While CyanogenMod is generally regarded as the biggest and best of the innumerable custom ROMs, some of the others tend to implement interesting additions to Android much sooner. The latest nightly builds of CM 11 (Android 4.4) have added something that's not exactly new, but should be very much appreciated by immigrants from other ROMs. Users can now long-press the physical or virtual Recents button to quickly open the last app "under" the current one.
The Xperia Z2 Tablet isn't the most high-profile tablet around, but there are more than a few fans of Sony's unique industrial design. Combine that with the company's unlocked hardware (at least for non-carrier versions), and you've got a perfect candidate for custom ROMs. The CyanogenMod team has started publishing nightly releases for the Z2 Tablet, in both its Wi-Fi (castor) and unlocked GSM (castor_windy) flavors. The first nightly build is available for download now.
The newest snapshot build of CyanogenMod is rolling out now, and it's a bit of a jump from the last version. This is the first snapshot based on Android 4.4.4, and it brings a few new features. Now that the M builds are essentially the stable channel, it's probably time for CM users to get flashing.
The folks at CyanogenMod are on a roll with Chinese hardware. After adding official support for the Xiaomi Mi2, they've now published the first nightly ROMs for the OnePlus One and the very similar Oppo Find 7A. You can find the One download and forthcoming builds under the "bacon" codename, while the Find 7A is available under the Find7 label. Team WIN Recovery Project is already available for both phones.
If you're not familiar with Xiaomi's Mi2 (Also called the M2s or the Xiaomi Phone 2) hardware, you're probably in good company. While the company's phones are wildly popular with tech enthusiasts in China, Xiaomi has almost zero presence outside of the country. Still, they seem to have at least a few fans in the larger Android community, because the Mi2 model now has official CyanogenMod support. You can download the first nightly builds under the "Aries" codename now.
If you used to play around with CyanogenMod Nightlies, but switched to the more stable M-series releases, it has probably felt like forever since M6 hit the scene. Well, M7 is hot off the compilers, just in time to fill that insatiable need to flash your phone or tablet. Don't forget, the M-series has officially taken the place of Release Candidates and Stable builds, so this is considered the most reliable version of CyanogenMod available.
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.
Can you make a smartphone without compromise? Is it possible to cram top-of-the-line hardware into a slim phone body, then fit it with well-regarded software, then sell it for about half the price of competing devices, and call the resulting product a "flagship killer?" Can you, as the ceaseless OnePlus promotion machine so succinctly puts it, "never settle?"
In a word, no. The OnePlus One, the maiden Android phone from a boutique manufacturer, is not completely without its shortcomings (or indeed, its compromises).
Hardcore Android fans are hard to please. We should know. So for a new company to attempt to please the most vociferous of Android users with a high-end phone that also manages to compete on price is ambitious to say the least. But that's what OnePlus, with their One phone, is doing. And if a day or so with the phone is indicative of the overall experience, they might have actually achieved success.