The Play Store has been off to a great start in 2013 – January saw the introduction of some brilliant apps like Carbon Backup and Pushbullet, and February followed up with some great entries of its own. From widgets to root apps to content creation tools, February had something for just about everyone. As always, we'll take a quick look at five of the very best apps we saw in the past month.
In an almost superhero-like act, Koushik Dutta (a.k.a. Koush of ROM Manager fame) has pushed his completely rewritten Superuser app to the Play Store just 15 days after first announcing it on Google+. This version introduces several improvements upon the original Superuser. In the last two weeks, the feature list has grown to include fully functioning multi-user support, secure PIN protection, and support for the x86 and ARM architectures.
Koushik Dutta, the author of ClockworkMod Recovery and such iconic Android apps as ROM Manager and, more recently, Carbon, has decided to tackle a new subject that is also very dear to the Android community - Superuser and root access control. Koush's latest app, now in beta and coming soon to the Play Store, is called simply ClockworkMod Superuser.
How Is It Different?
It's that time again, custom ROM fans. The oh-so-versatile Android Open Kang Project has released its fourth 4.2 build, this time updated to the latest 4.2.2 AOSP code. While feature additions beyond the ones added by Google themselves are few and far between, the list of supported devices for AOKP 4.2 has greatly expanded. Most of the phones in question come from Verizon's Motorola stable.
The full list of added phones includes the Motorola DROID 3, DROID 4, DROID Bionic, DROID RAZR (and by extension, the DROID RAZR MAXX),the international GSM Motorola RAZR (XT910), the HTC One XL, and Sprint's version of the Galaxy Nexus.
Update: Over the course of the evening, ROM Manager was updated yet again, to version 220.127.116.11 - this time adding support for the TWRP recovery, which is undoubtedly a feature many users have been wanting for some time. Just update ROM Manager in the Play Store and you'll have it.
ROM Manager, one of the most useful and versatile tools available for a consummate ROM-flasher, got an update today, bringing the app up to version 18.104.22.168.
In the last year, we've seen a lot of great Android phones - like the Galaxy S III, Note II, One X, RAZR M, or the upcoming Xperia Z. There's little doubt that with every major handset release, we're seeing Android phone manufacturers up their collective 'game.' But way back when (you know, a couple years ago), the fact that Android phones generally weren't always good was a big draw to a Nexus handset for me personally.
Those of you in the habit of rooting and/or flashing custom ROMs are likely familiar with SuperSU, one of the most popular Superuser options available. Developer Chainfire has just released the long-awaited 1.0 version of both the standard and Pro apps to the Play Store. In addition to the usual bug fixes (many of which affect newer HTC devices), there's a bevy of new appearance customization in the app settings. You can choose between five different app icons (or none at all), three different Holo themes, or a manufacturer-friendly system default.
Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). The unedited video version of the podcast can be found here - and will likely include various verbal expletives, technical snafus, tangents, and probably a good 5-10 minutes of pre-podcast banter as we prepare. Watch at your own risk!
When it comes to custom ROMs, we generally stick to covering CyanogenMod and – more recently – AOKP. Every once in a while, though, something really special, unique, or just downright awesome shows up in another ROM. In this case, it's PIE. A ROM that can make pie. No, wait, that's not right. It's a feature baked into the Paranoid Android ROM that completely revamps the navigation area.
All pastry jokes aside, PIE is a fully-customizable replacement for the stock on-screen navigation buttons found in more recent versions of Android.