Custom ROM

Baidu-branded custom ROM available for Nexus S

For the uninitiated, Baidu is sometimes considered the "Chinese Google", starting with a powerful (and relentlessly censored) search engine and expanding into things like email, maps and even mobile services. Now the company has taken it one step further, releasing a complete ROM for the Nexus S, replacing all of Google's services with their own. It's kind of like some of the Bing-branded Android phones Verizon has released, only creepier.

AOKP adding swiping widgets to Galaxy Nexus navbar

We've got to hand it to the Android Open Kang Project: when it comes to taking advantage of the Galaxy Nexus, no one's going faster or harder. The custom ROM team has one of the most comprehensive modifications to the Galaxy Nexus' nearly unique soft navigation buttons out there already, with custom shortcuts, icons, colors and widgets. Their next trick is to add multiple widgets to a single icon, allowing users to quickly and easily adjust settings and playback from just about any app.

AOKP Backup keeps your ROM settings safe

If you flash as many ROMs as we do, you know it's a pain to set up everything juuuust the way you like it. Apps like Titanium Backup can help, but these usually aren't meant for the ROM itself. If you're currently rocking Android Open Kang Project (like me!) you can now save a little extra time when switching to a new device or flashing a "clean" ROM. It's not a Nandroid, it simply backs up the settings in the custom AOKP menu.

32GB HP TouchPad on sale for $195 – today only

Ever since an insane fire sale chopped the price off of the HP TouchPad down to $100, the one and only WebOS tablet has become something of a modder's dandy. While they're nearly impossible to find at retail these days, the cheeky salesmen at Woot.com have managed to snag an unknown quantity of the upgraded 32GB version, and they're selling them off for $194.99 each (plus $5 shipping). They're bound to go quickly, and Woot only sells an item for one day in any case, so hurry if your want one.

HTC HD2 can’t be stopped: gets Sense 4.0 ROM

At this point, the HTC HD2 is nothing short of legendary. The phone originally launched with Windows Mobile 6.5 way back in 2009, but it's super high-end specs (including the first 4.3-inch touchscreen) and easy hack-ability have made it the host to more Windows and Android mods than you can shake a stylus at. After a CM9 port, you'll soon be able to rock Ice Cream Sandwich on your gigantic proto-superphone along with HTC Sense 4.0 - just as nature intended.

CyanogenMod 7.2 (Gingerbread) nears completion

As much as we like to put new software on old machines, sometimes they just can't take it - you wouldn't try to play Crysis on your grandmother's 98 HP, after all. That's why we're so glad that the CyanogenMod team is continuing to support its Gingerbread build, CyanogenMod 7, with an updated release. Version 7.2 has hit Release Candidate 2 for dozens of devices, and given the team's previous work that means we're not far from a "Final" version.

AT&T’s HTC One X bootloader locked for now

For the past few months HTC has been playing it pretty mod-friendly with HTCDev, their portal for all things developer and the home of HTC's bootloader unlock tool. But those few who have access to AT&T's LTE version of the One X have found that using the previously posted bootloader unlock simply won't work - the unlock process returns a failure, and says that the American model isn't allowed. Without an unlocked bootloader, custom ROMs will be difficult, and custom kernels will be almost impossible.

HTC EVO 3D CDMA Ice Cream Sandwich ROM leaked

There have been a surprising number of Ice Cream Sandwich builds released from the major manufacturers, but I honestly wasn't expecting to see this one. A generous XDA member has posted the Android 4.0 ROM for the HTC EVO 3D, straight from the source and ready for flashing. This particulate software build is intended for Virgin Mobile's US version of the phone, but it will work with The Now Network as well.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and 10.1 source code posted

If you got your hands on a sweet $250 Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, it's time to start diving into that code. Samsung has just posted the open source code not only for the 7-inch model of the Galaxy Tab 2, but the delayed 10-inch version as well. Of course having the source code will help modders to alter the existing software, but it will also allow them to easily get custom ROMs running on the Android tablets. And we love us some custom ROMs. You can download the source code files here.