custom ROMs

AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S 4, Galaxy S 4 Active get safe ROM loading with Safestrap

Not all smartphones are created equal especially when it comes to being developer and modder friendly, and Samsung's latest smartphones, it's Galaxy S 4 flagship and hardy Galaxy S 4 Active, are definitely no exception. But now owners who purchased said devices under AT&T and Verizon have a safer resort with Safestrap, allowing them to boot custom ROMs without removing the stock image.

S-OFF arrives for the HTC One and DROID DNA

If you happen to be carrying an HTC One or a DROID DNA and are looking to do a bit of playing, a recently released tool may be one that you have been waiting for. That tool is called S-OFF and while available for download and use -- it does come with a warning. You see, this release is considered an early access preview which is basically another way of saying things may not be perfect just yet.

HTC goes after ROM repository HTCRuu

HTC has recently set their sites on another ROM repository. This latest is HTCRuu.com and the owner has recently been contacted by lawyers from HTC demanding the site be taken down and the domain name transferred over to them. This all seems to come down to the fact the site was providing ROMs, however the complaints were dealing with trademark infringement and copyrighted material.

Five custom skin and ROM features that stock Android needs

We love the Open Source Android Project. It's where the Android community starts, where ROM developers go for "blessed" code, and without it, Android would still be puttering along behind lesser platforms. But the really great thing about Android is that it's adaptable - and anyone can adapt is. Many custom ROM developers out there (and, to be fair, manufacturers as well) have made natural and obvious additions to Android that are so useful, Google should go ahead and add them right into the main development tree. Here are five of my favorites:

Team Carbon themes on sale after a million active downloads

We tend to cover custom ROMs and other mods pretty heavily, but there's an incredibly vibrant theme community around Android. One of its most active participants is Team Carbon, which announced today that its themes for the CyanogenMod (AKA T-Mobile) theme engine have reached a million active users. That's not total downloads, mind you - that's a million people with themes running from three European theme designers. Good on ya, guys!

DROID RAZR locked bootloader gets an early work-around

Hands-down the biggest dissapointment of the Motorola DROID RAZR launch announcement was the fact that despite Moto's commitment to more open bootloaders, the flagship phone would be locked down just like previous Motorola-Verizon devices. Even after considerable customer backlash and unlocking the bootloader on the international GSM RAZR, not to mention the fact that both Samsung and HTC have provided unlocked bootloaders for their own Verizon phones, Motorola has stood frustratingly firm. Now a pair of modders have found away around the locked bootloader, opening up the possibility for true custom ROMs.

Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G gets root and custom recovery

The Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G has been lighting up T-Mobile's airwaves for about three weeks now, during which its owners were sadly bereft of rooting and ROM flashing options. But as usual, the community comes through: XDA user k0nane gifted Blaze owners with root early this morning, and it was hardly any time at all before fellow member shabbypenguin got a method of getting the venerable ClockworkMod recovery up and running. Neither process is as easy as it is on some devices: you'll be messing with Samsung's proprietary flashing tool Odin to get everything up and running, which is handy, since it's aparently pretty easy to wipe your phone in the process.

CyanogenMod 7.2 (Gingerbread) release candidate available

With all the hubbub about Ice Cream Sandwich, it's hard to remember that CyanogenMod has two active builds going at the moment. The older (shall we say "rich in dev cycles?") CyanogenMod 7 is still going strong, and has currently released version 7.2 of its Gingerbread-based code. The first release candidate is available in the usual GitHub locations for flashers and ROM developers, and should make its way to all officially supported devices within the next few weeks.
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