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.
Some Moto X owners weren't particularly happy to learn that a recent OTA with improvements to the camera also had the undesirable consequence of breaking root acquired through PwnMyMoto. Fortunately, the creator of PwnMyMoto, Justin Case, is back with an updated root method that works on the latest Moto X update and should be compatible with all recent Motorola firmwares.
Update: RockMyMoto is confirmed to also work on the latest firmwares for the Droid Maxx, Ultra, and Mini.
Android 4.4 is out, and that means developers and tinkerers have already started digging through the code and various APKs in hopes of porting as many updated apps as possible for use with existing devices. The first and easiest app to extract is, unsurprisingly, the clock, which also acts as an alarm, timer, and stopwatch. I've installed it on my Galaxy Nexus without any issues and only had to clear data to get rid of the pesky force close, which is completely undestandable.
After announcing KitKat and the Nexus 5 earlier today, and releasing the Android 4.4 SDK, tools, and other related goodies, Google has moved on to the next important step - source code. As announced on the Android Building forum, Android 4.4 is now trickling in, bit by bit, into the AOSP repos. If all goes well, we can expect it to complete within several hours.
Update: The source push is 100% complete.
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.
Android is now the undisputed champion of mobile marketshare, but certain companies are still releasing exclusive iOS apps, like the JARVIS-themed Iron Man 3 companion. It's a bummer, but iOS users can't make sweet custom boot animations like the one that Redditor hypd09 posted to /r/Android yesterday. It won't turn your phone into a suit of weaponized armor, but it will look pretty sweet with your elaborate Halloween costume.
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.
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here.