This is a guest post by Ricardo "arcee" Cerqueira who takes things apart for sport, on a quest to understand how they work. He currently works on Android devices at Cyanogen.
As people started receiving their Nexus 6Ps, some began freaking out over a new message that comes up on the screen when booting into fastboot mode: “QFUSE: ENABLED,” with wild speculative theories coming up regarding what it does and doesn’t do, what kind of limitations it’s imposing, and wondering if and how it can be “disabled.” So... what’s this qFuse thing, anyway?
Think of an eFuse as the mind’s eye representation of a bit that only flips one way, or something that can only be done once on a piece of writeable flash.
The CyanogenMod ROM development team continues to add to its ever-expanding range of officially-supported devices. Today we get a little-known variant from a huge manufacturer and a huge phone from a little-known manufacturer (outside of China, anyway): the dual-SIM version of HTC's 2014 flagship One M8, and Xiaomi's Mi4, respectively.
If you've been waiting for a more stable version of the CyanogenMod ROM to become available before upgrading to Android 5.0, now's your chance. Snapshot builds of CM 12 are now rolling off of the build server and onto the CyanogenMod download page, going in their usual alphabetical order by codename. These are the first snapshot versions of CyanogenMod 12, and according to members of the CM 12 team, they'll also be the last.
Snapshots are among the more stable releases of the community ROM, more so than the monthly "M" builds (which are pretty reliable themselves, at least compared to one-off efforts you might see on standard user forums).
The open-source nature of Android means that you can run the mobile operating system on just about anything if you've got the know-how. Case in point: A YouTube user named Josh Max has managed to get it running on his Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX. If that name conjures up images of middle school algebra exams, it's because it's a graphing calculator. Check it out in action in the video below:
The Nspire CX is one of the more robust graphing calculators on the market. Its 320x240 3.5" color screen, 100MB of storage, and 64MB of RAM are pretty paltry when compared to even the earliest Android phones (the original HTC G1 had 256MB of storage and 192MB of RAM).
Even while the more corporate side of CyanogenMod makes new deals with smartphone makers and OEMs, the original "CM Team" continues to expand the ROM's lineup of officially-supported phones and tablets. Today the original Moto E (from 2014) and the Oppo N3 both get their first nightly software builds, and yes, both of them are CyanogenMod 12 (based on Android 5.0 Lollipop AOSP code). You can download and flash them now.
The Moto E is an obvious choice for a custom ROM; its rock-bottom price and relatively "clean" Android software have made it a favorite among budget-minded enthusiasts, and it doesn't feature the notifications, voice, and gesture-based extras of its big brother the Moto X (which CyanogenMod doesn't duplicate).
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.
But it's not that simple, because Samsung. This particular model is sold in at least a few international markets as a standard unlocked phone, powered by the usual Qualcomm SoC that Sammy seems to default to when anything goes wrong with Exynos.
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.
This build was created specifically for the international LTE version of the device, the i9295. It was not made for AT&T's localized version of the phone - not that that's going to matter for most users, considering AT&T's addiction to locked bootloaders.
Regular followers of the Android world know that manufacturers love to skin Google's mobile operating system for the sake of differentiation. As dramatic as Samsung and HTC can get, the Chinese OEMs sometimes take it even further, perhaps because Chinese users don't have official access to the Play Store and Google apps (making compatibility and certification less problematic). OPPO seems to be going even further than that: a new post on the company forum is recruiting testers for ColorOS on, of all things, the LG G2.
ColorOS is OPPO's super-customized build of Android. It's either a skin or a fork, depending on how you look at it.
The CyanDelta Updater app now has support for Paranoid Android, so users of that ROM can join the likes of their CyanogenMod or OmniROM running peers in avoiding that beefy ROM update each night. Keeping up with the nightly Joneses typically requires downloading a sizable update daily, but CyanDelta addresses this situation by only pulling down delta files, which contain just the part of each update that has actually changed. The premise is simple: why download an entire ROM each day if you can simply get what's new?
To dive in, you must first download the .zip file for whichever ROM you want to run (as long as it's CyanogenMod, OmniRom, or Paranoid Android).