One of the biggest downfalls of major third-party ROMs is that often they miss out on features added by manufacturers. OpenDESIGN is an attempt to rectify this problem, spearheaded by XpLoDWilD of TeamHacksung, a subgroup of the CyanogenMod team. Ultimately, the goal is to rebuild popular and useful manufacturer features and build them into CM9 for all to be able to use.

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The site's FAQ says that these features will be "written from the ground up and will be opensourced early on." This should be extremely helpful for the community as a whole. From features like stop watches to S Pen functionality, the biggest reason to continue using a manufacturer skin instead of an AOSP-based ROM is extra features added by the manufacturer. This will help level the playing field a bit for the enthusiasts among us who want to tweak their phones to perfection.

At the moment, the site is just getting started, so if you're a developer that wants to help build features that will eventually be integrated into CM9, or just want to contribute to the project, you can head to the site and sign-up/donate now.

Source: OpenDESIGN via Reddit

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • jjrudey

    This sounds pretty good.

  • http://twitter.com/andr3wjacks0n andrew jackson

    My favorite skin feature is in Sense when you start to dial a number it scrolls through your contact list.

    • tanknspank

      t9 dialing is already in most roms now, just shows the first suggestion and you have to click a down arrow to show more

    • Nate

      Doesn't the T9 dialer in CM9 already do that?

  • http://twitter.com/andr3wjacks0n andrew jackson

    The only rom that I remember having that is CM.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshcwh Joshua Chan Wei Han

    As long as your phone can run CM9, you phone isn't really outdated. What outdated is those phones who get stucked in CM7.

  • Luigi37

    Does this mean some of the sick features and functions on the SGSIII will eventually be ported to CM9 for that phone?

    • John O’Connor

      i'm waiting for all of the apk leaks (s voice, s beam, maybe even popup play and direct call) from the SGS3.

       I already have flipboard installed on my SGS2 running ICS. The wonderful gentlemen/ladies at XDA have the apk available if you wish to pick up flipboard  

      • blunden

        Waiting for apk leaks of any Samsung-designed app is pretty pointless as they will no doubt require TouchWiz to run. Flipboard works because it's just a normal app that Samsung happened to pay for exclusivity on.

  • Kamil Zabiegała

    This is just... insanely genius!

  • http://twitter.com/BrazenRain BrazenRain

    This is no port. This is full blown software development. Hooray! o/

  • Paul Werner

    This settles it, I am going to stick with my Epic 4g till Sprint has a good LTE phone with a KB or until I personally feel my phone is too out of date. With this in development I feel that will be a very long time from now. Way to go OpenDesign team! I'll be sticking with CM on any of my future android phones I do end up getting, so excited for this to bring some more features to my phone that Samsung thinks it can't handle

    • John O’Connor

      I'm torn as well on which of my devices I would like to replace as well.

      I have a Nexus S 4G, EVO, EVO3D and 2 SGS2 E4GT's
      The first round of Sprint LTE Devices will only have LTE radio support on 1900mhz range and not the later to be re-purposed 800mhz iDen (but by the time the spectrum is repurposed I will most likely be purchasing new phones again.

      The Evo LTE sounds great but lacks a removable battery (love that they brought back the kickstand though!)

      The Galaxy Nexus is outdated and lacks expandable storage

      The New Galaxy S3 sounds great from a software aspect but the hardware upgrade is only incremental (unless of course the sprint variant gets a 64gb model and additional RAM)

      The Viper is still an entry level device(i see it as the kyocera echo of this year in terms of sales)

      On a positive note:

      Technology is always advancing and most of these devices are king of the mountain for 6 months to a year tops.  I would love to see what Samsung is coming out with in the way of use of flexible AMOLED that was to be rolling out in smartphones this year (perhaps in time for the holiday season?)

      I would be interested to see what this new mysterious LG phone is, it sounds promising.  http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/05/10/rumor-lg-ls970-headed-to-sprint-with-quad-core-snapdragon-s4-2gb-of-ram-and-lte/

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/7GU4N7CVDBJXMZOBFO3DMIQZH4 J

    Off the top of my head...

    1.) I like Blur (can't believe I just said that) ICS lock screen allowing 2 additional app launches (other than unlock & camera).  I would suggest allowing for the user to select the number of additional apps, in case they have more than just 2 they may want to add (ie unlock, camera, camcorder, text, dial pad, twitter, G+, Angry Birds...).  Maybe a clock like display & as you go around the circle, the various apps icons pop up & when you find the one you want, you slide up out of the circle to it...

    2.) Sense's Friend Feed.  It'd have to include Google Plus posts (preferably not just the public posts, but any post a friend makes I can see).  Also, possibly the ability to select which friends show up on the widget's display.  I may, for example, want to set up one widget that just has my co-worker's posts, another for just my Fraternity Brother's...  Then I won't have to scroll through my thousands of "friends" on FB or Twitter just to find the few I really care about at that moment...

    • jordanjay29

       As to your first, I believe CM9 is already going to include something quite similar: https://plus.google.com/117962666888533781522/posts/DWBjMybHij5

    • http://twitter.com/homncruse Aaron Burke

      And regarding part of your second, ask Google for better APIs. The only ones available are for public posts.

    • John O’Connor

      The Acer ring brings some of these features to the lockscreen. in the meantime, i've been running custom roms and trying out different launchers. 

  • Davor Gričar


  • http://twitter.com/datagutt datagutt

    This is made by blamesamsung, not just xplodwild :)

  • eduardomori

    Will (native) Facebook sync be included? Would be a nice addon, as Facebook doesnt seem to care very much...

    • blunden

      Support for that is already merged if I remember correctly. Facebook should really just fix their shit. HaxSync also has a much better Facebook sync implementation and Friendcaster is better than the official.

      Really, there is no reason to even have the official app installed anymore, especially after they added their shady icons (which was later removed again). It just shows how out of touch with Android they are.