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Once the CyanogenMod team found and implemented the hidden Heads Up notification mode, it was basically inevitable that all the other major custom ROMs would follow suit. The unicorn-powered Android Open Kang Project has done so with their first nightly based on Android 4.4.4. They've also thrown in the usual bug fixes, as well as settings for automatic Immersive mode, disabling the full-screen keyboard, lockscreen orientation, and a few other goodies.
But the best news, at least for owners of a few select devices, is expanded hardware support. Today's nightly build is being published for the first time for the LTE version of the Nexus 7 2013, the international Galaxy S4 Mini LTE (GT-I9195), and Oppo's high-powered Find 7a.
Cyanogen, the corporate arm of the popular CyanogenMod custom ROM, is on a roll. After a few high-profile hires from the world of aftermarket Android ROMs earlierthisyear, the company is after some more conventional hires for its leadership team, dipping their toes into the pool of corporate technology. This week they welcome Tyler Carper, formerly of HTC, Vikram Natarajan, formerly of OEM parts manufacturer MediaTek, and Dave Herman, formerly of Microsoft, Amazon, and Hulu, as new vice presidents.
From left: Tyler Carper, formerly of HTC and Microsoft, Vikram Natarajan, formerly of MediaTek and Broadcom, and Dave Herman, formerly of Amazon and Microsoft.
Last year we told you about GravityBox, easily one of the most complete and far-reaching Xposed modules for rooted Nexus and AOSP ROMs. The creator is still expanding the module, and has quickly incorporated the Heads Up notifications recently featured in CyanogenMod nightly builds. Heads Up notifications pop up for easy viewing and action while in full screen mode. The feature is hidden deep in Android 4.4 code, and easily enabled here.
The GravityBox implementation allows for deciding which notifications will appear as Heads Up windows and which will be ignored, and users can expand notifications (if supported) with a two-finger swipe.
Android 4.4.3 hit Nexus devices last week, and now the Paranoid Android folks are hard at work packing the latest version of KitKat into their custom ROM. Today they're ready to show off the fruits of their labor in the form of the first release candidate for Paranoid Android 4.4.
This release includes not only the goodies found in 4.4.3 but a few other niceties as well. Users will get to experience changes made to Hover. For those who don't remember this impressive notification enhancement, here's a video from the feature's earlier days.
In addition, the developers will maintain compatibility with the upstream CyanogenMod Theme Engine.
The hype machine for the OnePlus One continues to accelerate, and since part of its charm is that it runs a customized version of CyanogenMod, it's only natural that the creators are quick to release the necessary source code. While the device and build repositories for the phone's unique "11S" ROM aren't available yet, you can download the kernel source code here. Talented ROM developers should now be able to build a standard AOSP or CyanogenMod release. Need something to flash a custom kernel? How about TWRP.
The build numbers are KTU84M for the Nexus 5 and KTU84L for the rest of the Nexus devices. The AOSP branch is kitkat-mr2-release, with the tag most likely named android-4.4.3_r1 expected to arrive shortly.
Here are several links pointing to the newly released code to get you started:
The FreeXperia team of contributors help maintain CyanogenMod support for Xperia devices, and they've done such a great job that Sony has decided to hire one of the group's developers. Alin Jerpelea was one of FreeXperia's founders in 2010, and he is now the newest member of Sony's Developer Program. Having already built up a reputation for his work bringing the freshest CyanogenMod ROMs to Sony devices, he will now help the company with its open source initiatives.
“I am very happy that Alin is joining us, as this is a great way for us to increase our activity on Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and other open source initiatives.
You might remember the Oppo N1 as the first official CyanogenMod phone, which was quickly eclipsed by the OnePlus One. It was a very big phone (physically, not popularity-wise), but now the Chinese OEM is announcing a smaller version called, you guessed it, the N1 Mini. The thing is, the mini version of the N1 still has a 5-inch screen.