Custom ROM

AOKP ROM’s coolest new feature: Fast Torch

As a hardcore custom ROM user, I tend to update my current "daily driver" about once every couple of weeks or so. Since CyanogenMod was taking its sweet time in getting here (nightlies just started arriving yesterday) I gave a shot to a very popular up-and-coming ROM for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, Android Open Kang Project. AOKP has been one of the fastest and most stable of the new ICe Cream Sandwich ROMs, and it's gaining quite a following. When I saw one of the features snuck into the latest build (24), I just had to do a quick demonstration.

CyanogenMod 9 shows off new logo and boot animation

CyanogenMod 9, the Ice Cream Sandwich update to the most popular family of custom ROMs out there, is nearing completion. And as with any major launch, albeit with a more user-group feel, they need a shiny new logo and intro animation to show off. To that end, the CM team has posted both the CyanogenMod 9 logo and the boot animation on YouTube. THe new animation keeps the classic Cyanogen "skating Android" and builds upon the radial CyanogenMod 7 logo/animation. The animation file itself isn't available just yet, but it should be coming in a few weeks at the latest ,and of course it'll be packaged with all official CM9 builds.

Eden Tab packs MIUI onto a retail tablet… in Japan

For the most part, custom ROMs are the territory of modders and high-functioning enthusiasts, with one very important exception. Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi has the MI-One, a smarptohne sold at retail and through carriers that packs the popular MIUI custom ROM instead of stock Android. Now the MI-One is joined by a tablet sibling across a short sea: the Eden Tab, a 7-inch WiFi tablet that's being prepared for sale exclusively in Japan. Like the Mi-One, the Eden Tab will run MIUI instead of standard Android.

CyanogenMod 9 for the HP TouchPad gets nightly updates

Thought you'd seen the last of everyone's favorite firesale mod platform? Think again. The CyanogenMod team's Ice Cream Sandwich update for the HP TouchPad has unofficially graduated from major beta releases to nightly updates. Those with the inclination to try the latest and greatest in community-authored open source code can now flash updated ROMs every day, courtesy of the folks at TeamWin. They're syncing the latest Alpha build with nightly addition to CyanogenMod 9's code, added to the main branch daily, then posting them on their own. You check the download page here to see the latest files.

CyanogenMod 9 may use Onskreen’s Cornerstone multitasking engine

Android's always been pretty handy with multitasking, but if CyanogenMod is your custom ROM of choice, it may soon be getting even better. The CyanogenMod team stated on a Google+ post that they're investigating the possibility of including Onskreen's Cornerstone software in their final CM9 build, based on Ice Cream Sandwich. The sudden addition is due to Cornerstone's recent move to the world of open source, allowing modders like the CM team to include it in their ROMs for free. "We will probably include this into CM9. it needs some polish, but the concept is just great," said an official update.

Android Open Kang Project ICS now available for the Motorola XOOM

The Android Open Kang Project from Team Kang is yet another relatively extensive modification of Android's open source code, available for a wide collection of devices including the Galaxy Nexus. For those of you who prefer your developer devices in tablet form, an Ice Cream Sandwich build for the Motorola XOOM is now available. Download the unicorn-themed ROM at your leisure, remembering of course that your warranty is gone like the promises of a thousand smiling politicians.

Galaxy Nexus LTE custom ROM users: flash 4.0.4 radios here

On the day past, the Android 4.0.4 software update for Verizon's Galaxy Nexus leaked, and lo, there was much rejoicing across the Android nation! And yet, those users running custom ROMs did cry verily, "Well crap, now I gotta wait for the dev to update before I can get better reception." Then a voice spake: "Nay, Android power user! I have for you a flashable ZIP file, which does include both new radio basebands and a bootloader besides. Go forth and spread the good word: adrynalyne of XDA hath delivered you mildly better 3G and 4G data performance! Huzzah!"

Chinese OEM Xiaomi publishes MIUI open source code

A lot of you are familiar with MIUI, a family of community-authored custom ROMs that's popular with modders due to its heavily altered user interface. The project notably became the very first custom ROM to be features on a retail device, namely Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi's MI-One. Now the company has published the source code for the latest MIUI ROM, including several applications that were previously closed-source. Developers can download the code from Github and compile or kang to your heart's content.

Yet another ICS update leak for the Galaxy S II

Man, somebody at Samsung is just giving it away to modders and custom ROM enthusiasts. For the third time since the open-source code for Ice Cream Sandwich was released back in November, an official beta version of the Samsung Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich update has found its way into the hands of some eager fans, this time over at SamMobile. The cheeky guys there say that the newest build, dated January 29th, is ready for regular daily use after a collection of improvements. The build number for the latest leak is I9100XXLPB.

ClockworkMod Recovery Touch expands to more devices

One of the more exciting developments in the Android mod scene in the last week or so has been ClockworkMod Recovery Touch, a new version of Koushik Dutta's ubiquitous custom recovery software. Initially offered earlier this week, the touchscreen enabled pre-boot environment is now available on more Samsung, HTC and Motorola devices. Initially developed for only the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S. But a recovery system takes a lot less time to modify than a full ROM, so we're seeing the updated software spread out quickly.