Paranoid Android 1.6.9 Alpha Galaxy Nexus Hybrid Jelly Bean ROM

5 08 2012

Ok, apologies for the massively long title, but I feel its all required !

Since Rooting my Galaxy Nexus GSM a few months ago I’ve experimented with a number of ROM’s, and found that the AOKP Builds were by far my favourite, having the right balance of optimisations, tweaks and UI changes.

When Jelly Bean was issued on I/O Nexus Devices, I was at the front of the queue to get the Jelly Bean stock ROM flashed. Since AOKP hasn’t released a Jelly Bean ROM (discounting the very beginning stages Alpha build) I felt it was time to play the field, and was not let down in the slightest by Paranoid Android !

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1619582

All information relating to the ROM can be accessed via the above thread, this will also give far more images and information in comparison with what I can give in a singular blog post, as well as links to download.

This ROM is touted as being the first true ‘hybrid’. This means that you can have the phone set up with a phone interface, a phablet interface, a tablet interface as well as having a great combined ‘hybrid’ version. This is something that is executed really well within the build, with no other ROM’s as far as im aware pulling this off to such great success.

The ROM is based on CyanogenMod 10 so it also incorporates all of the great Cyanogen features (AOKP was mostly built upon CM) and also includes the much loved ‘ Theme Chooser’. This means that standard tweaks such as changing the number of lock-screen icons, changing performance based attributes, as well as possible alterations to the Notification bar, battery icons etc.

  

Above are a few screenshots showing the ‘Hybrid’ Layout using the settings app as an example. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that show a great walk-through of each of the Layouts and their individual features.

I’ve found this ROM to be pretty reasonable on battery, as well as being very stable. As the name suggests these are Alpha builds and are updated very frequently with new fixes and optimisations but using as an average user, I’ve tried a number of builds and have found them to be very stable.

This ROM also includes a few more Apps to standard. It includes the Apollo music app in place of Play Music, a Terminal Emulator app, DSPManager and Dev Tools. The DSP Manager and Apollo are aimed at the audiophiles amongst us giving a better music interface and the ability to apply various custom equalizers to the speaker output. The Dev Tools and Terminal Emulator are as the name suggests, these are Apps used primarily by Developers and are a useful addition if this is what you enjoy doing.

I try to stay impartial on most reviews, but this is a great ROM and I’d recommend it if your looking for a great overall performing ROM, or something different to what your running currently.





AOKP Build 40 ROM Review

6 07 2012

http://aokp.co

AOKP started in November 2011 with ROM’s for the Galaxy Nexus, but now supports numerous devices from different manufacturers and currently has over 50,000 Devices running a build of AOKP.

There are 2 kind of releases that AOKP offer, Builds (nightly) and Milestone (stable). As the name suggest, Stable versions are more stable and released less freqeuntly. The Nightly builds aren’t released every night but are released a lot more frequently in comparison to the Stable builds, these are purely experimental builds which may still have some bugs. Users have the opportunity to report these bugs so that the next build or stable can avoid experiencing similar issues.

AOKP Build 40 can be found here http://aokp.co/index.php/releases/_/build-40-r26
This link takes you to a page full of devices, after choosing your device you will be provided with a download link.

This build is the last expected Experimental Ice Cream Sandwich Build(Android 4.0.4), with a final Stable Milestone due to be released shortly, before the team turn their attention to Jelly Bean (Android 4.1)

In comparison with Stock Android 4.0.4 the differences are almost too much to comprehend in a single review. The build includes Nova Launcher, this can be downloaded by any device but can change the look and speed of the stock launcher dramatically, with different screen animations included.

                            

Build 40 also incorporates the Theme Chooser, this is an easier way of applying a theme to the device and different variants can be downloaded from the App Store, or forums such as http://forum.xda-developers.com A few different Home Screens taken from my device running build 40 are shown above, both of these are using the Achromatic Theme included in this Build.

The device contains an additional tab to the settings menu called “Rom Control” this is effectively what makes the ROM. This gives options to change General UI, Lockscreens, Performance, Battery Indicator styles as well as many other points like Toggles and clock styles.

Within the Performance Section, the device can be UnderClocked or OverClocked and many more settings can be changed, this can make the device faster, which uses more battery life or the opposite. I’ve found that by UnderClocking the device slightly, the battery gains are massive with a barely noticable drop in performance.

To see all the ROM has to offer it takes a few days of playing about with, this is something i recommend you do. If you have or havent Flashed a ROM before this is a good place to start. This is incredibly stable, especially for an experimental build and has more UI customisations than you could imagine.

Do it, you know you want to !





Jelly Bean ! Android 4.1, first thoughts !

30 06 2012

Owning a rooted Galaxy Nexus has its benefits.

After Google dished out some devices at I/O preloaded with Android 4.1, the developing community has went crazy and successfully extracted this OS for download.

A quick look at RootzWiki or XDA Developers and you will find endless posts filled with download links for Jelly Bean.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1737849  This is the link i used.

Jelly Bean still has the potential to be altered slightly prior to release but this leaked version will probably encompass most of what the new software has to offer.

Below are a couple of the subtle differences in the software. As you can see the Notification Bar is different with a lot more neat approach, also including a settings toggle. The icon on the right also acts as a “dismiss all” sort of function, removing any notifications.

You can also see the lock screen is slightly different with an added shortcut for “Google Now” at the top position, and a new animation.

As well as a new search bar along the top the homescreens look very much the same, the image on the left shows what happens when you swipe up from the shortcut keys, this again gives a shortcut to “Google Now”.

A lot of the Google based apps have also had UI (user interface) overhauls. The most noticable for me was that of Youtube, this app looks completely different and has taken a step in the right direction as far as im concerned.

Google Now is one of the main differences for this new update. This would take a post in itself to give it the attention it deserves, its effectively the competitor for Siri. The video below gives a good starting idea to its capabilities

Putting aside the visual changes of the OS, the performance changes are what sets it apart. The “buttery smooth” like feel that google promised feels like it has been achieved with multi tasking, typing and even the stock launcher feeling far smoother and faster. Other articles have benchmarked the update to see what the numbers look like but dont look to have got much benefit from it, this is something that is incredibly easy to see on the every day use of the device.

To summarise, the quicker the full Jelly Bean OTA update is released the better.
The improvements that have been made have built on the solid foundations that were achieved on the release of Ice Cream Sandwich








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