Remember that bizarre orb-like device that Google unveiled with the original Nexus 7 back in June 2012?
Although we’ll most likely never see another version of that awkward little orb, the Nexus Q, there is some good news for those that actually own one.
While the device originally shipped with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, there wasn’t another update for it as Google pretty much marked it internally as a failure— or at least marked it as a device that needed a bit more R&D.
Now, XDA forum member hharte has released a nearly perfect build of Android 4.4 KitKat based on CyanogenMod. Current issues include WLAN and audio w/ Google Music. Either way, there isn’t really any reason why you shouldn’t want to upgrade to this experimental version of KitKat. Hit up the developmental thread in the source link below to get going.
When Google announced the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat, one of the “new” apps that was launched was a new phone dialer that came with some unique features. The dialer came with an updated UI, featured Internet-based caller ID, and perhaps most notably, the ability to search for businesses and contacts, both on the device and from the Internet, from within the dialer. For now, it looks like Google is limiting the availability of this new dialer to Nexus devices and Google Play Edition smartphones. If you really want to get a copy of the dialer, it is now available if you meet a couple minimum requirements including root and an Android 4.4 ROM, either official or custom.
The dialer is available as both a flashable ZIP file to be installed via a custom recovery or as an APK file that is placed in /system/priv-app. For the latter option, you will need to be able to change the permissions of the APK file. Some users who have tried the install have reported the app icon does not show up in the app tray. It appears the solution to this problem is to use Nova Launcher and its feature that allows you to run a specific activity within an app. It also appears the default dialer needs to remain active in order for users to receive calls, but this could vary by device.
If you want to give the dialer a try, hit the source link to get the files and detailed install instructions.
Today the CyanogenMod team announced their secure messaging system that is being integrated into their CM 10.2 nightlies (will soon follow into their CM 11 branch). Dubbed as WhisperPush, the system-wide secure messaging system is powered by TextSecure. This basically encrypts your SMS messages both locally and over- the-air when sending to other TextSecure users.
The source is of course made available to the public. Check out the link below for CM’s official word on the matter and for further information.
Upon the official release of CM 10.2, the CM team has announced that they will cease development of CM 10.2 and mainly focus on CM 11 (KitKat). They will still provide nightlies and updates for 10.2, but will mainly just be bug fixes rather than new feature implementations.
While Jelly Bean is still alive in the CM world, the ICS branch will officially be retired and no longer continued.
If the price of $180 wasn’t enough of an enticement to make you grab a Moto G, maybe its ease of being rooted might. Thanks to the famed Android developer Modaco, you can now root the popular budget device using any computer, whether it be a Windows, Mac or Linux.
To carry out this process, your bootloader does need to be unlocked. Also, doing any of this may invalidate your warranty so do this under your own precaution. Otherwise, hit up the source link for download links and instructions on how to achieve this process!
As the over-the-air update KRT16S has been rolling out to Nexus 4 owners bringing Android 4.4 KitKat to their devices, some users have discovered some problems with their smartphones after the update. Reports indicate some users are having trouble with core functions like the dialer not working, different Quick Settings toggles not working and even the Home button being rendered inoperable. For the small number of users impacted by these problems, a couple different solutions have been identified that may give them some relief.
ROM flashing has just become that much easier for all of us. Today, Cyanogen and his team have officially released their much anticipated CM Installer into the Google Play Store. While flashing ROM’s may be easy and 2nd nature to some, it can be scary and difficult to venture into for others. Now with the CM Installer, having CyanogenMod on your Android device is just “a click” away, so to speak. Just make sure your device is part of the “supported device list” and you can give it a shot. QR code and Play Store link will be after the break along with the full press release.
While Google has abandoned the Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.4 KitKat, that never stops the resilient devs over at XDA. A dev team by the name of “SlimRoms” has built KitKat straight from source and made it available for most variants of the Galaxy Nexus, and all was left was the Sprint Galaxy Nexus (toroplus). If you wish to flash this, you will need your bootloader to be unlocked and have a custom recovery installed. Considering this is still in alpha stages, so bugs may be prevalent.
Head over to the source link for the XDA thread and for download links.
Disappointed in the quality of your Nexus 5′s camera? A developer by the name of Jishnu Sir over on XDA created a flashable .zip file in hopes to vastly improve the quality of your camera. It’s essentially a whole new app that replaces the stock camera that you currently have. Obviously doing this will require you to unlock your bootloader and have some sort of custom recovery (i.e. ClockworkMod or TWRP). Here’s a full list of what the new camera app adds or improves:
1) Sound Recording now in Stereo with the secondary Mic.
2) Faster Focusing for the camera.
3) Front Camera also records 720P Videos@ 20 Mb/s.
4) Front camera Audio Bitrate@ 192000 Kb/s.
5) AntiBanding default set to 50Hz
6) Focus Range Adjusted.
7) Enhanced Smooth Zoom.
8) Turned Edge Enhancement ON.
If you’d like to read up on some user feedback on how the hack has worked for some, check out the source link which directs you to the XDA thread. If anyone out there is willing to give this a shot, report back in the comment section and let us know your results!
Ever since Google released their Chromecast this past summer, a constant battle has been going on between Google and owners of the device. More specifically, Google has continued to try to maintain control over how a Chromecast can be used and what content it is capable of streaming. Meanwhile, users have been trying to figure out ways to make the device more useful for their purposes and capable of streaming content they are interested in instead of what Google thinks they should be interested in. A new mod called KyoCast from XDA forum member Kyonz is a step in the direction of more freedom, at least for those users who managed to root their device before Google figured out a way to clamp down on that.