Ever since Jelly Bean, the reasons to switch to a custom ROM (as opposed to a stock, rooted build) have been slowly shrinking. But today ClockworkMod Recovery developer Koushik "Koush" Dutta gave us a reason to be incredibly excited for upcoming builds of CyanogenMod. With a little tweaking of the famous ROM family, he's managed to integrate Chromecast streaming across the system, making any video or audio app compatible.
Though there's a definite streak among power users to prefer Google's "pure" Android on their phones, some of the manufacturer skins from HTC and Samsung have charming features as well. Modder and ROM developer Paul O'Brien, better known as MoDaCo, has been testing a solution to give you the best of both worlds. MoDaCo.SWITCH is a dual-boot solution for power users that lets two ROMs (manufacturer stock and AOSP, for example) which share user data, allowing a seamless switch between interfaces.
It's been quite some time since we heard major release information from the ROM developers at the Android Open Kang Project, or as the cool kids call them, AOKP. After three months of relative quiet (though plenty of development and testing has been going on behind the scenes) The team just announced AOKP Jelly Bean Milestone 2, a complete and hopefully bug-free build that brings a ton of new features.
If you're reading this on a later GSM-only Samsung device, pay attention. After clarifying their continuing support for Tegra 2 devices earlier this week, the CyanogenMod ROM team wants to let you know about their position vis-à-vis Samsung's Exynos 4 series of chipsets. In a nutshell: devices based on the Exynos 4 will be getting CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.2) nightly builds, and not much else. These phones and tablets will not be getting stable releases of the latest CyanogenMod builds for the time being.
CyanogenMod and other aftermarket ROMs are often the last recourse for tech-savvy users whose hardware has fallen behind the curve, or just been forgotten by a manufacturer or carrier. But even the CyangoenMod team can't keep supporting devices forever. In a Google+ post today, the CM team states that due to technical limitations, support for phones and tablets using the NVIDIA Tegra 2 chipset will end with the next major Android release.
You remember the ASUS Transformer Prime, don't you? World's first Tegra 3 device? One of the first tablets to use Ice Cream Sandwich? A name somewhat reminiscent of a Hasbro toy? Back when ASUS was still calling every machine "Eee"? For some reason, it took the indefatigable CyanogenMod team several months to get CM 10.1 (Android 4.2) ready for the metal-clad TF201, but nightly builds have finally started appearing on the download page.
Sony wants to make sure that you remember they've got a smartwatch, what with all these Pebbles, Agents, and every other Johnny-come-lately crowding the market. They may have found the perfect vector for getting their somewhat aged Bluetooth watch back in the spotlight, at least among die-hard Android power users: custom ROMs. Sony is now officially condoning hacks and modifications to the SmartWatch, as detailed on their Developer World blog.
Verizon and Sprint customers who've laid down their money for the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be happy to know that they no longer have to choose between TouchWiz and nothing. After publishing nightly ROM builds for the Canadian LTE, T-Mobile, and AT&T variants of the S4, America's larger CDMA networks now have their turn. You can pick up the Sprint (jfltespr) and Verizon (jfltevzw) builds at CyanogenMod's download page now.
If you haven't checked out AOKP.co for a while, we couldn't blame you. The old homepage for the Android Open Kang Project ROM and Team Kang left something to be desired - namely, a new homepage. The wraps are off of the latest adjustment to the AOKP site, and wow, they've really done something with the place. In addition to a ton of new features accessible from the get-go, the entire page has been given a swag-worthy 80s makeover that might just be described as "awesome, awesome to the max."
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.