I have used Android since late 2010, when it started becoming a more mature operating system and a respected player on the market. Although I switched to Google’s platform about 2 years after its initial release, the system has kept on evolving, and came to be my favorite mobile operating system. Android has been a trendsetter over the years and has introduced several handy innovations, such as a central notification hub, remote installation of applications and more. Even today, Android has features neither iOS nor Windows Phone or Blackberry have and remains a source of inspiration thanks to its unified sharing system and widgets.
Nonetheless, not all Android devices are consistent and easy to use at first, and many find iOS to be simpler to get accustomed to. While I don’t fully agree with this, I have compared the ease of use of my iPad with my Galaxy Note II, and it is clear that there are instances where Android could learn a bit from the simplicity of iOS.
CyanogenMod is an alternative firmware which is available for Android powered smart-phones and tablets. It is based on the Android Open Source Project and is a highly customizable firmware. Basically, it provides several additional features and enhancements which you will not find in stock Android ROMS.
The HTC Sense, Motoblur and Timescape interfaces are brilliant eye-candies for Android users [some readers might disagree – Ed], but they are quite slow. CyanogenMod ROMs are lightweight, stable and fast — without altering the core Android interface — which is why most people prefer this particular ROM over other stock ROMs.
A stable release of CyanogenMod 9 is on its way, but while we wait, let’s take a detailed look at what makes CM7 so great.
I expect you’ve heard about the HP TouchPad, a tablet running webOS that was heavily discounted (to just $100) shortly after it was released a few months ago.
The main problem with the TouchPad was that it didn’t support the latest apps, since app developers are not excited to develop apps for webOS as is not available on many devices. In October we reported that Android would soon hit the TouchPad, and now it has. Read on to find out how to install it.
HTC has done good things among the development community. With their new devices, they are offering to help guide you through the bootloader unlocking process via their website, HTCdev.com. However, they didn’t want to make it too easy. With newer phones, the HBoot locks the NAND partition, making it a challenge to flash anything beyond a modified stock ROM.
Have I lost you yet? Don’t worry, I will break this down into common sense terms. Trust me, I was just as intimidated at first. We will also examine a few workarounds to get you right back on the flash bandwagon.
A few weeks ago, Joe Casabona wrote an article here detailing the main reasons he loves Android and chooses it over other platforms, with his focus being on the openness of the ecosystem and its advantages towards developers. Although I agree with Joe’s point of view, I have to admit that the reason I moved to Android in the first place was a lot more selfish.
I was a veteran Symbian user but, as a pharmacist, I needed access to more medical applications which Symbian’s Store failed to provide. Medscape‘s availability on Android was the app that made the balance tip and I went for Android. That was a year ago, almost to the day.
However, over this year, I started carefully venturing into rooting, custom ROMs and the modding scene. Just then, Android (excuse the corny metaphor) opened itself to me like a beautiful rose. I love customizing my experiences, especially on mobiles, and Android literally blew me away with how much you can change in order to suit your personality.
Installing a new ROM on any Android phone is both exciting and frightening. You have to root, install recovery, flash the ROM, and cross your fingers. However, if you find yourself dissatisfied with your stock experience or maybe just want to experiment with new user interfaces, it is worth the risk.
Some phones are easier to root than others, but the Motorola Droid X2 is on the harder side. With a locked bootloader, there are challenges and dangers to overcome. This How-To will explain in detail how to tackle this beast and get your X2 up to snuff with your own expectations.
It’s been around 10 months since I got an LG Optimus One, my first Android phone. It’s isn’t terrible, but it’s not a beast of a phone either. There used to be at least a couple occasions every day when I would wish it did just a tad more – especially in the last couple of months when my installed app base had started to reach monstrous proportions, threatening to use up all my internal memory every couple of hours.
Over a comparatively quiet weekend in August, I decided to finally take the plunge and install a custom port of the insanely popular CyanogenMod for my phone. The research started at trying to find the best ROM for my phone and going through page after page of discussions, tutorials and walkthroughs of how to do it. I ended up spending around six hours trying to absorb as much information as there was about the process before hitting the dreaded ‘Wipe’ button that you need to press before installing a new ROM. The actual process took no more than 20 minutes, and I’m so happy with the end result, I spend an unhealthy amount of time every day hitting myself for not doing it before.
In this article, I will try and compress all my research from various sites into a single FAQ, hoping to reduce the time you’ll spend trying to figure things out, so you can spend more time playing around with the new coat of paint on your device’s walls. Let’s jump in right away.
After an enormous wait, it is now possible to bypass HTC’s locked HBOOTs and root your previously unrootable Android 2.2 device. Now HTC Android users who were unable to root beforehand (such as those with an original Wildfire) can enjoy custom ROMs, CPU Scaling, advanced WiFi Sharing and much more. This article will show you how to do just that.
This guide also applies to the Aria, Incredible S, Desire, and Desire CDMA.
Did you know you can wipe the default version of Android and install a completely new, customized version of the operating system? Thanks to Android’s open-source nature, you aren’t bound by any copyright agreements, meaning that makers of phones allow you do this and — following HTC’s recent announcement to unlock their bootloaders on their devices — may even encourage you to do so.
Before you start tinkering with any kind of custom ROMs, you’ll need to “root” your phone (the Android version of jailbreaking; this basically allows you to access your phone’s core) which isn’t as scary as you might think. Rooting your phone is quite a simple process and brings a wealth of advantages.
When I first got my HTC Desire Z, I was in love, awestruck at the beautiful Sense interface and the numerous tweaks HTC had done to take the Android experience to the next level. However, as I went about installing my plethora of apps, games and widgets (over a hundred, I am a junkie), Sense started getting in the way instead of improving my experience. The home screen would restart every few hours; every tap took longer to register; screen rotation when sliding open the keyboard went on for ages; and the whole phone felt like it was struggling to get by.
CyanogenMod 7 (CM7), a Gingerbread-based stock Android ROM, had been on my radar for a while. It’s currently available for 28 devices, old and new, tablets and phones, including the Nexus One, HTC Incredible, HTC Hero, LG Optimus 2x, Motorola Droid, Samsung Galaxy S, and Nook Color. Since my Desire Z was rooted, I decided to give it a shot. Lo and behold, a breath of fresh air swooped through my phone and it felt brand new without the clunky, RAM-hungry, processor-intensive Sense layer. Two months later, I am a convert, for several reasons which I’ll recount below.