Over the years, we’ve seen a few attempts at multi-window on the Android platform, with varying levels of success. We first saw Cornerstone a few years back, and it was even slated to be integrated into the popular CyanogenMod ROM, but that didn’t go so well. We then saw Samsung’s proprietary implementation, but this only worked with a few whitelisted applications. Although rooted users could modify that whitelist, this wasn’t an ideal solution for people who wanted a truly multi-purpose multi-window solution.
Paranoid Android then took a stab at this with Halo. But while that solution worked beautifully for the supported use-cases, it was a bit limited in terms of what things could be done. Then came OmniROM, and thanks to much work by Senior Recognized Developer Xplodwild and others, a truly versatile multi-window was now available.
What constraints were they facing? For starters, the OmniROM team wanted to make sure that the requisite code changes would be minimal. Aside from lowering complexity and the possibility of things breaking, they wanted to ensure that future updates would be delivered at a fast pace. Furthermore, they wanted to make sure that despite adding this functionality, few apps would face incompatibility issues. Then came the question of how this would be implemented from a UI perspective, and as can be seen in the screenshot to your right, multi-window looked very different in the development stages.
So how did they end up doing it? Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite caffeinated beverage, and head over to the official OmniROM blog to read the whole story.
January 6, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
CyanogenMod 11.0 M2 is coming to over 65 devices! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this weekend. Included in this week’s news is KitKat-based OmniRom for the LG Optimus Black and an article talking about how you can improve the quality of your Nexus 5 photos with a simple mod! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about XDA Senior Recognized Developer AdamOutler’s JOdin3 web-tool to flash your Samsung device. Also, the Custom ROM Central forum has been expanded to include AOKP and SlimRoms. Stay tuned for more CES 2014 coverage. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
January 3, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Not too long ago, we announced the creation of a dedicated forum for large-scale, multi-device custom ROMs. Originally, this forum was home to development and discussion surrounding OmniROM, PAC ROM, and Paranoid Android.
Now, we’ve gone ahead and expanded the forum to include two other important multi-device ROMs: SlimRoms and AOKP. As is the case with the previously created entries in the Custom ROM Central forum, this is where general discussion pertaining to these ROMs belongs, as well as Q&A about the projects themselves, and feature development to be incorporated into the ROMs themselves.
To get started, head over to Custom ROM Central, or visit the new sections directly by visiting the links below:
January 2, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
The Motorola Xoom is rapidly approaching its third birthday. And given its age, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is readily approaching time for retirement. However, thanks to innovations such as the recently covered bigpart partition layout, the device still clings to life.
Now, the device has highly functional 4.4.2 KitKat-based OmniROM builds, courtesy of XDA Forum Member Schischu, along with some help from quite a few other developers mentioned in the thread’s OP. Currently, there are only a few very minor issues with selecting alternate keyboards and audio dock volume controls. However, these are relatively minor and don’t hinder every day usage too greatly.
The builds require your device to be repartitioned to bigpart, if you haven’t already done so. After loading the special bigpart TWRP, installation is just like any other custom ROM.
To get started and breathe some new life into your Xoom, head over to the appropriate thread below:
[Many thanks to Senior Member realjumy for the tip!]
January 1, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Yesterday, we talked about the exciting technology developments in the mobile device world for this year. And today, XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan combed through all the headlines, XDA-Developers news, and device forums to find what happened this year. He then identified the Top Five Technology Stories of 2013.
This includes everything from the trials and tribulations of CyanogenMod in their venture to become Cyanogen Inc. to the rapid expansion of Ubuntu Touch, and much more. So take a moment to check out today’s video and see what we think were the top 5 stories in the mobile industry this year. Let us know if we got it right or why we are dead wrong in the comments below!
Omni is an interesting project, with a lot of original contributions. Recently we talked about OpenDelta, an innovative OTA system created by XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire. Now it’s time to present you the built-in file manager with cloud integration: DocumentsUI by XDA Senior Recognized Developer XpLoDWilD.
The new file manager is integrated into the frameworks, so it doesn’t have to be installed as a standalone app. It’s a very interesting move, and it can be assumed that many other ROMs will incorporate this open-source project.
DocumentsUI allows users to perform simple file operations like copying, pasting, deleting, and sharing. Moreover, it has Google Drive integrations, so files stored there can be easily accessed. Omni is demonstrating that open source projects can bring a variety of new things that can be very useful for all custom ROM users. And since it’s an open project, everyone can add their own contributions to make it even better.
More information about this file manager can be found in this Git commit. DocumentsUI can be found in all nightlies released after December 9th. It’s also worth mentioning that OmniROM is available for more than 20 devices now, and the list of supported phones is still growing.
December 8, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Not everyone has supremely fast mobile data when on the go. And even those with many bars of LTE reception shouldn’t have to waste their bandwidth downloading overly sized ROM updates. But let’s face it: We all want the absolute bleeding edge ROM and featureset at all times.
So what do we do when we’re on the go and happen to see that our favorite developer issued a new version? We download a huge, often 100 MB or larger complete update.zip via mobile data and flash it on the go. This is a given, as we wouldn’t be very good ORDers otherwise. Unfortunately, stuff happens, and not every download goes as expected. When a download arrives corrupted, that becomes bandwidth and time that is wasted—frustrating all around.
Well, thanks to work by XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire, this is no longer an issue—at least not for those running OmniROM. Thanks to Chainfire’s work, OmniROM now uses Chainfire’s OpenDelta OTA technology. As its name suggests, this uses deltas, when possible, to reduce download sizes. Differences are determined using existing VCDIFF technology, and the delta files are then pushed out to the OmniROM public download server.
Then, a local Android client checks in with the update server and retrieves the latest .delta file. And one neat trick is that if you forget to update for a few rounds, OpenDelta can chain multiple .delta files to install many incremental updates at once. Finally, the Android app also allows you to automatically check for and download updates when connected to specified network types.
End users should be pretty excited about OpenDelta, as it means smaller and more streamlined update downloads. Developers should be as well. OpenDelta, as well as the whole OmniROM project is open source. Of note, however, users must be running TWRP recovery to use these incremental update deltas.
What are your thoughts on OmniROM’s new update system? Personally, I think it’s about time that a large-scale custom ROM incorporates an open source delta OTA system.
[Source: Official OmniROM Blog]
December 7, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
A few weeks ago, we talked about how the new player in the custom ROM world, OmniROM, had started releasing nightly builds for various devices. Then not too long after, a few more devices were added to the mix. Now, the next major device has its own taste of the OmniROM-flavored Android 4.4.1: the Samsung Galaxy S 4 LTE
As mentioned above, these new nightly builds will feature all of the Android 4.4.1 goods that we’ve come to know and love. The builds also feature the new OmniROM features that were introduced a few weeks ago alongside the first batch of nightlies.
The ROM is now available for the Galaxy S 4 LTE, as well as its carrier variants on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Verizon, and Canadian carriers. This official OmniROM support for the Galaxy S 4 LTE comes from the following maintainers: XDA Recognized Contributor jakew02 and XDA Forum Members jumoog and Evisceration.
To get in on the official OmniROM nightly action, visit the threads linked below. And once you’ve tried the ROMs, don’t forget to share your experiences in the comments section below!
[Source: OmniROM Blog]
December 6, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.1 KitKat is now available for The Google Nexus 4, 5 and 7 (2013 LTE). 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 the source code for the just released Android 4.4.1 has been released to AOSP and the OmniROM project has announced nightlies for more devices. That’s not all that 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 XHalo, Jordan showed us how to root, install TWRP and OmniROM on the Oppo N1, and TK gave us an Android App Review of MacroDroid Automation. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
READ ON »
December 4, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
In this episode, XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan shows you how to root your Oppo N1. The Oppo N1 is hot news in the Android ecosystem. It is the device that is pushing the limit of phone size, and some say even phablet size. This thing is huge. But as usual at XDA, we must root all the things, and the Oppo N1 is no exception!
Jordan presents step-by-step instructions on how to gain root access on your Oppo N1 using tools from the XDA Developers Forums. First, Jordan shows you how to gain root access using XDA Senior Recognized Developer Jcase’s APK root exploit. Then, he installs TWRP and OmniROM. If you wanted to root your Oppo N1, take a moment and check this video out.
December 3, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
A little over a week ago, the open source OmniROM project launched its official nightlies. Included in the list of supported devices were the Oppo Find 5, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013), Galaxy Note and certain variants of the Galaxy S II, S III, and Note 2.
Now, the team has announced that several new devices have been added to the list of officially supported devices. These are the Oppo N1, AT&T HTC One, International HTC One, Xperia T, Xperia Z, and Xperia ZL. With these six new supported devices, 21 different devices now have official OmniROM nightly releases.
Those looking to get in on the official OmniROM nightly action should head over to the official OmniROM downloads page.
[Source: OmniROM Blog]
November 28, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
At this year’s Big Android Barbeque, a new player in the multi-device custom ROM world was announced. This was of course OmniROM, an open source project created by some of the greats in the Android development world such as XDA Senior Recognized Developers Xplodwild, Chainfire, Dees_Troy, and others.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen Android 4.4-based OmniROM builds appear for several devices. Now, the experience is about to get even more exciting, as nightlies are now available for 15 popular devices! The full list, along with links to their download pages can be found at the end of this post.
Along with the nightlies, there are exciting new features in OmniROM. These include a new non-intrusive incoming call notification, improvements to DSP Manager, per-app permission settings, and ActiveDisplay.
November 22, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
In an interesting twist, the Verizon Moto X is among the first to get the Android 4.4 KitKat update! 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 there is a KitKat-based OmniROM available for the Google Nexus 5. And in another unexpected move, Motorola has reinstated warranties on developer devices. That’s not all that is 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 XuiMod, Jordan gave a device review of the Google Nexus 5, and TK gave us an app review of CloudMagic. Pull up a chair and check out this video.