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.
Oppo Find 5 is one of the sexiest Android phones in recent history - just take a look at some of the photos in our review published earlier this year. At $499.99 ($569.99 for the 32GB variant), it's also cheaper than most unlocked high-end modern devices, yet it manages to pack a quad-core 1.5GHz Krait, Adreno 320, 2GB of RAM, a 1080P 5" display, a 13MP camera, NFC, and a 2500mAh battery.
It's that time again, custom ROM fans. The oh-so-versatile Android Open Kang Project has released its fourth 4.2 build, this time updated to the latest 4.2.2 AOSP code. While feature additions beyond the ones added by Google themselves are few and far between, the list of supported devices for AOKP 4.2 has greatly expanded. Most of the phones in question come from Verizon's Motorola stable.
The full list of added phones includes the Motorola DROID 3, DROID 4, DROID Bionic, DROID RAZR (and by extension, the DROID RAZR MAXX),the international GSM Motorola RAZR (XT910), the HTC One XL, and Sprint's version of the Galaxy Nexus.
The Android Open Kang Project ROM developers are taking longer and longer in between updates, but when they post one, it doesn't disappoint. The third official Jelly Bean 4.2 release includes support for the Acer Iconia Tab A510, the international Galaxy Note II LTE, and T-Mobile's Galaxy S II. (Owners of the international Galaxy S II and the Texas Instruments i9100G variant: check AOKP's website tomorrow for an updated version.) There's also a lot of new features in the build, most of them centered around the user interface.
When it comes to custom ROMs, we generally stick to covering CyanogenMod and – more recently – AOKP. Every once in a while, though, something really special, unique, or just downright awesome shows up in another ROM. In this case, it's PIE. A ROM that can make pie. No, wait, that's not right. It's a feature baked into the Paranoid Android ROM that completely revamps the navigation area.
All pastry jokes aside, PIE is a fully-customizable replacement for the stock on-screen navigation buttons found in more recent versions of Android.
The lads at the Android Open Kang Project have been busy expanding the 4.2 version of their custom ROM, thankfully expanding on the three officially supported devices in the initial release. For Build 2, all four major US variants of the Galaxy S III are supported (but not the international version), as well as the Nexus 7 3G, and the Nexus 10 for good measure. Flash-ready ROM files are available on the AOKP website for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, and Nexus 7 WiFi as well.
Good news, ROM enthusiasts: the Android Open Kang Project has released the much-anticipated first build of 4.2. Bad news: it's a completely new ROM, built from the ground up. That means that it won't be quite as feature-packed as you remembered, and device support is limited to the more popular Nexus models, at least for now. You'll also need to install a recovery that's compatible with 4.2 ROMs (the latest ClockworkMod and TWRP should do the trick) and do a full data wipe of your previous ROM.
There's a reason that the Nexus 4 has been sold out almost since it hit the Play Store: for custom ROM enthusiasts, buying anything else is a crapshoot. Assuming that the bootloader is unlocked (or can be,) you've just got to hope there's enough adoption among ROM developers to ensure a steady stream of builds. Owners of T-Mobile's former flagship, the HTC Amaze 4G, have had relatively good options in this area, and they just got a little better: the CyanogenMod team has released official nightly builds of CM10.
It's no secret that Sony has been a long-time supporter of the custom ROM community, but now the company has released a tool that lets owners of bootloader unlocked Xperia devices easily return back to stock firmware from a custom ROM. According to Sony's blog post, this tool has been oft-requested by the community, so it's good to see Sony deliver on that.
As mentioned, use of this tool requires the bootloader to be unlocked on supported Xperia devices, but past that, it seems pretty simple and intuitive to use.
There's a lot of great things about custom ROMs, but one of the pitfalls is that you need to manually check for updates and install them. Those of you running the popular AOKP (Android Open Kang Project) family of ROMs will definitely want to check out Kangerator, a new app designed to compliment everyone's favorite unicorn-powered Android build. The brand new release is available from the Google Play Store now, free of charge.