CyanogenMod Project Explains Nemesis, Reveals New Camera App Called Focal

CyanogenMod project has been teasing something called Nemesis for the past few days. Now we know exactly what they were hinting at. Nemesis is an initiative to tackle the biggest problems areas or the weak spots of the CyanogenMod ROM.

To kick things off, CM team is focusing on the camera app. While the smartphone camera UI has experienced radical improvements over the past couple of years, unofficial ROMs haven’t really managed to keep pace. To remedy things, CyanogenMod project is developing a brand new camera app called Focal.


Focal builds upon the work that Google has done in the Jelly Bean camera UI. Judging from the screenshots published by Android Police, on the surface Focal seems to be similar to the stock camera UI. However, the differences become apparent as soon as you dig deeper. Focal retains the best parts of the stock app including Photospheres (Picsphere) and Panoramas. On top of that it adds a bunch of new scene modes, flash settings, picture effects, and more. The biggest selling point of Focal are:
Widget Chooser: This feature allows you to customize which features are listed in the options bar. Make life simpler by getting rid of features you never use.
Auto-enhancement: When this feature is enabled it will automatically apply post-processing on the picture to enhance it.
Exposure Ring: A novel feature, which when enabled adds a second ring (besides the focus ring) to the interface. Just drag the ring to various areas of the screen and exposure settings will be automatically adjusted. If you drag it to a dark spot the entire snap will be made brighter, while the reverse will happen if you drag it to a bright spot.


Focal is scheduled to be merged with CM nightlies by this weekend. However, it’s only the first phase of what’s expected to be a significant revamp of CyanogenMod apps and features.

Steve Kondik A.K.A CyanogenMod Posts His First Impression On The Galaxy S4, Quits Samsung As Well

Steve Kondik, the founder of CyanogenMod, has given his first impression on the Galaxy S4, and has also announced that he is no longer working for Samsung.

Like the Galaxy S3, Steve’s impression on the Galaxy S4 is mostly positive with near instant GPS lock, its hovering touch screen, the IR blaster, the blazing fast performance (40K score in Quadrant), and the decent cameras.


Regarding TouchWIZ, this is what Steve had to say -:

TouchWiz has become a bit more consistent with the latest upgrade. There are no more jarring mismatches in different parts of the OS, and it’s been lightened up a bit and has a clean “flat” feel. Unfortunately, it feels like it has been sent a few years back in time to the Froyo days. Say goodbye to all of the nice touch-friendly ViewPagers and say hello again to a fully tabbed UI. You’ll also enjoy the seemingly endless onslaught of popup windows and modal “Loading…” dialogs. UI performance is average. It’s better and worse at the same time, depending on your viewpoint I suppose.

On the features side, it’s absolutely loaded with stuff. Some of the new features are very useful like the “hover” preview where you can just point at an email message without touching the screen and it shows a preview of the message. The multi-window feature is present here, and is nice to have around when you need it. The camera app has seen some significant upgrades too, with live previews of the postprocessing effects and a new UI. My least favorite new feature is “Smart Scroll” which is supposed to scroll based on face detection + tilt, but it mostly serves to anger me into disabling it.

You can read Steve’s detailed impression on the Galaxy S4 over at his Google+ page.

Steve did not explicitly say as to why he has left Samsung or where he is current employed, except  that he will reveal his new employer in a couple of months.

Via – +Steve Kondik

Official CM10.1 Nightlies Rolling Out For Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and Transformer Infinity

The CyanogenMod team has been hard at work on merging Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean with its sources. The team has been slowly adding all the features from CM10 to CM10.1, making sure they don’t cause any stability issues.

While unofficial CM10.1 builds for quite a few Android devices are available on XDA forums of the respective devices, the CyanogenMod team is going to make things easier for some of us. Beginning from today, the CyanogenMod team has started rolling out the official CM10.1 nightly builds for the Galaxy Nexus (GSM), Nexus 7 and the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity. The Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10 have already been enjoying official CM10.1 nightlies for sometime now.

Apart from adding more devices to their stable, the CM team is also working on adding more features to CM10.1. The team, recently, added the ability to customize the Quick Settings notification pane in CM10.1, making the feature much more useful.

Looking at the way the CM team is working, most of the devices that would be supported by CM10.1, should get official nightlies by Christmas.

Apollo – The CyanogenMod Music Player Hits The Play Store; Re-written From Scratch!

Remember the beautiful Apollo music player that a CyanogenMod developer released earlier this year? The music player was eventually included in CyanogenMod 9 and 10 builds. However, the development of the music player pretty much stopped from Andrew soon after.

Today, Andrew Neal has released an updated version of the Apollo Music Player on the Play Store — Apollo+. The new version has been completely written from scratch and contains lots of under-the-hood enhancements and bug-fixes. He will also merge the updated app with CyanogenMod sometime soon.

However, the version of the app included in CyanogenMod will be different from Play Store one. The latter will be updated more frequently and contain more features.  The app also comes in two versions – a free, ad supported version and a paid one for a mere dollar.As of now, the app is not optimized for the tablet layout, but Andrew is working on it and expects to add it sooner than later.

The developer is eagerly responding to all feedbacks, including negatives ones and feature requests, over at Reddit. So head over and directly give him your feedback!

From A CM Developer – ‘The “Superbrick” Nightmare’ Or How Samsung Screwed All Galaxy Note Owners

At the beginning of this year, when Samsung started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy Note (N7000), a serious issue was found in the kernel level of the firmware. If any Note owner used the Factory Reset option or wiped the internal storage of his or her device using recovery, the eMMC chip inside the device would die. The issue was present in all the previous leaked ICS firmware for the Galaxy Note, and the community had promptly informed Samsung about the issue after Note owners started bricking their devices left, right and center. The issue was termed as ‘Superbrick’ in the XDA community, since there was no way to bring back these affected devices to life.

Now, a CyanogenMod developer – Andrew Dodd – has written his story on the ‘superbrick’ issue titled ‘The “Superbrick” Nightmare’ on Google+. The series of posts from Andrew Dodd show the real and harsh truth on how Samsung completely ignored the Superbrick issue, hardly cared about Note owners who had already bricked their devices and the meeting it setup with developers just for the sake of publicity. Worse? The ‘superbrick’ issue eventually found its way to many other Samsung devices even after Samsung knew about it and said that it was “working diligently” on it.

Some of the developers worked hard on finding the root cause of the issue, and even informed Samsung about it. Heck! They even provided Samsung with a workaround to this problem. Even then, in a somewhat shocking behavior, Samsung did not pay any heed to the Android developers and many firmware for other Samsung devices (AT&T and International SGS2) that leaked in the future were found to be plagued by the same kernel-level eMMC killing bug. Even official firmware release from Samsung had the ‘Superbrick’ issue, months after the community informed them about it.

On the flipside, his posts also shows how the Android community worked together to find the root cause of the issue and a fix for it, so as to prevent users from ‘Superbricking’ their devices and extent to which they went to try and save all those Notes that were already superbricked, The hero or the saviour of all the Galaxy Notes and Galaxy S2s out there, however, turned out to be an engineer from Google — Ken — who was later silenced by Samsung. As it turns out, independent Android developers and engineers at Google care more about your devices than Samsung itself does.

It has been more than six months since Samsung was made aware of the ‘superbrick’ issue and it promised that it was “working diligently” on it, and yet till date, the issue persists. Samsung fixed the issue on its newer devices like the Galaxy S3 that never had the issue, but has not made any effort to fix the problem on the device severely affected by it, the Galaxy Note.

Read: The “Superbrick” Nightmare

Samsung, the developers and community have played a large part in making you the largest mobile manufacturer out there. Stop screwing around with them. You are not going to stay at the top forever! HTC and Qualcomm have learnt from their mistakes and are now embrace the open-source community and its developers. Its about time you do the same!



CyanogenMod Team To Release ‘M-Series’ Build Every Month Now

CyanogenMod’s user base has been growing at a break neck speed. Once a new version of Android is released to AOSP by Google, the Android community impatiently waits for CM nightlies to start rolling out for their Android devices.

However, the official CM nightlies take quite sometime to roll-out, which leads many developers to kang the CM’s gerrit and release unofficial CM builds. Also, there is a gap of quite a few months between the official nightly builds and the first RC or stable release from the CM team.

Keeping this in mind, the CyanogenMod team has announced that it will be doing M-Series build monthly. The ‘M’ does not stand for anything in particular here. The CM team will be releasing a new ‘M’ build at the starting of every month.

Before the starting of every month, the CM team will soft-freeze the codebase in order to ensure no new buggy features are added that affect the stability of the M-series builds. Another popular ROM, AOKP, has been doing similar ‘Milestone’ releases from time to time ever since Ice Cream Sandwich.

The first M-series build are already available for download, and is available for most of the popular Android devices including the Galaxy S3, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S2 (I9100G), Nexus S, Nexus 7 and more.

Via – CyanogenMod

Sony Releases Xperia S Binaries To Help The AOSP Experiment For The Handset

A few weeks ago, Android Open Source Project (AOSP) Technical Leader, Jean-Baptiste Queru, decided to conduct an experiment of adding support for the Xperia S in AOSP. This is the first time that efforts are being made to include support for a non-Nexus device in AOSP.

The CyanogenMod team and other developers immediately started helping Jean with in this experiment. Today, Sony is also extending their help to the CM team, JBQ and his experiment by releasing all the closed sourced binaries of the Xperia S to public. In addition to all the binaries (drivers), Sony is also assigning one of its lead software engineers, Björn Andersson, to lead this project from the Japanese company’s side.

According to Sony, thanks to the binaries and the AOSP code, the Xperia S will now be able to boot up to the home screen without any issues. However, this does not mean that the Xperia S can run AOSP Android builds without any issues. The experiment is still in infancy with a lot of work still to be done. There is still no guarantee that the Xperia S will ever get proper support from AOSP and this experiment will be a success, but it is still good to see the whole of the Android community come together and work on this exciting experiment.

Interested developers can download the binaries and get more appropriate information over at the official blog post from Sony.



CyanogenMod 9.1 Released — Includes SimplyTapp NFC Payment Service

It was only less than a month ago that the CyanogenMod team released the stable version of CM9, based on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich for a bunch of supported devices.

Today, the CyanogenMod build bot has silently started rolling out CM9.1 for the list of supported devices. So what exactly does the .1 jump in version number denote? Besides some bug-fixes and stability improvements, CM9.1 contains one major new feature — the introduction of a new NFC based payment platform called SimplyTapp.

SimplyTapp has been founded by two CyanogenMod developers, Doud and Ted, and aims at providing an open and secure method for NFC based payments. The company has entered a partnership with the CM team to help the platform, its service and give NFC payments based services a much needed boost as well.

The CM team has incorporated SimplyTapp in its CM9 code-base and not in the CM10, which is based on Jelly Bean, because of the “rapidly changing Jelly Bean code breaking app functionality.” The feature, however, will be incorporated into CM 10 as well.

If you have already installed the stable version of CM9.1 on your NFC enabled handset, don’t forget to install the Simply Tapp app from here to enjoy NFC based payments on your handset.

More information about the service, and the partnership can also be found over at CyanogenMod’s official blog.


Final Version Of CyanogenMod 9 Released

With CyanogenMod 9, the CM team decided to go back to the drawing board, do some major code clean-up so that future Android releases won’t cause them too much of a headache. Due to this, CM9 was under development for quite a long time. ICS was pushed to AOSP sometime around mid-December, and the CM team started rolling out nightlies sometime around early-March for a bunch of devices.

The first RC was released sometime in June with the RC2 following it after a month. Now, nearly a month after the RC2 was released, and more than 6 months after nightly builds started rolling out, the CM team has silently released the final version of CM9. As of now, the final version is only available for the GSM variant of the Galaxy Nexus.

There has been no official announcement from the CM team about the release of final version of CM9, which should hopefully happen once the stable builds for other devices are available. Galaxy Nexus (GSM) owners can download the stable build of CM9 for their handset from here.

Now that the final build of CM9 has been released, official CM10 nightlies based on Jelly Bean are imminent.

CyanogenMod Drops Support For The Nexus One And Other Snapdragon S1 Devices

CyanogenMod is popular in the Android world because the custom ROM brings stock Android like experience to devices that may otherwise have got the update. The Galaxy S, whose Ice Cream Sandwich update Samsung ditched due to space constraints, is happily running Jelly Bean without any issues.

While the CM team usually brings good news for owners of older devices, today they have brought some bad news. The CM team announced via Google+ update that going forward they will be dropping support for certain devices for CM9 and beyond. These devices include all handsets based on the Snapdragon S1 chipset including the Nexus One, EVO 4G and the Droid Incredible.

Below is the list of all the devices (codenames) that won’t be officially supported by the CyanogenMod team and won’t have a CM9 release -:

blade, bravo, bravoc, buzz, c660, click, cooper, desirec, e510, e720, es209ra, espresso, hero, heroc, inc, legend, liberty, morrisson, motus, one, p500, passion, robym, s5670, supersonic, tass, u8150, u8220, z71, zero

The reason why the CM team is not going to work on CM9 and beyond for these handsets is because of space constraints, older binary files, dirty hacks and much more. The whole update from the CM team can be read here.