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Cellphones Google Handhelds Open Source Operating Systems Upgrades Linux

Android Fork Brings Froyo To 12 Smartphones 193

Posted by timothy
from the sticking-it-to-the-phone-companies dept.
jj110888 writes "CyanogenMod has just been updated to version 6.0, bringing Android Open Source Project 2.2 (Froyo) to several devices. This fork includes enchantments to many of the built-in apps, Ad-hoc network connectivity, OpenVPN support, Bluetooth HID, Incognito browsing, extensive control over audio and UI elements, and more found in the extensive CHANGELOG. The CyanogenMod team uses an instance of Google's gerrit tool for code review and patch submission, helping make this former backport of Android 1.6 to T-Mobile's G1 into thriving development for the G1/MyTouch/MyTouch 1.2, Droid, Nexus One, HTC Aria, HTC Desire, HTC Evo 4G (minus 4G and HDMI output), Droid Incredible, and MyTouch Slide. HTC Hero (including Droid Eris) are coming soon for 6.0, with Samsung Galaxy S devices expected to be supported in 6.1."
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Android Fork Brings Froyo To 12 Smartphones

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:40AM (#33432960)

    review.cyanogenmod.com

    They end up patching most vulnerabilities faster than the handset makers, but there is always the chance of users not understanding root and not reading the permissions their apps require. One of the many good things about android though is that it shows you what the app wants wants before installing, if you don't read/know what you're installing, who's really to blame at that point?

  • by deltantor (912016) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:15AM (#33433036)

    As a Droid Incredible owner, I'm pretty pissed off that Android 2.2 is so many months old and there's STILL no official build available for my device. Why can't I just go to a magic URL like google.com/android/2.2, then download a supported ROM for my device, and then install the new OS just like downloading a new version of Ubuntu for a PC?

    But you can, with cyanogenmod. CM is one of the only things that is fighting to end fragmentation.

  • by JoshRosenbaum (841551) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:20AM (#33433046) Homepage
    Mine just came OTA (over the air) last night. Or you can do a manual update as shown here: http://www.droid-life.com/2010/08/31/manual-update-droid-incredible-to-android-2-2/ [droid-life.com]
  • by RMH101 (636144) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:58AM (#33433152)
    Well, yes, if you go check the release notes it'll tell you exactly what doesn't work. It'll be a small list. On current version I think there's a bug that occasionally prevents phone from sleeping, draining battery. It'll be fixed.
    CM ROMs do NOT include Sense UI -they are "clean" Android. Personally I like Sense, which is why I'm using the AuraxTSense 7.1 ROM from XDA Devs on my HTC Desire. It's lovely. Now the CM code is out, they basically set a gold-standard baseline for others to tinker with.
    Seriously, the community ROMs tend to be more stable than the OEM ones - and they fix bugs, rather than ignore them.
  • by milamber3 (173273) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @04:14AM (#33433198)

    You shouldn't really talk when you obviously don't know anything about the subject of conversation. The number of phones that Cyanogen supports is not "dwindling" it is actually booming. Up through CM 5.0 he only supported 3 phones (G1, MyTouch, Nexus one) but with the development of 6.0 he recruited rom developers for all the other phones listed above. This just happened a few months ago and this article is discussing the fruits of their labor. Additionally, the encrypted bootloader you were mentioning on the Droid X/2 has been broken and full custom roms can be installed http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/30/custom-droid-x-roms-starting-to-break-loose-efuse-be-damned/ [engadget.com]. Really, try to lighted up with FUD and do some more reading before you decide the whole modding community is dwindling and doomed.

  • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @04:55AM (#33433328)

    Wow. You should really inform yourself better before telling other people they're spreading FUD - and I'd recommend looking for information in places OTHER than blogs.

    The Droid X and Droid 2 bootloaders have NOT been cracked, they're still encrypted, keeping you from booting a kernel such as the one included in Cyanogenmod. While read/write access to the system partition and a working recovery are a good step in the right direction, Droid X/2 development is stuck at exactly the same spot where Milestone modders have been stuck for the better part of a year now.

    True custom ROMs like Cyanogenmod are NOT possible without bootloader access!

    The FUD about the Droid X having been cracked wide open is pretty much what blogs like Droid Life have been spreading all over the internet, and it's just wrong. No custom kernel, no custom ROM. You can heavily modify the existing ROMs, but you MUST keep the kernel that Motorola signed for your device. Note that the developers who made Clockworkmod on the Droid X possible state explicitly that ROMs with custom kernels aren't possible with their recovery...

    Remember the Milestone alarm-clock fiasco? The phone would just not wake up properly when it was time to sound an alarm, resulting in the phone being completely useless as an alarm clock. This was a kernel bug that was left unfixed for MONTHs, until the .36 bugfix release of Android 2.1 was pushed just weeks ago... the only way to fix it was by flashing a different kernel. Luckily it was discovered that the Telus version of 2.1 didn't have this bug, and that the kernel from that version could be flashed onto any Milestone due to them all using the same signature. With full bootloader access, custom kernels without this bug (like they've been available for the bootloader-unlocked Droid all along) would have been usable right away, and the problem would have been fixed by the community more or less right away.

    And that's just one example of why it's important to have full bootloader access for flashing custom kernels. There are many more... like being able to create a ROM like CyanogenMod for the device. Many of the tweaks built into Cyanogenmod are kernel-level changes, and while you may be able to get somewhere by loading kernel modules at runtime (like the overclocking module for the Milestone), you'll have a tough time replicating all the functions of a full custom kernel that way.

    Like I probably mentioned in my earlier post, even HTC is moving in this direction (albeit slowly), with some sort of runtime-protection of the system partition that's apparently uncrackable so far on the Desire and IIRC some other phones too (Legend?).

  • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @05:00AM (#33433336)

    More info here: http://www.koushikdutta.com/2010/08/droid-x-recovery.html [koushikdutta.com]

    Note the following:

    "So can we now install custom ROMs?
    Yes, but you can't replace the kernel or boot image. But really, once you have access to /system, anything is possible. It will just take a little hackery. "

  • by milamber3 (173273) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @05:55AM (#33433522)

    You are utterly mistaken. If the Desire is as locked down as you say it is then explain the fully functional CM 6.0 that runs on it including the custom kernel. Check out the XDA Desire forum for some details and then hopefully you can come back better informed. Also, AOSP builds for the Droid X are coming with custom kernels. I find if funny that below you posted a quote to try and make your point that custom kernels wont be happening but you tried to completely ignored half of the quote by bolding just what you wanted people to see. Here's the quote YOU posted with your bolding left in place, but I've added a second bold+italics of the relevant portion you should be paying attention to.
    "So can we now install custom ROMs?
    Yes, but you can't replace the kernel or boot image. But really, once you have access to /system, anything is possible. It will just take a little hackery ."

    Also, this quote was written when the Droid X was first released and they were just starting to get root access. Since then, a lot more progress has been made using a "little hackery."

    Please stop posting FUD and misleading quotes. It was bad enough you couldn't even attempt to defend your initial post that cyanogen mod phone support was dwindling after I pointed out it had more that tripled in # of phones over the last few months.
    You simply don't know enough. End of story.

  • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @06:19AM (#33433612)

    Dear Milamber,

    You seem to be misinterpreting some of my posts, as well as adding things that I myself never actually wrote.

    1. About the Desire, please try to understand what I'm saying: Cyanogenmod runs perfectly well on the Desire. I'm using a ROM that's mostly based on CyanogenMod, custom kernel and all. The lockdown that has been implemented by HTC on the Desire ONLY limits writing to the system partition at runtime (i.e. with Android fully booted). It's still possible to write to the system partition via ADB through a custom recovery like Clockworkmod or AmonRA. I NEVER said that the Desire was locked in a way that would prevent custom ROMs or custom kernels.

    And I quote, from my first post: "Even my HTC Desire has some (so far uncrackable) form of protection that prevents users from writing to the system partition when the phone is running...". I never said anything about being unable to flash custom ROMs or custom kernels...

    2. As for the quote: In my opinion, your interpretation is overly optimistic. I am surely not a Linux expert (more of a n00b, really, as my Linux experience is largely limited to Android), but it's my understanding that without switching out the kernel, it won't be possible to change certain things. If you have information to the contrary, I'd love to learn something from you, if you were inclined to share your apparent knowledge.

    3. I didn't attempt to defend the statement that Cyanogenmod-supported handsets are dwindling, because quite simply, you are right in that aspect. My wording is completely incorrect, and the dwindling support was actually supposed to be referring to the general availability of fully unlocked (i.e. bootloader unlocked, no weird system partition read-only access at runtime...) Android phones. Thank you for making me aware of my error.

    I cannot, however, thank you for resorting to the (unfortunately, typical these days) "You have no idea what you're talking about" argument... it makes it impossible to have a conversation, so please refrain from telling everyone they don't know squat when you disagree with them.

    I would, by the way, like to invite you to take apart my arguments about past experiences on the Milestone, which was bootloader-encrypted just like the Droid X/2 is now. What makes you think that the Droid X bootloader will be easier to crack/circumvent?

  • by TeknoHog (164938) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @06:53AM (#33433736) Homepage Journal

    You can boot Ubuntu on a Nexus One. And Win95, should you be masochistic enough to try it. I also run PSX4DROID as a playstation emulator!

    The only Ubuntu/Nexus installations I can find are running in a chroot, like the Debian that grandparent mentions. Win95 wouldn't run natively anyway.

    Android devices are fairly limited compared to most computers, so I would like to run a real distro, instead of layers of emulation. In fact, native binary applications should run faster than the bytecode apps in Android.

  • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:02AM (#33433774)

    Hi Milamber,

    I implore you: Please inform yourself about the situation with the Desire before telling me I just don't know what I'm talking about. Try these links (just the first two Google results for "read write system desire"):

    http://android.modaco.com/content/htc-desire-desire-modaco-com/315002/htc-desire-system-partition-write-access-in-progress/ [modaco.com]
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=690744 [xda-developers.com]

    After reading just a few of the posts in each thread, you should get an idea of the situation. There is a solution that has been proposed, and does work, in theory, but IIRC it involves an overlay file system that caches writes until the device is rebooted... or something like that.

    About this AOSP ROM on the Droid X: How was the kernel modified? Since you can't boot a completely different kernel, you would have to modify the existing one at runtime... do you have any more information about this? I would love to see a link for it...

    As for your point about full NAND access and custom kernels not going away: I wish I could share your optimism. As a former Milestone owner I've seen what manufacturers can do on a whim, and contrary to the headlines circulating in blogs lately, we've seen that it's definitely possible to lock down devices to a level that makes them uninteresting for modders. I would advise you to take a closer look at the Milestone situation, as it should give you a very good idea about the challenges that will be faced by users of subsequent Motorola devices like the Droid X.

  • by _generica (27453) <{slashdot} {at} {whatevz.net}> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:36AM (#33433908) Homepage

    Correct, they don't include Google Apps as part of the ROM.
    They are distributed separately [kanged.net]

    Download, and flash in the same way as the ROM. No hassles at all.

  • by gmuslera (3436) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @07:56AM (#33433988) Homepage Journal
    Don't forget that you had Froyo as alternate OS for the N900 before it was available officially for any Android phone (even before the Nexus One). Still no full functionality because the parts that Nokia didn't opened on it, but is actively being worked for fixing that. Nitdroid was a different android fork, and was targetted to one smartphone only (and the N8x0 tablets).

    There are a few newer Android phones with better hardware specs, but still the N900 is an impressive piece of hardware, and Maemo is nothing to be ashamed of. And you should add to its Multi OS powers Garnet VM (palm), a bunch of console emulators (from zx spectrum to nintendo 64), and the upcoming Meego.
  • by tayhimself (791184) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:25PM (#33437178)

    It could be useful if you could install an app while denying it some of the rights it wants. Of course that could make the app unstable and useless, but at least you had the option to do so and it was your own free choice.

    I agree in principle, but I think this would make life suck for developers. Would you really want to deal with the inevitable people saying "I paid for this app and it doesn't work" when the only reason your app doesn't work is because these same people didn't grant it the necessary rights? Supporting software is hard enough as is; we don't need to make it even easier for well-intentioned—but not technically-minded—folks to break things.

    Sorry, but this is how it works on iOS. Your app downloads fine. If it tries to use the GPS the phone prompts you for permission. If it tries to message you, the phone prompts you to allow messaging. etc. Works great, maybe google will copy this too.

  • by g4pengts (1050568) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @01:50PM (#33438412)
    I'm running CM6 RC3 (haven't updated to release yet) on a N1. The situation with other phone may be different. To test with no carrier, I pulled the SIM out of the phone. A quick test show WIFI works, GPS works (tested via opening up map and see that it has accurate location instead of the location with a radius when it can only do wifi), can access market (although I didn't download or buy anything). GMail and Facebook app works too. That is about all I tried. I cannot guarantee that everything works, but at least the basic stuff should. This is much better than my last phone, where it locks if there isn't a SIM inside.

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