Cyanogen, the corporate arm of the popular CyanogenMod custom ROM, is on a roll. After a few high-profile hires from the world of aftermarket Android ROMs earlierthisyear, the company is after some more conventional hires for its leadership team, dipping their toes into the pool of corporate technology. This week they welcome Tyler Carper, formerly of HTC, Vikram Natarajan, formerly of OEM parts manufacturer MediaTek, and Dave Herman, formerly of Microsoft, Amazon, and Hulu, as new vice presidents.
Here at Android Police, we're no strangers to digging around in Google's code and finding surprising stuff inside. Apparently some members of the CyanogenMod team did the same, and found a hidden feature in KitKat: Heads Up notifications. These floating notifications are meant to be used in full-screen apps or Immersive Mode, but for whatever reason, they aren't switched on in AOSP code. (Perhaps they're intended for the next major Android release.) You can probably guess what happens next.
The folks at Cyanogen Inc. are busy with more than the OnePlus One launch, if that's what you call this. There are also a pair of new apps in the Play Store. Theme Showcast pretties up your CM11-based device, and Gallery Next is live, but only for the OnePlus One right now.
If you're not familiar with Xiaomi's Mi2 (Also called the M2s or the Xiaomi Phone 2) hardware, you're probably in good company. While the company's phones are wildly popular with tech enthusiasts in China, Xiaomi has almost zero presence outside of the country. Still, they seem to have at least a few fans in the larger Android community, because the Mi2 model now has official CyanogenMod support. You can download the first nightly builds under the "Aries" codename now.
Google's own launcher lacks many customization features you'd get with third-party options, but it has that cool Google Now panel that makes it that much easier to see your cards. Because that's part of the closed-source Google Search app, other launchers have thus far been unable to implement it. However, the newest 0613 nightlies of CyanogenMod 11 include this feature in the default Trebuchet launcher. Well, mostly.
We always talk about the customizability of Android, but most of us never really put it to the test. Sure, we might change the theme on our keyboards or replace some homescreen icons, but when is the last time you changed your system font? If you're running CyanogenMod and feel like trying something a little different, treat your eyes to any of the six brand new fonts that have been packaged up for use in the CM Theme Engine.
The Sony Xperia Z2 is a great device out of the box, but let's not kid around, a certain number of people are going to want to root and flash it if for no reason other than spite. The task requires a good custom ROM to turn to in place of whatever unbearable software the phone shipped with, and fortunately the latest version of CyanogenMod, complete with Android 4.4, is now one such option available to Xperia Z2 owners who just can't bear to let things be.
When you go around flashing ROMs, you have to expect that things might occasionally go wrong. The previous milestone build of CyanogenMod 11 seemed fine at first, but then Google released the 4.4.3 update. Devices that were eligible (Nexus phones, for example) started producing update notifications, which shouldn't happen on a custom ROM. This was more troublesome than a notification that wouldn't go away, though.
If you used to play around with CyanogenMod Nightlies, but switched to the more stable M-series releases, it has probably felt like forever since M6 hit the scene. Well, M7 is hot off the compilers, just in time to fill that insatiable need to flash your phone or tablet. Don't forget, the M-series has officially taken the place of Release Candidates and Stable builds, so this is considered the most reliable version of CyanogenMod available.