I know there are more than a few American readers who took a chance on this post, clicking on the headline even though they know the presence of Huawei's name likely means that everything they're about to read won't apply to them. The Ascend Mate 2 is one device that runs counter to this expectation. Huawei sells the phone directly to consumers online, including folks who live in the US.
Thanks to high-end specs, a relatively "clean" build of Android, and Motorola's improved reputation, the Moto X 2014 (AKA Moto X Second Generation) is fast becoming a favorite among Android power users. And now that it's been out in the wild for a few weeks, the modders are lining up to write the usual custom ROMs and tweaks. To help facilitate that, the folks at Team Win have brought their custom recovery to the new flagship.
Recently there's been a rumor that Sony is planning on releasing stock AOSP ROMs (clean, Nexus-style builds of Android) for some of its high-end phones and tablets. It's easy to understand why Sony in particular might attract that kind of attention: the company has better support for aftermarket development than most, promptly releasing binaries and source code on the company's own GitHub and even some developer-grade AOSP builds. But as for consumer-ready, finished and fully supported AOSP ROMs?
Samsung releases so many phones in so many variants that even professional gadget bloggers get turned around on occasion. But the folks on the CyanogenMod team are doing their best, bless 'em, and today's fruit of their labor is ROM support for an extra variant of the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4. The most pertinent one for American readers is probably the G900-T, the Galaxy S5 model sold by T-Mobile as their branded version.
The Galaxy S4 Active is pretty solid as both a high-end phone and a "ruggedized" handset, but as with a lot of Samsung devices, TouchWiz keeps some power users away from a purchase. Now the indefatigable CyanogenMod team is giving you some AOSP-style options: they just released their first nightly build for the S4 Active. You can pick it up for your phone at the usual spot and install it via the custom recovery of your choice.
It's that time of the month again, CyanogenMod ROM fans. In fact it's a bit past that time of the month, reportedly thanks to a heavy workload and the Labor Day weekend, but now that the CM11 monthly update is up to the M10 release, we won't hold it against the CyanogenMod Team. The biggest change to the M build is a brand new bug tracker app, which makes it easy for users to submit anonymized bug reports to CM along with a stacktrace whenever a system app crashes.
CyanogenMod's custom ROM relationship with the original Moto X has been somewhat... tentative. First the general GSM and Verizon developer editions were given separate nightly builds, then came a unified ROM based on Motorola's Qualcomm S4-based phones, the Moto X and DROID Maxx. (Technically the DROID Mini and DROID Ultra, too, but there's no way to unlock the bootloaders on those.) Now all of the Moto X builds are being unified under a new download entry, codenamed "Ghost."
According to a CyanogenMod representative, the nightly ROMs under the "Ghost" codename should work with all of the available unlocked versions of the Moto X.
The Team Win Recovery Project remains one of the more popular custom recovery options for custom ROM enthusiasts, and now the group has updated the core software to version 2.8. Things don't look different on the outside, but underneath we find a ton of new features that only the kind of technical users this tool is aimed at could love.
With this release, TWRP now uses a C++ based MTP implementation so that users can transfer files to both emulated storage and microSD cards alike.
Well folks, this is it: the final build of Paranoid Android is ready, just in time for Google I/O to show us a new version of the OS. Turn out the lights, the party's over. The fat lady is singing. We'll go quietly into that... what? This is isn't the last Paranoid Android build? It's just feature-complete and stable, and development on the custom ROM will continue? Ah. Well, carry on then.