OmniROM was an incredibly popular custom ROM back in the day, and it may surprise you to know that it's still under development. The project is making headlines again for a new port by Max Weninger (maxwen), which brings the software to the Raspberry Pi 4.
OmniROM was a popular custom ROM back in the Jelly Bean/KitKat era, especially because of its multi-window feature and wide device support. The project has scaled back its reach over the years, like most custom ROMs (except LineageOS), but it still maintains a dedicated user base.
Yesterday, security researchers published a paper on 'KRACK,' a security vulnerability in the WPA2 Wi-Fi protocol. I won't re-explain how it works here (click the above link if you want to learn more), but almost every modern operating system and device that can connect to Wi-Fi is affected. This includes Android, and if you're running Marshmallow or later, you're especially vulnerable.
Since it was unveiled in February 2013, Oppo’s Find 5 has been running versions of their ColorOS based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The release of KitKat in October of 2013 has had Find 5 owners waiting anxiously for a 4.4-based version of ColorOS on their devices. The presence of ColorOS 2.0, based on KitKat, running on newer Oppo devices like the N3 and R5 has only increased their anticipation. Still, when users saw Oppo announce a ColorOS 2.0 build based on Android 4.4 for the Find 5, they were quickly disappointed by a bug-filled experience.
After complaints began rolling in, an Oppo representative elaborated that “external developers” created the new version.
Android 4.4.3 isn't a huge bump up from the previous incremental release - the biggest change is a new dialer, though there are thousands of adjustments behind the scenes. Even so, the most popular families of custom Android ROMs are quickly adopting the open source code into their bleeding-edge releases. CyanogenMod has already begun the transfer to 4.4.3 with its latest nightly builds.
The Nexus 5 introduced us to the Google Now Launcher, which is now available on a number of other devices. One of the headlining features of Google's launcher is the always-on home screen hotword detection. You can say "Okay Google" at any time to bring up voice search, but OmniROM is about to take it one step further with custom hotwords.
OmniROM is getting a lot of attention from serial ROM flashers, and that lot tends to be pretty flighty – there must be something to this one. Now, the developers have added a new feature that might pique your interest. The latest nightlies of OmniROM include a new app switcher called OmniSwitch. Alternative app switchers are not an entirely new idea, but OmniSwitch looks to have a number of interesting features.
Google has been increasingly transitioning new features in Android to a more closed model. Whether you're talking about music playback, search, or even the dialer, Google's updated apps have features not included in the Android Open Source Project. The developers of OmniROM are looking to make the handy features of the new Google Dialer available without the proprietary bits, so they're working on an integrated phone number directory without Google.
OmniROM has only existed for a few weeks, but it's already gaining traction with certain groups (you know who you are). The first nightly builds of OmniROM based on Android 4.4 supported 15 devices, and today brings six more to the fold.
When a new version of Android drops, it's Nexus this and Google Play that. But for a lot of advanced users (especially those who don't have the choice to go Nexus), custom ROMs are their first taste of the latest and greatest. In the tradition of independent developers and tinkerers delivering the goods, the relatively new OmniROM team has released nightly KitKat builds for no less than fifteen devices.
Here's the full list of phones and tablets:
Galaxy S II (i9100G)
Galaxy S II AT&T (SGH-i777)
Galaxy S III (i9300)
Galaxy S III LTE (i9305)
Galaxy Note (N7000)
Galaxy Note II (N7100)
Galaxy Note II LTE (t0lte)
Galaxy Note II LTE AT&T (t0lteatt)
Galaxy Note II LTE T-Mobile (t0ltetmo)
Nexus 7 2012 3G
Nexus 7 2012 WiFi
Nexus 7 2013 WiFi
Oppo Find 5
If you haven't heard of OmniROM, it's a new family of custom ROMs that's quickly gaining steam among Android power users and enthusiasts.