The Android Open Kang Project ROM developers are taking longer and longer in between updates, but when they post one, it doesn't disappoint. The third official Jelly Bean 4.2 release includes support for the Acer Iconia Tab A510, the international Galaxy Note II LTE, and T-Mobile's Galaxy S II. (Owners of the international Galaxy S II and the Texas Instruments i9100G variant: check AOKP's website tomorrow for an updated version.) There's also a lot of new features in the build, most of them centered around the user interface.

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First and foremost: tablet mode is back! For those of you scratching your heads, "tablet mode" is the colloquial name for the combined tablet navigation and status bar introduced in Honeycomb 3.0, and officially abandoned by Google with the release of the Nexus 10. Users who prefer the combined layout  (like me)  can now use it on AOKP ROMs again. Unfortunately, the implementation seems a bit half-baked - the combined bar on my Nexus 7 overlaps the interface, making plenty of apps unusable.

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For a more modern approach, you can use the new auto-hide navigation bar function. This is similar to the PIE system in the Paranoid Android ROMs: when the setting is enabled, the default navigation bar will be hidden, allowing apps to take up nearly the entire screen. When you need it, swipe up in the activation area (the little white tab in the screenshot above) to bring it up for a few seconds. I think this approach actually works better than PIE, since the navigation bar will stick around as log as you need it, allowing for multiple presses without re-doing gestures. By the way, that white tab can be resized and made invisible.

Other additions include the old Google Car Home, the return of quick unlock and Gingerbread-style recent items, and "Transparency control for all the things!" For those of you already downloading, remember that AOKP requires a fresh Gapps flash over every new release.

Android Open Kang Project - JB-MR1 Build 3

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • SoWhy

    Still no I9300 support :-/

    • http://twitter.com/rohanXm Rohan Mathur

      No one on the team owns one, so it is impossible to support it if no one owns it. We only release for devices that any of us team members own.

  • TynanDeRosa

    Does note II support include stylus support? sorta worthless without it.

    • Mitch Wedemeier

      No, only Touch wiz roms will have Spen support. you can still use it as a normal stylus, but the samsung shortcuts won't work. there are a lot of apps that you can download and make shortcuts for though.

    • http://twitter.com/Zlatty Zlatko Unger

      The pen works, however, SPen app is not there and you can't use some of the cool features that are a part of touchwiz. Stick to Jelly 'beans' B9 until all of 4.2 issues (BT, wifi, gps lock) are fixed.

  • Anth

    Is there a 4.2 rom for the s3 in the works?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

      Yes, this one. S3 wasn't mentioned in the article because it's already been supported for awhile.

  • Matthew Fry

    Looks like tabletui has been merged into the N10/manta so it's probably stable enough to use :) [build-2 had no navigation buttons in portrait]

  • http://twitter.com/ThePhillipBee Phillip Bee

    Seems as if there will never be a rom that has it all 4.2, stock android w/ upgraded fts, spen and multi-window support.. *sigh*

    • Kcls

      JellyBeer for the N4 does!

      • http://twitter.com/ThePhillipBee Phillip Bee

        N4 dsnt have an spen or multiwindow ..why would it support those features?

        • Kcls

          Oh, no, I'm saying the JellyBeer ROM is an AOSP 4.2 ROM that supports multiwindow.

          • http://twitter.com/ThePhillipBee Phillip Bee

            aww.. ok .. will check it out .. thanx

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    Great to see that AOKP are keeping the old tablet layout.

    I prefer the old tablet UI when I tried out a Nexus 10 a few days back. The small status bar was hard to see and looked weird on the big screen, plus there was effort reaching the software buttons in the middle (especially while on the stand).

    When will people learn that one UI does NOT fit all. Ubuntu's Unity doesn't look nice on tablets and the Windows 8 Metro is frustrating with a keyboard+mouse.

    At least the folks at KDE have 3 UIs; one for netbooks, one for desktops and one for mobile devices.

  • Adam

    Tablet mode was already alive in 4.2 thanks to someone else but still a fun read.