Our readers already know about CyanogenMod, as it's only the most popular Android ROM out there, so I won't waste time with an introduction. Many also already use CyanogenROM Downloader to get their hands on the latest versions, even though it's not an official updater. The app's already awesome, but its author sent out a tease a few days ago implying that it could be even better - that it could automatically update your ROM to the latest version overnight, do a backup beforehand, and install your preferred custom kernel without a single touch.
If you're looking for a cheap, mod-worthy tablet with a great screen, look no further. Today eBay Daily Deals has the Nook HD+, with a 9-inch, 1920x1280 screen and built-in access to the Google Play Store for just $119.99. It's a refurbished model, but that's $30 and 20% cheaper than the already-low $150 retail price. The eBay listing has free standard shipping, plus you won't have to pay sales tax outside of New Jersey and New York.
I really like the HTC One. I also really like the Galaxy S4. And the Optimus G Pro. And that's because there are a lot of great Android smartphones out there right now, and really, none of the very best ones are actually bad (nor are any of them perfect). And if I were to ask you, our readers, what would be the first thing you could change about any of them - if it could be just one thing - a few months ago the consensus likely would have emerged as "give them stock Android."
Well, we're two out of three - the HTC One and Galaxy S4 are both available in stock Android iterations, aka Google Play Editions, and are yours for the buying (if you're in the United States - admittedly a major caveat).
Though there's a definite streak among power users to prefer Google's "pure" Android on their phones, some of the manufacturer skins from HTC and Samsung have charming features as well. Modder and ROM developer Paul O'Brien, better known as MoDaCo, has been testing a solution to give you the best of both worlds. MoDaCo.SWITCH is a dual-boot solution for power users that lets two ROMs (manufacturer stock and AOSP, for example) which share user data, allowing a seamless switch between interfaces.
It's no surprise that Google's latest update to our favorite operating system is in instant demand amongst power users and enthusiasts. Without fail, the people eagerly installing 4.3 are frequently the same ones who consider root privileges a necessity for a good Android experience. Unfortunately, it seems a wrench has been thrown into the works when it comes to exposing ultimate access, and people are experiencing more than a few hiccups because of it.
Following the announcement of Android 4.3, the new Nexus 7, and the Chromecast, Google just started pushing the Android 4.3 open source code to AOSP (Android Open Source Project) under the tag android-4.3_r2.1. The push began several minutes ago and is expected to complete within a few hours. Additionally, factory images are already available for the Nexus 4, 7, 10, and the Galaxy Nexus.
Update 11:04am: According to JBQ, the push is complete: "All the files have been replicated to the git servers.
Several hours ago, an Android 4.3 system dump was leaked for the Nexus 4. As it turns out, even though the bootloader and the radios weren't included, the system dump is totally bootable. I'm running it right now. If you want to try it out, it's easy to do so, but be prepared to have your bootloader unlocked and flash some zips via a custom recovery. If you don't know what any of this means, I suggest you get familiarized with Android flashing first.
A few weeks ago the "Master Key" APK verification vulnerability rocked the Android security landscape... then immediately stopped rocking it, once Google revealed that they had patched the vulnerability months ago. Still, that's little comfort to users who aren't on a brand-new 4.2 phone (or, you know, a Nexus device that gets real updates). CyanogenMod has responded by patching all of its official ROMs (twice), and now noted security firm Duo has teamed up with Northeastern University's SecLab to do the same for all Android rooted users, regardless of their device.
Hot on the heels of Bluebox's disclosure of the "Master Key" exploit, a Chinese blog has posted details of a similar vulnerability. This attack also sidesteps a bug in the signature verification step and allows seemingly innocent APKs to include a potentially dangerous payload; and like its brethren, Google has already patched the flaw and posted it to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The information comes to us from a China-based group (or possibly individual) calling itself the Android Security Squad.