RIP CyanogenMod long live OmniRom!

For a while I’ve been sadly disappointed with CyanogenMod, my old craptastic S2 is still the second third most used hardware by CyanogenMod users (their own numbers at the time of writing) yet they have failed to move it to 4.4 (KitKat) for a while – it had been the second most popular for quite some time.

While casting around for an alternative, I remembered the things that had attracted me to CyanogenMod in the first place, were a public community, publicly audited code and vanilla Android but with useful innovations.  Sadly it looks like from the outside that getting the attention of a manufacturer and forming a company has lead them to drop the ball somewhat.

OmniRom is still very young and it remains to be seen if they will remain as vibrant and interesting as they are today, even despite their young age there is a decent selection of devices – again, time will tell if they continue to support older hardware – lets face it not all of us replace our phones every few months…

There are some minor gripes like lack of SU – I only really need this for a firewall but with the better access to permissions even that is becoming less important.  You can have superuser.zip or some similar automagically(tm) installed after each update – which is theoretically a security hole, but its a temporary need in any case.

On the subject of updates this is were there is a major innovation – while it doesn’t quite follow the KISS principle, it is common sense to reduce bandwidth for updates. Behind the scenes what is happening is your phone is only sent a delta or difference between the rom its running at the newest nightly, its all checksumed and seems to work well – nicely coded and it just works… ( a breath of fresh air!!)

This leads us very nicely onto the subject of nightlies, not for them the insane “no bug reports on nightlies please” – we’d rather have our bugs festering for months – oh no – see a bug get it reported – sooner its reported sooner it can be fixed! again a breath of fresh air, and seems a lot less arrogant…

Given that OmniRom is based on a new version of Android and in itself is new there are remarkably few issues, and the ones I have been able to ferrit out aint show stoppers and are already known issues (so presumably on the TODO list!)

Oh and of course for best results – DO NOT install the google apps – between the always on apps and the battery sapping framework, it ruins Android, without any exageration I’m getting over twice the battery life and still managing to stay synced with my own cloud and experiencing more reliability – even with a new rom…

Good luck OmniRom and may you never be too big to listen to your users…

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