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.
Here at Android Police, we're no strangers to digging around in Google's code and finding surprising stuff inside. Apparently some members of the CyanogenMod team did the same, and found a hidden feature in KitKat: Heads Up notifications. These floating notifications are meant to be used in full-screen apps or Immersive Mode, but for whatever reason, they aren't switched on in AOSP code. (Perhaps they're intended for the next major Android release.) You can probably guess what happens next.
The folks at Cyanogen Inc. are busy with more than the OnePlus One launch, if that's what you call this. There are also a pair of new apps in the Play Store. Theme Showcast pretties up your CM11-based device, and Gallery Next is live, but only for the OnePlus One right now.
Google's own launcher lacks many customization features you'd get with third-party options, but it has that cool Google Now panel that makes it that much easier to see your cards. Because that's part of the closed-source Google Search app, other launchers have thus far been unable to implement it. However, the newest 0613 nightlies of CyanogenMod 11 include this feature in the default Trebuchet launcher. Well, mostly.
We always talk about the customizability of Android, but most of us never really put it to the test. Sure, we might change the theme on our keyboards or replace some homescreen icons, but when is the last time you changed your system font? If you're running CyanogenMod and feel like trying something a little different, treat your eyes to any of the six brand new fonts that have been packaged up for use in the CM Theme Engine.
Most flagship phones are announced with a particular street date when you'll be able to buy them, or at the very least get in a pre-order. Not the OnePlus One. Oh no, this phone is in such short supply that the company has an invite system in place. After a short delay, the first wave of lucky invitees are about to get their phones.
The Sony Xperia Z2 is a great device out of the box, but let's not kid around, a certain number of people are going to want to root and flash it if for no reason other than spite. The task requires a good custom ROM to turn to in place of whatever unbearable software the phone shipped with, and fortunately the latest version of CyanogenMod, complete with Android 4.4, is now one such option available to Xperia Z2 owners who just can't bear to let things be.
When you go around flashing ROMs, you have to expect that things might occasionally go wrong. The previous milestone build of CyanogenMod 11 seemed fine at first, but then Google released the 4.4.3 update. Devices that were eligible (Nexus phones, for example) started producing update notifications, which shouldn't happen on a custom ROM. This was more troublesome than a notification that wouldn't go away, though.
One of the nicest things about CyanogenMod (from a cosmetic perspective, anyway) is support for hundreds and hundreds of community-baked themes on the Play Store and elsewhere. As opposed to a launcher theme or icon set, these themes are system-wide, and they can completely change the look of your phone or tablet in a few seconds. Custom ROMs often bake in a compatible theme system (see AOKP), and now the popular Paranoid Android family has done so as well.
Some of you may have thought CyanogenMod had made it back when it spawned a company, but a project isn't really legit until it gets its first shirt. That makes today the day that CyanogenMod gets its priorities straight, as the project has just made its first official t-shirt available for purchase directly from the CyanogenMod shop. The offering stars our favorite blue Android mascot for a custom ROM, Cid, in a superhero form.