ROM news for the last month or so have been focused on KitKat, but if you prefer your customized Android software in a more reliable flavor, Cyanogen has you covered. CyanogenMod 10.2, the CM build of Jelly Bean 4.3, just landed on the download page. You can stroll over there right now and get your Android 4.3 on.
CyanogenMod stable builds are the most reliable and complete packages offered by the custom ROM team, and generally have no bugs or incompatibilities (or at least no more than the standard AOSP builds).
As part of an effort to expand adoption of CyanogenMod, the developers recently released the CyanogenMod Installer app in Google Play. All was well for a few weeks, but today Google contacted the CyanogenMod team to explain that the installer app was in violation of Google Play’s policies. So, the CM folks agreed to take the app down.
The app acts as a tool to help users get their devices connected to a computer over ADB – it doesn't actually do any of the heavy lifting of unlocking and flashing the device.
If the beta version of CyanogenMod isn't quite stable on your device and you're uncomfortable with the idea of installing a nightly, today marks a big step forward. The CyanogenMod team has rolled out the first release candidate for 10.2. If you want a relatively clean build of Android 4.3 for your phone or tablet, this is a pretty solid way to go.
The Galaxy Note 8.0 is a pretty capable tablet, though it does have several drawbacks. While the painfully low 1280 by 800 display can't be helped, its default software configuration is far less immutable. If TouchWiz just grinds your gears, you will be happy to know that CyanogenMod nightlies are now available for both the 3G (GT-N5100) and WiFi-only (GT-N5110) versions of the tablet. Sure, anyone who installs them now may be sacrificing stability and other functionality, but that's the price some are willing to pay for stock Android and quicker access to updates.
After a bit of testing, the CyanogenMod Installer app has hit Google Play for everyone. When combined with the desktop client (and a USB cable), this becomes the fastest way to install CyanogenMod. It won't work on every phone, but it completely automates things on supported devices.
Whenever there's a new version of Android on the block, you can bet that custom ROM makers will be some of the first to push it out - for example, the Paranoid Android team had an AOSP build of KitKat available the day after the code was published. This weekend the makers of four of the most prolific custom ROM families out there, CyanogenMod, Android Open Kang Project (AOKP), Paranoid Android, and Omni ROM, have shared their plans for Android 4.4.
When it comes to hardware aesthetics, Sony has some of the best industrial design around. The 6.4-inch Xperia Z Ultra is undeniably attractive in its glass and metal casing. The software isn't so appealing, and not just because it's Android 4.2 - Sony's custom interface leaves a lot to be desired. If you'd like to run something closer to AOSP, not to mention a latter version of Android, the indefatigable CyanogenMod team is now offering nightly builds of CM 10.2.
The Moto X already comes with a Nexus-like user experience, but for many users, that just isn't enough. The looks are great and all, but there are just some features that can only be found buried at the end of custom ROMs like treasure at the end of a rainbow that only power users can see. But CyanogenMod fans who happened to pick up a Moto X on AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon, hold up before downloading the recently released nightly builds, as these files are only intended for the unlocked or developer editions.
For many of us, it's not enough just to get our hands on a new handset. We love Android, but we're just not big fans of the changes that manufacturers make to distinguish their phones from one another. Some manufacturer customizations, like Sense 5, are arguably more attractive than Google's own efforts.
In stock Android, capturing a screenshot from your device is as easy as pressing the Power button and the Volume Down button simultaneously. Recording video from the device's screen however can be a little trickier.
Looking, as always, to enhance the stock Android experience with awesome new touches, the CyanogenMod team (specifically Koushik Dutta) is working on integrating screen recording through an easy Volume Up + Power combination.
With that simple key combination, users will be able to record their device's screen, with audio and touch indicators thrown in for added utility.