A little less than one year ago, I called the OnePlus One "the best flagship phone you can't buy" in my initial review. The phone had some impressive hardware at an amazing price, and in many ways it still does, but the system of invitations and qualifications built around actually buying the One made obtaining the device an exercise in frustration. It's taken them eleven months (and what seems like dozens of separate promotions and half-measures), but you can finally order a OnePlus One without an invitation of any kind starting today.
The second of the two currently-available CyanogenMod phones is receiving its 12S update today in a staged rollout. The Yu Yureka, a Micromax phone, comes just days after the OnePlus One also received Cyanogen's first release to be based on Google's Android 5.0 Lollipop platform.
If you have a Yureka but haven't been able to get the update over the air, a ZIP file with the firmware can be downloaded here (mirror), though it's quite large - nearly 650MB.
We've heard Cyanogen Inc. CEO Kirt McMaster express his desire to break away from Google on more than one occasion, and it looks like Microsoft will be helping him do just that. Cyanogen OS will soon come bundled with a suite of Microsoft apps and services including Bing search, Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, and Office.
OnePlus tried to assuage fears of a stagnating OS experience a few months ago during the CyanogenOS fallout by announcing it was working on a ROM for the OnePlus One. Eventually dubbed OxygenOS, the company has been working on getting the software out the door for several months. OnePlus promised to have it done by March 27th (today), but that's not happening. Bummer.
Pity the poor Verizon customer, whose options for user-moddable Android phones are more limited than any other US carrier. It's particularly cruel, then, that Verizon tends to get some awesome Motorola exclusives in the DROID line. 2014's entry is the DROID Turbo, which is basically the Nexus 6 crammed down into the 5.2-inch body of the second-gen Moto X, plus the usual DROID Kevlar styling and an enormous 3900mAh battery. Oh, and a locked bootloader that makes root and custom ROMs difficult.
Sony's recent Xperia phones and tablets have included themable skins for the proprietary Sony UI that runs on top of Android. Now Sony wants you (yes, you!) to make themes for its devices using a custom Java desktop program. The company has released a beta version of the application for aspiring theme makers, available from the Sony Developer site.
The program allows you to apply different colors and graphical elements to the various bits and pieces of Sony's themes.
Not to be completely left out of the spotlight during Mobile World Congress, Cyanogen Inc. has a few announcements to make. Firstly, the logo and website you knew are now gone, replaced by something with a bit of a sci-fi vibe. More importantly, the company has partnered with Qualcomm to make it easier for Cyanogen OS to find its way onto more devices.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei stated on Twitter early this morning that the company's One and only phone will be receiving its CyanogenMod 12S update (read: Lollipop) in "mid to late" March. Pei also implied that a similar timeline was in place for the company's in-house-ish Oxygen OS ROM.
Pei noted - in response to claims that current 12S nightlies seem stable - that "proprietary drivers, code, QA, [and] certifications" were responsible for the company missing its 90-day deadline to update the phone to Android 5.0.
Just about a week after the public release of the Xposed Framework for Lollipop devices, we are now privy to one of the best and most popular modules, GravityBox. And, like the framework, the developer of GravityBox is calling this version an alpha release. Still, those of you with Nexus devices are going to be very excited about this one.
For the unfamiliar, GravityBox is an Xposed module that offers a wide variety of tweaks for AOSP-ish ROMs.