When we posted the latest "M" build for CyanogenMod 11, I wondered when the release candidate of the popular custom ROM was coming. It's going to be a while, since apparently they're now a thing of the past. According to the latest CM blog post, that doesn't indicate any real change - they're just moving things around a bit. M builds are now the top tier of CyanogenMod, with nightly builds occupying a lower and more risky level of ROM, followed by pre-alpha "experiments."
No one could accuse the team at Cyanogen of rushing anything to market. Six months after KitKat debuted, the CyanogenMod team is still perfecting its modified release for dozens of devices. The sixth snapshot or "M" build is rolling out on the buildbox right now. Custom ROM fanatics, you know what to do.
"M" builds are generally more stable than nightly builds, but still not good enough to make it to Release Candidate status.
OnePlus has been amazingly and infuriatingly evasive when it comes to their much-hyped One phone, bordering on "bloody cheeky" with their series of faux-viral specification and schedule reveals. Perhaps one of their hardware or marketing partners got as fed up with waiting as we are, because a full set of convincing photos and renders has been leaked via a Chinese forum.
The set of photos shows what looks like a pretty standard high-end phone, with the interesting addition of a variety of removable"StyleSwap" back covers, including various covers made of (or at least covered in) wood, carbon fiber, and denim.
Amazon's Kindle Fire HD tablets are very affordable, and the hardware is pretty compelling. It's just a crying shame that the Fire OS powering the device doesn't quite have the feature set that we enthusiast have come to expect. But that's nothing a little ROM action can't address, and CyanogenMod has just the solution - nightlies for the 2012 Kindle Fire HD 7" and 8.9."
The builds currently available show up as experimental because they were produced on demand, but regular nightlies are due out starting today.
The folks at CyanogenMod take a long, long time to develop a custom ROM before they'll slap a "stable" label on it. They don't make any apologies for this, but if you're particularly impatient for a more reliable version of CM 11 (Android 4.4), you can check out the latest snapshot builds. The "M5" builds are rolling out for some of the better-supported devices at the moment, and more should be available throughout the day.
When it comes to "small" phones sporting 4.3-inch displays, the options are really slim these days. The top options each come with custom UIs, and consumers don't have the luxury of picking up a Google Play Edition of any of them. People who want a zippy stock Android experience on a smaller device that's still relatively powerful are therefore placed in a position to take matters into their own hands. For HTC One Mini (M4) owners, CyanogenMod is now here to help.
Much of Android is open to tinkerers, but Google has gradually closed off more and more of the default functionality. The most awesome aspects of the KitKat dialer - its ability to search for businesses and contacts from within the app - were not included in the open source version. So what's a ROM developer to do? Why, create their own alternative. The OmniROM folks have previously shown off their work, and now the CyanogenMod team has packed similar functionality, albeit seemingly more powerful, into the latest nightlies.
The Asus Transformer Pad TF701T launched with Android 4.2, with an update to 4.3 coming less than a month later. Unsurprisingly, an update to KitKat hasn't arrived nearly as quickly. This could be disheartening, but as seasoned Android users have come to expect, a ROM speeding things along is usually on its way. CyanogenMod 11 is now available for the TF701T, proving users with a way to experience Android 4.4 on what is a pretty compelling device.