Our readers already know about CyanogenMod, as it's only the most popular Android ROM out there, so I won't waste time with an introduction. Many also already use CyanogenROM Downloader to get their hands on the latest versions, even though it's not an official updater. The app's already awesome, but its author sent out a tease a few days ago implying that it could be even better - that it could automatically update your ROM to the latest version overnight, do a backup beforehand, and install your preferred custom kernel without a single touch.
Some devices get all the ROMs. Of course, for the Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S4, that's kind of the point. Late last month an early version of Android 4.3 was leaked for the phone right around the time of its Play Store debut, and now an even newer build labeled "JWR66V" has popped up. According to XDA Developers forum poster Jahon, it was build on July the 11th, and now it's been re-packaged into a ROM file flashable in the custom recovery of your choice.
Several hours ago, an Android 4.3 system dump was leaked for the Nexus 4. As it turns out, even though the bootloader and the radios weren't included, the system dump is totally bootable. I'm running it right now. If you want to try it out, it's easy to do so, but be prepared to have your bootloader unlocked and flash some zips via a custom recovery. If you don't know what any of this means, I suggest you get familiarized with Android flashing first.
Second verse, same as the first. Two days ago the CyanogenMod ROM team announced a security update to the CM 10.1 platform, incorporating the "Master Key" security patch that Google had already issued back in February. Yesterday another, more intricate exploit in the same vein was posted by a Chinese blog, and again, Google has rapidly moved to patch the problem in Android... which won't be much comfort to those running an older release.
Rumors and hints at Google's next release of Android have been spilling out for months, but today we've got some evidence that Android 4.3 may be real and nearing completion. SamMobile got their hands on what's purported to be a pre-release build of the upcoming version of Jelly Bean (yes, it's still Jelly Bean), apparently intended for the brand-new Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition, which hasn't even started shipping itself. The ROM was swiftly ported to the generic LTE version of the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505) that currently serves as the de facto standard for US carriers.
Cydia by developer Saurik has been around the block a few times, beginning in 2008 as a means of installing and modifying software on jailbroken iDevices. A diverse ecosystem has sprung up around the platform, expanding what iOS fans can do on their usually restricted devices. Saurik's Cydia Substrate, a platform for modifying devices without flashing new ROMs, has now made its way over to Android.
Cydia Substrate does not do anything interesting on its own, but developers can use the platform to distribute extensions that modify software without requiring access to source code.
Multi-user support is one of the most interesting additions in Jelly Bean 4.2, but you can only get it if you're using a tablet. It makes sense - phones are rarely shared between more than one person, while tablets are naturally shareable. Even so, it would be nice if Google gave users the option. But thanks to modder extraordinaire Paul "Modaco" O'Brien, there's a relatively easy way to enable multi-user mode on smartphones.
Paranoid Android made headlines last week when it announced a new take on mutitasking called Halo. While the feature wasn't available for user testing at the time, the team has now pushed out early alpha builds for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 3G, GSM Galaxy Nexus, and Oppo Find 5.
This is still a "very early build" of the ROM, so expect bugs, crashes, and other odd side-effects that come along with using alpha software; in other words, don't expect to use this as a daily driver.
After some teasing, Paranoid Android has unveiled (in a lovely promo image) their plan for multi-window functionality on Android, which they promise to "get right," – Halo.
The premise is simple, yet extremely ambitious in scope – allow apps to give you notifications right on top of your screen, which allow you to pop into that app without leaving the one you're in (no matter what it is), take care of business, and resume your experience uninterrupted.
Running multiple apps side-by-side is something that many users – especially those with tablets – have wanted on Android for a long time. And while we've seen a few implementations before (remember Cornerstone?), none have really taken off. Sure, Samsung has an option for multi-window on its more recent devices, but that's still a far-from-perfect solution, as it only allows certain apps to run together.
Given how oft-request/desired/lusted after this feature is, the devs behind the Paranoid Android ROM decided to try to bring it to life in a practical, usable way.