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CyanogenMod Drops ROM Manager In Favor of OTA Updates

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Glad they've moved towards a cleaner ota approach. I love RM as much as the next guy but if I find a ROM I want to use for a long time I don't want to use RM just to update it.

    • Why not just have the CM team be the official Android release team? That way Android users would always get the best new software without having to worry about carrier interference.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I love CM and couldn't live without it, but the rigor the roms are subjected to for any given device isn't anywhere near what they are for the carrier-manufacturer supplied roms.

        Yes, I absolutely hate that AT&T does things like put a paid, read-only entry for Yellow Pages at the top of my contacts for my Galaxy S2, but the battery on the device doesn't run down after three hours like it does with CM. There are trade-offs.

        • ... but the battery on the device doesn't run down after three hours like it does with CM. There are trade-offs.

          You might give SetCPU a try [google.com], for a couple of bucks it's great value. It gives me about triple the battery capacity. I am on an oldish phone, though (HTC Desire), newer Android versions might have this feature on stock FW. In any case it's a no-brainer to underclock when you don't use the phone.

        • by Stalks (802193) *

          FUD.

          Galaxy S2, CyanagonMod 9.1.0, Over 48 hours battery life. I usually plug it in overnight and it'll be >50%

      • Re:Better Android (Score:5, Insightful)

        by s_p_oneil (795792) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @07:26PM (#41509091) Homepage

        I don't know. I never had a working camera app with CM. It would take anywhere from 0 to 3 pictures before forcing me to reboot the phone, and when I tried to take video, the visual quality was so bad that you couldn't recognize the people in the videos. That kind of killed one of the major benefits of having a smartphone for me.

        Maybe they've improved it since then, but the last thread I read on the subject (maybe 6-12 months back) was "Well, the camera still doesn't work, but..." Needless to say, when I upgraded my phone, I chose NOT to install CM.

        • My camera works great with my Evo 4g. In fact, everything but 720p video record works great with CM 7.2.

          I have never enjoyed a phone as much as I have enjoyed this one and CM is one of the main reasons. I wish the prices of these phones would drop (consdering their age) so I could get my wife one.

          The fact that so many of roms use it as a base is great as well. I only wish that less people would use icecream sandwhich as a base since that one lacks 4g and video playback for netflix (but I get the appeal o

          • by Anonymous Coward

            My camera works great with my Evo 4g. In fact, everything but 720p video record works great with CM 7.2.

            Well then it doesn't fucking work "great".

        • by busyqth (2566075)

          I don't know. I never had a working camera app with CM. It would take anywhere from 0 to 3 pictures before forcing me to reboot the phone, and when I tried to take video, the visual quality was so bad that you couldn't recognize the people in the videos. That kind of killed one of the major benefits of having a smartphone for me.

          Maybe they've improved it since then, but the last thread I read on the subject (maybe 6-12 months back) was "Well, the camera still doesn't work, but..." Needless to say, when I upgraded my phone, I chose NOT to install CM.

          I choose to disregard your post, because every time some journalist or blogger writes about how great the latest iPhone is, the quick responses of legions of android fans claiming that the Android phone du jour kicks the iPhone's ass (if running CyanogenMod), is the only thing that allows me to maintain my world view, in which my personal self-esteem depends mostly on the perceived superiority of Android to iOS.

          If I allow myself to believe that you are anything other than a paid shill for Apple, my self-e

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Is that a nightly, alpha, beta or final? Did they list camera app not working in the release notes? If any of the answers is yes, than I have no sympathy for you.

          CM does not necessary guarantee that everything will work. Also, depending on the popularity of any device among the developers, some of them do get left behind, while some are not picked up, and some devices are just awesome with CM.

          >I chose NOT to install CM.

          Congratulations: Now you know you have a choice.

          • by jez9999 (618189)

            >I chose NOT to install CM.

            Congratulations: Now you know you have a choice.

            Oh, don't be so heartless. He didn't get his money back from Cyanogenmod, did he?

        • by Calos (2281322)

          More than likely it's not a "bug" of CM per se, it's just that they don't have the proprietary bits they need to make it work. The code for the OS is mostly open source, drivers depend on the manufacturers.

          It doesn't make it okay, of course, but not all phones are that way. You need to do a little research before you buy (or get a Nexus).

          • by s_p_oneil (795792)

            Oh, I agree 100%. I'm just pointing out that the grass isn't always greener on the CM side. CM definitely improved battery life for me, let me get rid of the crap-ware, and gave me more control, but the lack of a camera still killed it on that specific phone.

            I go for the cheaper no-contract phones because I'm not willing to pay $40+ a month for phone service I rarely use/need. So I go for the $200 no-contract phones (recently picked up the Exhibit 2 for $180) and I pay $10 every 90 days for 30 minutes of ce

        • The camera and microphone are often wonky nonstandard things that need special drivers. The CM team often needs to reverse engineer or hack together shims to get the original binary drivers working, but this is prone to glitches.

        • by thegarbz (1787294)

          Depends on the model of phone. Samsung Galaxy S had no camera problems in CM7, 9 or even the current beta 10.

      • by exomondo (1725132)

        Why not just have the CM team be the official Android release team? That way Android users would always get the best new software without having to worry about carrier interference.

        I agree, but Google controls access to Android up until at least the first devices start shipping (obviously in the case of Honeycomb it was far later) - at this point their OHA member partners have been building and testing devices on the latest OS through the development process and are privy to the implementation and feature details (for example things like NFC). Having OEMs launch with CM is a great idea in theory but they would only be able to start developing/testing after OHA members have started shi

  • jargon decoding (Score:5, Informative)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @07:02PM (#41508963)

    For those who were as confused as I was:

    CyanogenMod is a community-maintained, enhanced version of Android, which you can replace the regular Android operating system on tablet and smartphones with, by flashing the ROM.

    ROM Manager is an app for, well, managing Android ROMs. Until now, CyanogenMod has relied on it for installation and updates. However, it is 3rd party and not open-source.

    OTA, contrary to the implication, is not a CyanogenMod-specific technology, but a general way of manufacturers pushing updates to their smartphone/tablet ROMs. See here [wikipedia.org].

    CyanogenMod will now be using OTA updates to update its ROMs, so it should look to users more like a "regular" phone, which updates itself through the normal mechanism, instead of relying on this third-party ROM manager. (At least, that's my attempted decoding of this story; corrections welcome.)

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by vux984 (928602)

      CyanogenMod is a community-maintained, enhanced version of Android, which you can replace the regular Android operating system on tablet and smartphones with, by flashing the ROM.

      Given how things like cameras and stuff frequently don't work, im not sure i'd choose the adjective "enhanced"; i'd go with "alternate". I know lots of people who run the stock android because the so-called "enhanced one" is more trouble than they feel its worth; including me.

      • Re:jargon decoding (Score:5, Informative)

        by Calos (2281322) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @09:02PM (#41509645)

        The trouble with CM or any AOSP (Android Open-Source Project - the code that is released publically) based ROM is that they don't have access to the binary blobs they need to make all of the hardware work, unless the companies upstream play along. This is why cameras frequently struggle. I don't know how much of this comes down to the phone manufacturer or the manufacturer of the specific part.

        If it's something you care about, you know that going in and choose accordingly. As far as I know HTC tries to play ball; Samsung doesn't do bad; Motorola tries to make everyone's life hell. That isn't only driver support (or lack thereof), but locking down the bootloader and that kind of thing to specifically try to stop third party installs. HTC last I knew even had a "developer" program - all you had to do was sign up, give them some serial numbers and they emailed you a key to unlock everything.

        If you need to be sure - buy one of the Google-branded models, the Nexus series. Made to be easily modded, necessary code and everything released. As such, they usually have the best and longest-lasting support from developers.

        • Re:jargon decoding (Score:4, Insightful)

          by aaron552 (1621603) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @09:57PM (#41509921) Homepage

          Samsung doesn't do bad

          You've obviously never tried to write wrappers for exynos blobs. The exynos chipsets and/or binary blobs are a nightmare to work with, and the main reason why the GS2 (and probably S3) have so many problems with CM. When it's not a Samsung-designed SoC (eg. OMAP or Snapdragon), it's a lot nicer. Sure, it's fairly easy to get a custom OS running on an exynos chipset, but getting it running well is... well...

          • by Calos (2281322)

            You're correct, I never have. That doesn't change my point, though. At least you have the blob to work with, that's better than some, but obviously not ideal.

            Maybe that was a consideration in the OMAP being placed in the Samsung Nexus.

          • by jazzmans (622827)

            All I know is my galaxy s II (I777) runs excellent on Cyanogenmod 9 stable. I have no force crashes, and AFAIK, there is nothing I'm missing from stock.

            If they ever release a RC for 10, I'll upgrade, because there are a number of (mostly little) things JB does better then ICS, but as it stands, my phone is faster, better battery, and does everything the stock rom did, without all that bloatcrap.

            (Aside) Come on, Samsung, give us a pure android experience, not cluttered with a buch of shit. You build

        • by cpicon92 (1157705)

          I thought I might mention, Sony does particularly nicely with bootloader unlocking. They have a website with instructions and everything.

          The only downside (for people who get their phones from carriers) is that they allow the carriers to prevent their instructions from working.

      • by jgoshorn (812412)
        If the camera isn't working in Cyanogenmod then it likely does not work in "stock." The camera issue is nearly always the result of proprietary drivers which are not available and have to be ported from somewhere else or otherwise created by the devs. From my personal experience Cyanogenmod does an excellent job. I am typing this on a G-Tablet running Cyanogenmod 7.2 and everything works, including the camera. Same with my Droid X. And yes, CM 7 is very much enhanced compared to the "stock " ROM that comes
      • by mrmeval (662166)

        They've abandoned Samscum Vibrant since Samscum won't release or can't release the radio source or even the specifications and due to that 911 won't work with Gingerbread or later. Samscum also uses their own proprietary processor they won't release open hardware specifications on, to get the good stuff requires an NDA.

        So the poor compatibility cannot be laid at Cyanogen's feet alone, look at the phone vendor for some blame.

      • by dave420 (699308)
        If you have a popular phone, you will not have problems with the camera on stable releases. If you run a nightly, alpha, or beta, then you're on your own.
    • Re:jargon decoding (Score:4, Informative)

      by arkhan_jg (618674) on Monday October 01, 2012 @02:47AM (#41510965)

      Pretty close at the jargon. Few extra points though.

      Cyanongen mod is based upon the android open source project (AOSP) that google keeps up to date with the current android source code. They take that, add a few extra features - like themes, and notification widgets - and compile it for a number of different devices. They're obviously constrained for closed source binary blob drivers though, especially if they're based upon a newer version of android (with a newer kernel version) than officially released for the device. Cameras and nvidia chips tend to be especially bad.

      ROM manager is based around recovery mode; i.e. your android phones built in underlying method for flashing official ROMs. As part of rooting the phone (gaining root is gaining full control), this is usually replaced with a custom recovery tool like clockwork mod, with more options - and also lets you flash unofficial, unsigned roms.

      So previously with cyanogenmod to update, you'd go to the website, download the latest copy of the rom (on your pc, probably), copy it to the phone internal storage, run rom manager which would then reboot into recovery mode and flash the new rom; or you'd go into recovery mode manually and install the updated rom you'd downloaded. For nightlies, you'd be doing this daily! Which kinda sucks.

      One of my devices (nexus 7) I've been running paranoid android, a hybrid tablet rom - it's based upon cyanogenmod, but does extra stuff such as putting in the full tablet interface if you want, and allowing direct res control of individual apps. Anyway, it includes OTA (over the air) updates via goo.im. Basically, it pops up a notifier that there's a new version. You select that, download the new rom as prompted direct to the device (or later, via the goo.im manager if you don't want to update now), then you select to update it via the recovery mode automatically; it goes in, flashes the rom, and off you go, you're updated.

      The new cyanogenmod OTA updater looks like it will work much the same; you tell it what updates you want (nightlies, stable), how often to check. You then forgetz about it. When a new version comes up you'll get a notification, you pull the update down directly, do an optional backup and install the rom without having to manually copy it to your phone,

      It doesn't sound like much, but it significantly streamlines installing updates to your ROM and saves a fair bit of time poking around in clockwork mod recovery mode. Cyanogenmod by its very nature does a lot of updates for fixes, especially in the early life part of a new rom, i.e. all the jelly bean roms at the moment while bugs, drivers, features etc are sorted out.

  • You'll still need the ROM Manager though, for when you need to put the stock ROM back on the phone for warranty work, or whatever other reason.
    • by beano311 (852024) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @08:06PM (#41509315)
      That's not true at all. You need a custom recovery, like Clockwork Mod Recovery (same dev as ROM Manager, but not the same thing), Team Win Recovery Project, or 4EXT (etc.), but you don't need to have ROM Manager installed at all to use any of these (they can be flashed from the terminal or ADB). Also, you can revert to stock by placing an update.zip on the root of the SD card and booting into HBOOT on most phones, or by using Odin on Samsung phones as previously mentioned.
    • Did this with fastboot only on my Wildfire. Twice :-)

    • by culmor30 (2676135)
      No, you don't need ROM Manager to do those things. It can automate those tasks for you, but everything it does (aside from downloading new ROMs) can be done manually through your phone's Recovery mode.
  • As a non-supertechie Android user, I sure would welcome a more simplified way to root and install these files. I attempted it a month ago, following instructions laid out on Androidforums for my LG Virgin Mobile phone. Got it right up until the final step when it refused to accept the code that I know I was inputting exactly. Had to give up in frustration, glad it wasn't bricked, though. I'd love to have full control over permissions on my device, and to securely lock it down from any hack attempts. Th
    • by busyqth (2566075) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @08:32PM (#41509489)

      As a non-supertechie Android user, I sure would welcome a more simplified way to root and install these files. I attempted it a month ago, following instructions laid out on Androidforums for my LG Virgin Mobile phone. Got it right up until the final step when it refused to accept the code that I know I was inputting exactly. Had to give up in frustration, glad it wasn't bricked, though. I'd love to have full control over permissions on my device, and to securely lock it down from any hack attempts. Thanks to /. for this heads up story.

      Just disassemble the bootloader starting at breakpoint 0x10C08000 and look for the argument to CLD R0.
      Once you've found that, you only have to patch the configuration file with the new value and reassemble the kernel userspace.
      Then just flash the ROM with the resulting srecord file and you're good to go.
      Anyone can do it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I believe you just described how to brick a POS Windows Phone.

      • Just disassemble the bootloader starting at breakpoint 0x10C08000 and look for the argument to CLD R0. Once you've found that, you only have to patch the configuration file with the new value and reassemble the kernel userspace. Then just flash the ROM with the resulting srecord file and you're good to go. Anyone can do it.

        Hey, that really helps, I'll start disassemblying my bootloader as soon as I locate my sonic screwdriver. I can't tell you how helpful your advice was.

        Really, I just can't. :-)

    • by Calos (2281322)

      It all depends on the phone you choose, the developer interest, and your level of patience. Some phones are inherently easier, some phones have more developer support to help, and if you wait long enough usually GUI-based "1-click" programs show up, if feasible.

      • It all depends on the phone you choose, the developer interest, and your level of patience. Some phones are inherently easier, some phones have more developer support to help, and if you wait long enough usually GUI-based "1-click" programs show up, if feasible.

        I bought the OptimusV, decent little 'starter' smartphone. It has a large following on the android sites. I ran some programs that indicated it's rooted, which I sure didn't do, so I assume that some 'interested in me' party has hacked it. (It's nice 2B loved.) I live with it, for now. But one day...

        • by Calos (2281322)

          Uh, you should really look into that more. At the very least install SuperUser, if you can.

          • Uh, you should really look into that more. At the very least install SuperUser, if you can.

            I just re-ran the "X-RAY" apk, it scanned for 7 Wunderbar, Exploid, Ashmem, Zergrush, Gingerbreak, Mempodroid and Levitator. Came up "vulnerable for Zergrush and Gingerbreak. "Bad news! X-Ray has determined that your device is vulnerable to..."

            Question, would Superuser help somehow? I had it on when I was trying to root last month, and removed it after realizing I was blocked from doing Cyan. Like I said, I've been living with knowing somethings up, I don't possess all the knowledge to re-take control

            • from Macafee: Description Exploit/ZergRush.C is exploit that takes advantage of the vulnerability to gain root. Indication of Infection Sends shell code to a vulnerability module to root the device Methods of Infection This exploit attacks a vulnerability of system. User should apply a security patch and update the system to the latest version. This exploit will be used to gain root privilege by malware. As always, users should never install unknown or un-trusted software. This is especially true for illeg
              • Yeah, I've been ignoring this for too long, just did some googling, looks like to take control I'd have to crack my phone, lost my sonic screwdriver thingy, though. :) I've had an interesting year or two, both my garmin gps and a cheap chinese android tablet have been hacked. I have a good idea who's behind it, they actually care about me, and this is a way to 'keep tabs' on me discreetly. Knowing this takes some of the 'suck' factor away. Yep, I won't take up any more /. time on this. My issue. Thanks
                • by Calos (2281322)

                  I'm not familiar with the X-RAY app, but it sounds like you are vulnerable, but not necessarily compromised. As I recall, some of those are vulnerabilities in certain (usually older) Android builds. Could be used nefariously, but as far as I know most require ADB access - commandline access over USB from a computer. At least Zerg is, that's the only one I'm sort of familiar with.

                  Basically, on phones that are more locked down, sometimes an exploit of the Android platform itself is used to gain temporary roo

                  • The X-ray app I got directly from their site, not from the.google play store (dumb name, imo). It.s the only app I've used that actually detected anything, and I tried many before it. I'll be boning up on what you've described above this week, trying superuser again (I remember it took another, special app to uninstall S.U.). Worse case scenario, I could always just buy a duplicate phone for less than $100 or upgrade to better, though I like the challenge of figuring this out. I really appreciate your t
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It sounds like it would simplify the update process quite a bit. However, the CM9 builds for my model are too unstable for everyday use, while CM7 is nearly rock-solid. (This may be the reason that the number of CM9 nightly builds far exceeds the number of nightlies for CM7, or maybe they're just slowly killing CM7 off.)

    I'd love to see OTA updates as a feature in the earlier versions.

  • I installed CM7 recently on an HTC Desire and it works flawlessly. What isn't so good is that the stock android really is pretty shit from a look and feel perspective. The CM7 contains ADWLauncher to control the screens but there is no change that I can see to apps like the dialler, contacts, calls & messages. Compared to HTC Sense it just looks ugly and disjointed. Consequently I have to go off and install 3rd party tools (e.g. Go Contacts Ex) and I end up wasting space in a device which doesn't have s
    • CM7 I believe to be compatible with DTA2SD, which is something you may wish to research for your phone since this will help free up some memory. I've found CM7 with DTA2SD on my Evo 4g has allowed the phone to remain competitive far longer than the OEM ROM. If you like Go Contacts, why not install the entire Go interface (Launcher, Locker, SMS, Contacts, etc.) over top whatever base you choose? They have done very well at making their interface, and it is fully customizable for you. Android is about us
      • by DrXym (126579)
        Thanks I did a brief search on apps 2 SD for CM7 and it said the whole moving apps onto a mounted device was deprecated. I'll look again and see if there is a solution. I already move my apps to SD but with only 128MB it still fills up really quickly.
    • by jez9999 (618189)

      I've been using it for months and I think it looks and feels fine. So, go figure.

  • Something which Jellybean and ICS refuse to do. Unbelievable that a Google branded phone (Nexus S), refuses to sync the phone contacts with Gmail.

    For that matter, does the CM team actually read and act upon bug reports, because the Android team don't seem to.
  • Dear Cyanogenmod developers, Please, PLEASE, be very careful in not letting the "get.cm" domain expire. Otherwise, it will be a real security nightmare.

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