting option next time you flash. That may sound a little hypocritical from the guy who has never previously opted in, but I certainly will be from now on. The bottom line here is that there’s no need to worry about your privacy, having your IMEI number funneled directly into the hands of maniacal super villains, or being woken up in the middle of the night to find Cid looming over you. That probably won’t happen, probably…
Let us know how you feel about this in the comments below.
March 29, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
CyanogenMod now comes with pie. Not cherry pie or apple pie, but it now features gesture controls similar to what’s found in Paranoid Android. That story and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news, is an article about configuring ADB and compiling from source on Fedora KDE.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Steve gives us an App Shootout of the Facebook app for the different mobile operating systems, XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin shows us even more about Tasker, and XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Android app review of C Widget. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
If there’s one Android project out there that needs no introduction whatsoever, it’s CyanogenMod. The name itself has become synonymous with aftermarket development and is without a shadow of a doubt, the single most popular custom ROM available. At the time of writing, they can claim 3,960,665 unique installs across over 70 different devices with dozens more supported unofficially—and these are just the ones who have chosen to enable the usage statistics. The roots of the project can be traced back to the original HTC Dream/G1 and a modified version of Android 1.5 (otherwise known as Cupcake) posted right here on XDA under the title, “CyanogenMod – Optimizing the crap out of Android 1.5.” Amazingly, this device still has an active development community and has even been graced with the latest version of CM, 10.
Over the years CyanogenMod has continued to evolve and push the envelope of what the Android operating system is capable of. It boasts numerous features that many users would love to see incorporated into stock Android and the ethos of “optimizing the crap out of Android x.x” remains as true today as it did back in 2009. The only difference is that nowadays these optimizations are made by an international team of developers over dozens of devices. It’s this open source nature and ability for anyone to submit code to the CM repository that has helped make it such a success. There have been numerous additions to the ROMs features, some of them developed in house such as the Apollo music player and CM File Manager, some of them from outside sources, the latest of which is the popular Pie Controls first featured in the Paranoid Android ROM series.
Paranoid Android is another popular third party firmware which may not have been around as long or gained as much of a following as CyanogenMod, but certainly puts as much effort into taking the Android OS that little bit beyond its original capabilities. It was the first ROM to offer the “Hybrid Mode,” allowing user to choose between a phone or tablet UI on an app by app basis, and even alter the DPI value for certain applications. It was also the first ROM to incorporate Pie Controls, a similar version of which has recently been merged into the CyanogenMod project. While the code used in the original Paranoid Android Pie Controls is a unique creation, its conceptual origins though should probably be credited to Google, as this style of menu has been an experimental feature of the stock Webkit-based Android browser for quite a while now. Pie Control analogs have also been available outside of Paranoid Android ROMs for anyone running a rooted device, originally thanks to LMT Launcher and other third party apps since, proving to be incredibly popular with users.
It’s important to note that although the version of Pie Control in the latest CM nightlies is based on the one from Paranoid Android, it has been completely rewritten to minimize the possibility of any conflicts with existing CM code. What Pie Control actually does is allow the user to disable the ever present on screen software keys and use a gesture to activate a radial menu at either bottom or side of the screen, thereby enabling access to some of the most commonly used functions such as back, home, menu etc. It’s also possible to have information such as the current time and remaining battery displayed when the menu is triggered. This allows the user to free up valuable screen space previously occupied by those annoying (in my opinion) on-screen buttons. While these changes have been integrated to CM already, they might not be available for all devices just yet, and those devices with dedicated hardware keys will need to manually enable the on screen keys before they can utilize the new Pie Control. If it can be done, there will be a guide to doing it in your device specific forum.
Now, I don’t think anyone was ever in any doubt that the development community were ever going to stop trying to take Android to a level of functionality beyond the vanilla offerings from Google, but this certainly shows that the likes of the CyanogenMod team aren’t above incorporating the ideas of those outside of the project and giving us, the end user, the choice of using the best features out there. There’s even speculation that the upcoming Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, will make use of these easy-on-the-eye, yet sometimes frustrating-on-the-fingers, radial menus. That would just be too obvious though, wouldn’t it?
Like it or not, hardware buttons are on their way out. Despite them still making an appearance on the latest flagships from HTC and Samsung, it’s pretty safe to assume we won’t see them on a future Nexus device, and it is these devices along with their latest updates that drive the development community. The currently used system of static, ever present software keys is a fairly inefficient use of real estate—even on the monster screen sizes we are now seeing devices released with—and I’d be highly surprised if Android 5.0 didn’t offer a better solution. Whether that’s full on gesture navigation similar to the recently unveiled Ubuntu Touch or something halfway between the two like, well, like Pie Control I guess, remains to be seen. No doubt the rumor mill will be working overtime in the lead up to Google I/O in May.
February 27, 2013 By: egzthunder1
XDA-Developers was, is, and always will be a community for developers to come and share their knowledge with others. The keyword in my statement is community, and as such, we must not forget that the people who we communicate with on a day to day basis via this wonderful medium known as the Internet (and our forum) are human beings as well. Because of this, we are all subject to see real life events cropping up from time to time. As a community, our duty is to support each other so that the community can survive and evolve. Today, we bring some unusual news regarding the case of one of our members, XDA Recognized Developer ChiefzReloaded aka Ryan Scott.
The CyanogenMod team has made a public Google+ post explaining the entire situation, which is quite grim. It seems that for the past few months, Ryan has been going through some rather disturbing events. He has been diagnosed with a disease known as Necrotizing Fasciitis, which for all practical purposes, is a skin and flesh eating disease. This is a rather rare and quite lethal condition. Ryan has been in and out of the hospital for at least the last 3 months undergoing heavy treatment to try and stop progression of this disease. However, since the United States does not offer a free, public healthcare system (and please, this is NOT a political debate, so keep the opinions on this matter to yourselves), the hospital and general medical bills are quickly setting him and his family into financial distress. They are already in VERY deep debt, and the current situation points to it not getting better any time soon, unfortunately.
Several hundreds of people have started different projects, donation drives, and all sorts of different activities to try and raise money to help him in this very difficult situation. We do not usually ask the community to donate their hard-earned money. However, this situation does call for as much help as humanly possible. Ryan is a husband and father of two and the amount of financial, mental, and physical strain that this must be putting on him and his entire family is something I would not wish to my worst enemy.
So, how can you help? At this point in time, every little bit helps. Anything you can do to alleviate the burden will be highly appreciated. Cyanogen’s Google+ post has the following information regarding the possible venues to help out:
+Polo Heysquierdo has started an Indiegogo page for Ryan athttp://www.indiegogo.com/projects/scott-family-fund. This page has some more details on Ryan’s condition and a method for you to help the effort.
Additionally, a huge community favorite and someone who the CyanogenMod team loves, +Deth Becomes You has started an auction with proceeds aimed at helping out Ryan.https://plus.google.com/u/0/107290707477228775864/posts/BYfaDHZeJKt
Additionally, and the most direct way to help, would be to donate to Ryan’s Paypal account (email@example.com) directly. Again, this is not something that we normally would write or talk about in the Portal, but this is a life or death type of situation and we figured that one way to help was to try and push Cyanogen’s announcement forward. If you have ever felt the need to help your fellow dev, now is a fantastic chance to get started.
Please spread the word as much as you humanly can. Any and all help will likely be highly appreciated by Ryan’s family. Those of us behind the scenes at XDA, we wish him and his family all the best, and wanted to assure him that we will help support them in any way we can.
Thank you for reading.
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
February 8, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
HTC turns its back on the development community.This story and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. The first one was a device review for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Also, XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an app review this week for AppDialer-T9 and XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler celebrates 1337 day.
Jordan talks about the new XDA change log, showing a bunch of changes that have happened at XDA over the years. Additionally, this week Jordan talks about the Ice Cream Sandwich (nope, that’s not a typo) release for the HTC Thunderbolt. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
February 1, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
A change to the DMCA law has forsaken the cell phone market. This and more is covered in this episode, as Jordan reviews all the important stories from this week. Jordan also talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV: XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviewed SPenBoard Switcher, and XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler had fun tearing down the Oppo Find 5.
Jordan talks about CyanogenMod 10.1 being official on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Additionally, this week Jordan talks about the 2.4 release of TWRP. Pull up a chair and check out this video. Finally, be sure to check out all the other news from XDA-Developers.com
November 16, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
CyanogenMod team releases a final version of CyanogenMod 10 for various devices while dealing with website extortion issues. These are only two exciting stories from the XDA Portal this week. Other stories rehashed by Jordan include three other video releases on XDA Developer TV. Released this week by XDA Developer TV Producer TK was his two part review of the Samsung Galaxy Note II and it’s S-Pen. Also, released this week was XDA Developer TV Producer azrienoch’s discussion of the DMCA.
In Android 4.2 news Jordan mentions the release of an image for the Nexus 7, Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 devices. Finally, Jordan mentions that the Android 4.2 update hits AOSP, the SDK has been updated and the Nexus binaries have been added too! Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Recently, the more astute among you may have noticed that the CyanogenMod project has begun to use the cyanogenmod.org domain rather than their previous .com version—a seemingly incongruous change, unfortunately driven by a malicious team member (turned rogue).
SatanR1, to use his username, bought the .com domain name for CyanogenMod via his company, Metserve Enterprises, when they started their own site to host builds and infrastructure such as their build system and distribution network. At some point in the past few months, the owner of the domain decided to fraudulently impersonate Steve Kondik (Cyanogen) towards companies, in order to seek donations and financial contributions. These were claimed to be going to the CyanogenMod project, but were in fact going directly to the impersonator himself.
To make matters worse, this user had (and has) full control of the .com domain name (which CyanogenMod are currently attempting to regain via the ICANN dispute procedure). The impersonator tried to extort $10,000 from the team to have the domain name returned (which they naturally cannot and will not pay). As of today, the domain name has been directed away from the project’s site, presumably in an attempt to try to gain some further money from the team.
To echo the request from the CyanogenMod Team,
If you are a company out there that believes they have also entered into agreements with “CM” by this person impersonating Steve, please contact Shade@chemlab.org. We’d like to get a handle on how widespread this was before we file charges.
The Android community is fairly tightly knit, and to see such a flagrant abuse of trust is frankly shocking. To see someone attempt to extort vast sums of money from an open source project (after already having obtained large sums of money by purporting to represent them to other companies) is likely very distracting for the team, yet they have pressed ahead with the release of CyangenMod 10 nonetheless.
I hope you will agree that this kind of behavior is totally unacceptable, and that such unethical business practices, especially by someone operating under the guise of their business, should be condemned by the community as a whole.
Update: Thankfully, it appears as if the situation is now resolved.
October 12, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
This has been another great week at the XDA Portal. XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan covers all the news you need to know to keep up to date on mobile phone developments. Jordan mentions dSploit, an Android-Based Network Penetration Suite. Jordan mentions the article about Samsung and its Exynos documentation snafu. Jordan mentions XDA Developer TV Producer Azrienoch’s video about Motorola and XDA Developer TV Producer TK’s App review of WiFi File Explorer.
In Jelly Bean news, Jordan mentions the release of Android version 4.1.2 and its merge in CyanogenMod 10. In CyanogenMod news, the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G has received CyanogenMod 9 and 10. Pull up a chair and check out this video.