custom ROMs

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.

Virtuous S4X brings ICS and Sense 4.0 to HTC EVO 3D and Sensation

Whatever else they might be, custom ROM developers are speedy. Barely three weeks after the first official ROM for the Endeavor (now officially revealed as the HTC One X) leaked, an industrious group of devs have released a series of ROMs based on the leaked code. The Virtuous S4X series of ROMs isn't the first family of custom ROMs to bring Ice Cream Sandwich to HTC's devices, but it is the first to bring the ubiquitous Sense along for the ride in its fourth incarnation. At present only the GSM version of the HTC EVO 3D and the HTC Sensation are supported, and the ROMs themselves are in beta form and their first release at that - don't expect daily driver performance. Work from the developers includes resizing and recalibrating ROMs to work on qHD (960x540) screens, smaller both physically virtually tan the HTC One X's 720p panel. In the best tradition of custom ROMs, they've also made a few speedy tweaks and removed bloatware that isn't strictly necessary. HTC has committed to bringing Ice Cream Sandwich (and probably Sense 4.0) to both the EVO 3D and the Sensation, but it might be months before the updates materialize. If you can't wait, download the files, reboot into a custom recovery and get crackin'. Both will require a full wipe (even from a stock ROM) so make sure and back up your data with Nandroid. It'll still be a few weeks at the very least before the HTC One X is released, so it'll be a while before the developers can upgrade their source files. [timeline] [device id=60] [device id=146] [via XDA]

Official CyanogenMod 9 nightly ROMs ready for Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and XOOM

At long last, the first officially blessed software for CyanogenMod 9 is available! The CyanogenMod team has been working hard since November to get Ice Cream Sandwich builds ready, and nightly ROMs for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Motorola XOOM are ready for download now. Heat to the CyanogenMod ROM repository to download them now. For the uninitiated, "toro" is the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, "maguro" is the international HSPA+ model, "stringray" is Verizon's Motorola XOOM, "wingray" is the WiFi-only XOOM, "crespo" is the Nexus S GSM version and "crespo4G" is the CDMA Nexus S 4G.

Asus releases Transformer Prime bootloader unlock tool

It's finally time, Eee Pad Transformer Prime owners: Asus has graced you with its promised bootloader unlock tool. If you don't want to waste precious seconds reading, click this here link to get to the download page. Select "Android" in the OS pull-down menu, then click "Utilities", then click the download link under "Unlock Device App: Unlock boot loader". The bootloader unlock tool will only work if you've updated your Transformer Prime to the official Ice Cream Sandwich ROM, and like all bootloader unlocks, it will wipe your personal information completely.

Unofficial Google Apps updated for CyanogenMod 9 and other ICS ROMs

If you're reading this, you're probably aware that Google publishes Android as an open-source operating system, allowing anyone to modify the code, customizing it for different devices or ROMs. What you may not know is that all the Google apps on certified Android phones, like Gmail, YouTube, Goolge Calendar, and of course the Android Market, are closed-source, and can't be modified without breaking Google's copyright. Ever since Ice ream Sandwich ROMs started popping up, ROM flashers have been using some cobbled-together Google Apps packages that are decent, but sometimes lacking new Ice Cream Sandwich features. Now a new and unofficial Gapps.zip package is available for CyanogenMod 9 and other Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs.

Easy Development Studio makes rolling your own ROM a snap

I'd wager there's a lot of you reading this who run custom ROMs on your Android phone or tablet, but only a tiny portion that actually develop your own. (Guilty.) The simple fact is that rooting and flashing a custom recovery/ROM is fairly simple for those of us that know our way around a command line, but cooking up an entire ROM requires some more specialized skills. Enter Easy Development Studio, a Linux tool designed to make compiling your own ROM easy, or at the very lest manageable, for the layman. Check out the thread on XDA to download the beta.

ClockworkMod Recovery Touch beta ready for download

Tired of wearing out your volume keys navigating through a ClockworkMod Recovery interface to flash the newest and coolest ROMs? Good news, everyone! Now you don't have to, assuming that you own a Samsung Galaxy Nexus (CDMA and GSM) or the GSM variant of the Nexus S. Clockwork developer Koushik "Koush" Dutta released beta versions of the custom recovery software for both phones yesterday. Instead of the basic button-based UI employed up to now, ClockworkMod Recovery Touch allows users to select folder, files and actions via the touchscreen.

2-click Windows root and unlock method developed for the Galaxy Nexus

As far as we're concerned, if you went out and bought a Samsung Galaxy Nexus on launch day, you have a responsibility to unlock that bootloader, root Android and get cracking with some custom mods and ROMs. Even though the process isn't terribly difficult, there are a good number of steps and checks, and not everyone is up for the challenge. Those of you who have been holding off for an easier method can thank "WugFresh" at GalaxyNexusForum.com, who's developed an easy Windows application that automates every step of the unlock process on Windows.
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