Peek 2.0 arrives, brings in lots of features and fixes

It was supposed to be just one of the cool features of Paranoid Android’s custom ROMs, but Peek is now actually doing well on its own after being released as a standalone app in May. Users will be glad to know that Peek 2.0 has just dropped at the Google Play Store on June 13, and makers of the app have promised a lot of requested features – including a number of fixes – in store for those who get the update.

Peek is essentially a device notification handler – and we know that this description sounds so boring it does not do justice to how cool the app actually is. If you are familiar (and impressed) with Moto X’s “Active Display”, Peek is the closest that you are going to get to it without buying a Moto X device. The moment a notification comes in, Peek queries your device’s sensors – mainly the motion and proximity sensors – to see if you’ve reacted to the notification by moving your phone. If you do this within 10 seconds of the notification coming in, Peek turns your screen on automatically – without you actually pushing any buttons – and shows you your notification.

Peek app developer Jesús David Gulfo Agudelo calls this version a “huge update”, with the number of tweaks and fixes included in the new build. The very first updated feature was the most logical one, we thought. The 10-second sensor polling time period meant that if you moved your device after that and you press your power button or any other button to turn on your screen, it will no longer show you Peek. That got changed, and users are now able to have the screen show Peek even after the sensor polling time. New prospective users also need to know that Peek can be installed to your devices without root access.

peek1 peek2 peek3 peek4 peek5

Aside from this, a number of fixes have been included in the build, including a fix for a bug that made the “unlock” sound repeat itself multiple times. Also, the developer team has promised that it has updated its motion sensor algorithm so that the app is more precise in polling your phone’s sensors. Lastly, it is worth mentioning that the developers have unlocked the app’s hardware requirement support. This means that Peek can now be installed (at your own risk, of course) to any device even without motion or proximity sensors.

Peek 2.0 is available for devices running Android 4.4 (Kitkat) and above as a paid app in Google Play Store for USD$3.99. Grab the app here.

Paranoid Android 4.4 reaches RC1 status

Stop the presses! One of the more popular Android custom ROMs has just announced its first Release Candidate version. Paranoid Android 4.4, which brings along with it Android 4.4.3 now, has reached what its developers claim is an "almost stable state", giving hope of an actual stable release really soon now.

If you've been following our Paranoid Android coverage, you would be privy to some of the exciting features coming to users of the ROM. Perhaps most interesting to those who love to tweak the look of their homescreens is the new Theme Engine. This is actually based on the Theme Engine rework that CyanogenMod did, ported to AOSP thanks to the hardwork of teams, both CM and PA, and other developers. This practically means that any AOSP-based ROM will be able use this engine as well. PA promises to keep their version in sync with upstream, which is always a good thing for all users.

Hover is Paranoid Android's new fancy notification system that replaces the old Halo floating circle. This was first revealed late April and had undergone many iterations and polishing. Now the feature has reached is first stable state, enough for public viewing. The release also introduces a new ParanoidOTA look. This app, as the name implies, eases the task of having to fetch and install PA updates. The app has been redesigned to sport a brighter look, with color and UI conventions now popular on Android 4.4.

There are, of course, other new features and fixes not mentioned in this release but are already lying in wait, like Peek Notifications. The dev team has not yet dropped any timeline for an actual stable release, but the RC1 label is surely enough to fire up fans who have long been waiting for the ROMs next stable version.

SOURCE: +Paranoid Android

DIY Android 4.4.3 Custom Rom

I posted something similar when KitKat was released late last year. Google do us all a favour and release a new version of Android but those of us on custom roms have a dilemma to solve. Do we stay on the old version of Android and continue to love that multitude of extra options that a custom rom provides or upgrade to the newest version of Android and lose these customisations. I’m here to remind you that you can very nearly have both, the newest version and nearly all the customisations of a custom rom. First let’s look at the[Read More...]

The post DIY Android 4.4.3 Custom Rom appeared first on Ausdroid.

OmniROM integrates Android 4.4.3 into nightly builds

At the height of the Android 4.4.3 release frenzy, OmniROM made an important announcement. It has kicked off nightly builds of supported devices that includes the latest Android version, thereby showing that the project is still pretty much alive and kicking.

By itself, Android 4.4.3 isn't exactly an earth-shattering update. Sure, it does bring a couple of new features, like a redesigned dialer app, but most of its contents are bug fixes and performance tweaks. Naturally, the moment images and source code hit public sources, custom ROMs started taking the road towards rebasing their code and builds on this version. Fortunately, OmniROM is one of those and, even better, they are telling the world about it.

Aside from the brief preview of a new feature last week, OmniROM has been rather silent on the public front, especially on its website and blog. Make no mistake, code has been moving behind the scenes, but unless you're privy to that part of development, you'd think that the project was stagnating, which is definitely not the case. This public announcement, not to mention the new nightly builds, could very well serve to reignite some interest in the fledgling Android ROM as it treks the road towards its first stable release.

And OmniROM might be one ROM worth waiting for or looking into. Aside from their commitment to the spirit and letter of open source software, they also have pretty ambitious and interesting features planned, which will hopefully all see the light of day, in one form or another. This list includes the recent hot phrases preview, a different kind of multi window implementation, and a new app switching feature. Hit the links below to read more about these features and make sure to keep tabs on our OmniROM tag portal if this project has piqued your interest.


CyanogenMod switches on CyanogenMod 11 nightly builds for dozens of devices

The makers of the one of if not the most popular custom Android ROM is proceeding full steam ahead with its transition to an Android 4.4 codebase. Now it has activated the nightly builds for devices that can support CyanogenMod 11.


Last week, the CyanogenMod team announced the first CyanogenMod 11 snapshot, CyanogenMod 11 M1. This snapshot, however, was limited only to more recent Nexus devices. The team did promise that it will soon be enabling nightly builds, and now its announcing which supported devices will fall under which CyanogenMod version. This list accounts for all 156 officially supported devices compatible with CyanogenMod 10.0 and higher.

Dozens of devices, including the Galaxy Nexus, will be receiving nightly builds of CyanogenMod 11, which is based on Android 4.4. But even more than that, Android 4.4.1, which has just started rolling out to Nexus devices, is already being merged into the codebase. This means that the next round of nightly builds will soon include the latest maintenance update as well. Unfortunately, this announcement also spells the end of nightly builds for devices running CyanogenMod 9 or older, to give way to CM 10.2 and CM 11.

The list of devices, which you can read from the source link below, is not yet exhaustive nor is it final. Some devices under CyanogenMod 10.2 are expected to move up to CyanogenMod 11 over the next few weeks. Nightlies are, of course, considered to be raw versions, so they should be installed and used with care and a bit of knowledge of the risks involved.

SOURCE: CyanogenMod

OmniROM announces OpenDelta OTA updater

Given how young the OmniROM custom ROM project is, it’s bound to be updated far more frequently along its journey towards more stable releases. To keep those updates easy on both the user and the network, the OmniROM devs have worked on an over the air delta updater that tries to keep ROM update sizes to be as small as possible.


As if the initial process of getting a custom Android ROM flashed on a device isn’t harrowing enough, one has to sometimes rinse and repeat when an updated image is released. Several tools have thus been developed to make the update process less intrusive, mimicking the behavior of normal Android OTA updates. But OmniROM’s OpenDelta takes the convenience once step further by trying to minimize what needs to be downloaded as much as possible.

OpenDelta is an open source tool that automatically builds and delivers OTA updates of OmniROM builds. It’s key differentiating factor is that, when possible, it uses deltas when creating the updates. This means that it only includes what has changed between the current and the next version, leaving out those that have not been touched. Depending on the situation, this could drastically reduce the file size of the update that needs to be downloaded. And in case you’ve missed out on several builds, OpenDelta will gather all the related deltas together and create a new one that doesn’t include duplicated information, so users won’t have to worry about huge downloads in this situation. Early OmniROM adopters can access the OpenDelta features via the About section of the system settings.


Given OmniROM’s emphasis on community-driven and open work, OpenDelta is being developed as on open source project. Theoretically, any open ROM can make use of the tool, but OmniROM has a preference for TWRP as the officially recommended flashing utility. OpenDelta is still quite young so some bugs might crop up here and there.


OmniROM device roster grows by six

The Android world is definitely not lacking in custom ROMs but a few, like CyanogenMod, Paranoid Android, and AOKP, have risen to become the more popular ones. One new contender, OmniROM, is slowly but surely building up its army by adding six more smartphones to its list of supported devices.


OmniROM was conceived primarily as a reaction to a change of direction that took place within CyanogenMod. With the core team incorporating itself into Cyanogen, Inc., many in the ROM community felt the need to have an even more community-driven endeavor. Thus, OmniROM was born and was led by popular Android developers such as Super Su’s Chainfire, TWRP’s Dees_Troy, and Focal’s XplodedWild.

Last week, OmniROM announced the start of nightly builds based on Android 4.4 KitKat. Those builds covered a good number of devices already, including the Nexus 4, 5, and all version of the Nexus 7, the OPPO Find 5, Samsung Galaxy S, S II, S III, Note, and Note II, among others. Now the team is revealing new builds for more devices. Joining the ranks is the OPPO N1, which, somewhat ironically, runs CyanogenMod, the Sony Xperia T, Z, and ZL, as well as the HTC One, both the international version and the model from AT&T.

All in all, this brings the total number of supported devices, both current and in the very near future, to 20. That is still a considerably low number, especially if the ROM wants to step into CyanogenMod’s shoes. But given the same amount of community participation that catapulted CyanogenMod to the top, OmniROM might still manage to reach its goal.

SOURCE: OmniROM (1), (2)
VIA: Android Police

PwnedCast is a custom ROM for Google Chromecast

Owners of the Google Chromecast looking for more exciting things to do with the streaming HDMI dongle might want to set their eyes on this new PwnedCast custom ROM. While it offers just a few advantages over the stock firmware, this could eventually open up the device for more adventurous tinkering and modifications.


Beyond the hype and novelty of the Chromecast, the things one can do with the device is quite limited, especially without involving some sort of hack or mod. Some rather creative, not to mention diligent, developers have created ways to get around Google’s lockdown of the device, either by allowing streaming of local media or, as in the case of KyoCast, opening up the device to more streaming services beyond the officially sanctioned ones.

But there is already a precedent of Google trying to foil such attempts through firmware updates. Now one way of getting around that is through this custom ROM, creatively named PwnedCast, that is based on the 13300 stock image. The ROM adds some new features that will be of interest to developers and modders, such as SSH/Telnet access, a custom boot image, and a preinstalled KyoCast.

There are a few caveats to the ROM. While it does get around the mandatory Google OTA updates that could potentially close up the device in the future, it does feature its own automatic OTA updates in the background. Luckily, that can be disabled using instructions here but it isn’t as straightforward or easily discoverable. And, of course, it is a custom image, so a bit of risk is to be expected.


CyanogenMod 10.2 release marks the end of Android 4.3 era for the custom ROM

CyanogenMod has just announced the availability of CyanogenMod 10.2. Aside from being the latest stable release of the popular custom Android ROM, this also marks a few changes in the development track of the community, particularly the shift in focus to the latest Android 4.4 codebase.


This stable release comes at the heels of the release candidate announced just last week. For the initial run of builds, CyanogenMod 10.2 will support devices that also received the RC build, including the Nexus 4 and later, HTC One, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Captivate, and Acer Iconia Tab A7000. Builds for other officially supported devices will soon follow and there might be unofficial builds for devices who have been dropped from CyanogenMod’s list.

No changelog has been given for this release but those following the ROMs development closely might be familiar with things to expect aside from the bump to Android 4.3. In particular, CyanogenMod 10.2 includes an interesting feature in Privacy Guard that has been added last September. In this release, Privacy Guard will give users access to App ops, allowing them to exercise fine-grained control over the permissions that each and every app uses, be it using the network, sending or receiving SMS, or getting the user’s location.

CyanogenMod is also switching gears and will put most of its muscle into the development of CyanogenMod 11, which is based on Android 4.4 KitKat. This also means that there will no longer be nightly builds based on Ice Cream Sandwich in order to channel its resources into CyanogenMod 11. Of course, there will still be CM 10.2 nightly builds and the community will continue to provide fixes and security patches for the release when necessary.

LegacyXperia puts 2011 Sony Xperia devices on life support via CyanogenMod 11

Aside from giving users a more vanilla and more liberated Android experience, one of the side benefits of CyanogenMod is bringing Android to devices no manufacturer, or even Google, would dare go. In particular, the popular custom ROM has been the savior of many older devices that are relatively capable of running more recent Android versions, such as some of Sony‘s Xperia smartphones from 2011.


As the name says, LegacyXperia is a project that targets legacy devices, those that manufacturers and carriers have given up on, much to the distress of owners who still find them quite usable. Now there might be some light at the end of that tunnel, provided these owners are willing to take some steps that, ironically, might make the device unusable. Last week, Sony Xperia 2012 models were given a new lease on life via CyanogenMod. Now it’s the older devices’ turn to get reborn.

The LegacyXperia project has quite a roster of supported devices, including the Xperia Arc and Arc S, Xperia Neo and Neo V, Xperia Pro and Mini Pro, Xperia Active, Xperia Mini, and Xperia Ray. These devices, at one point in time, where supported by CyanogenMod directly but have been dropped after CyanogenMod 10. The team is now working on bringing CyanogenMod 11, and thus the latest Android 4.4, to these abandoned smartphones as well.

There is still a lot of work to be done as WiFi is marked as buggy and 720p recording and HDMI output are still not working. However, considering how much is already working at this early alpha stage, there is hope that these can get fixed in due time.

VIA: Xperia Blog