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.
September 10, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
This has been another great weekend at the XDA Portal. XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan covers all the news you need to know to keep up to date in the world of mobile phone development. Jordan talks about the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 system dump. Jordan mentions 720p video recording on the Google Nexus 7. And finally Jordan talks about the article about the XDA developments in Windows 8.
In Jelly Bean news Jordan mentions the HTC Droid Eris getting a version. And in CyanogenMod news, Jordan mentions the updates to CyanogenMod 10 messaging. Also, Jordan mentions the new XDA Forum sections and the ability to get XDA News on Google Currents. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
September 7, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
This has been another great week at the XDA Portal. XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan returns to cover all the news you need to know to keep you updated. Jordan talks about the highlights from the Nokia and Windows Phone Event and Motorola Event. Jordan mentions the other great videos released this week from other XDA Developer TV Producers. Lance released his second episode of how to build a Windows Phone App and TK released his latest app review for Around Sound.
In Jelly Bean news, Jordan mentions the AOKP nightlies for the Nexus 7. And in CyanogenMod news, Jordan mentions Xperia Acro S device getting CyangenMod 10 and 9. Also, mentioned is the Epic 4G getting CyanogenMod 10 nightlies. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
Change logs are definitely one of the most important parts of any release. Be it an app, ROM, kernel, mod, tweak, script, you name it; releasing a change log with each new release allows users to see what you’ve changed, fixed, added, and subtracted from prior versions. Often, it’s the very first developer-to-user interaction, and a well thought out change log can ease the minds of the cautious and give users compelling reason to upgrade. Fans of CyanogenMod nightlies probably know the value of the change logs even more so than most other ORDers, as they receive substantial updates rather frequently.
Enter BBQlog. Released by XDA Senior Member peterperfect along with the team behind the previously covered OpenDESIGN project, BBQlog is a third-party website that gives you the change log for CyanogenMod Nightlies. While many users are asking what is the big deal, as that information is typically already made readily available, the catch is where they pull the updates from. Instead of using CyanogenMod Gerrit, which is the more popular way to show the change log, BBQlog pulls its change log stats straight from the GIT. This means it shows every single little change, unedited. It’s much like buying the “Not Rated” version of a movie. You get the movie, plus all the stuff they didn’t show you in theaters. Additionally, the BBQlog team is currently working on an Android app that’ll push all this information directly to your Android phone.
While it isn’t an official CyanogenMod project, it’s still quite useful nonetheless for users and developers alike. For the link to the website, the full list of credits, and more, visit the original thread.
February 20, 2012 By: Former Writer
Dual booting on Android devices isn’t the newest technology out there, but whenever it gets ported to a phone, it’s a pretty exciting experience. So what does that say about triple booting? That is even more exciting, for one thing.
XDA Senior Member racks11479 has posted a method that will, once installed, allow users to boot into CyanogenMod7, CyanogenMod9 and stock on the Barnes & Noble Nook Color. Simply boot into CM7, then reboot to get into CM9 or power off and power on while pressing N to get to the boot menu for stock.
The process is relatively simple for those who own the Nook Color. You simply follow the same directions you normally would if you were to burn a NookieFroyo SD card from NookDevs.com, which racks11479 has been gracious enough to link to in the process. After that, there’s a short installation process, including an optional install of a Supercharge script, and you’re reading to start triple booting. Additionally, it appears that racks11479 consistently updates the thread and method so you can be sure that what you’re using is current and will likely be updated again.
For those who want triple booting goodness on their Nook Color, you can find download links, the full instructions, change log and all the additional options in the original thread. As per the norm, don’t forget to make a back up just in case!
One of the drawbacks to buying any device that doesn’t have Google Apps by default is the Android Market can be a little frustrating. Sometimes, not all the apps your device can run will show up. Other times, maybe apps you cannot run will show up. In any case, it can be a hassle.
For users of the Amazon Kindle Fire, your Market woes are one step closer to being over. XDA Member enkode has released a method that adds fixes to the Market so that Kindle Fire owners can have a more open experience with it.
The method itself is relatively simple, and easy to do as long as you follow the instructions. First, users are to edit their build.prop file and then install a modified version of the Android Market. The end result is Kindle Fire owners will have more Market goodness available to them than they had previously.
There are a few prerequisites though, to quote the developer:
YOU MUST BE RUNNING CM7
YOU MUST HAVE ROOT
I WILL NOT SUPPORT STOCK!
So you’re going to have to be rooted and running CyanogenMod before this mod will work for you. For those running the appropriate software, if you’d like to try it out, you can find the full instructions, download links and additional information in the original thread. As per the norm, be sure you make a backup before attempting, just in case something goes wrong.
January 18, 2012 By: Former Writer
It’s pretty much apropos for all new and high end devices to get a CyanogenMod ROM of some sort. Most will get CyanogenMod7 and we’ve been following the releases of CyanogenMod9.
Well, XDA members of the Lenovo Ideapad A1 aren’t going to be left behind. XDA Member gmarkall has begun work compiling CyanogenMod7 for the spunky tablet and its users.
It’s still a work in progress and there isn’t a flashable zip for the ROM yet, but based on updates over the last few days, gmarkall is making progress. As the to-do list states:
This is just a beginning of a list, but I think the things that need to be worked on at the moment are:
Modify the Cyanogenmod build to be able to create a suitable update.zip for the A1.
Try flashing the update.zip, see what works, what doesn’t, build a list of non-working things, and then fix them one-by-one.
Since CWM for the A1 doesn’t yet support backups of the ramdisk, it would be handy to create an update.zip to restore the original Lenovo ramdisk.
So for those who are toting the Lenovo Ideapad A1 and can’t wait for CyanogenMod goodness, you’ll want to keep an eye on the original thread for updates and details. Also, for any developers who want to help finish the project, there’s a link for an IRC channel to join for collaboration purposes.