custom ROMs

Sony updates bootloader unlock program

There are apparently two ways to swing when it comes to device manufacturers and the “tweaking” element of Android – a facet of the open source environment that has grown inevitably parallel to the OS. One is to lock your features and make it more difficult for hackers to tweak the OS to their liking. Or you could go Sony’s way and swing toward the freedom of the open source community, as they have done with their now updated bootloader unlock program.

Customizable Quick Settings considered for Android L

If you’re a true blue fan, this piece of news might just get you thanking whatever Android gods you subscribe to (Cyanogen?), as Google has indicated that it is actually considering a customizable “Quick Settings” feature in the upcoming Android L, scheduled to launch within the year. And we can tell that if you have been using Android for a while now, this may just increase the value of keeping a stock version of the OS rather than a tweaked one.

Do “memory boost” apps work the way we think they do?

With a new device, most of us will not think of installing a memory or RAM booster off the bat. In fact, online surveys say that most Android users install these kinds of apps through in-app advertisements and similar pushes. And most users install these apps on the generic suggestion that using them would “speed up” their Android devices. But do they really work?

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!
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