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Android Software Upgrades Build

CyanogenMod Drops ROM Manager In Favor of OTA Updates 111

Posted by timothy
from the sure-beats-at&t-for-my-phone-then dept.
sfcrazy writes "There's some great news for CyanogenMod fans. The CM team has decided to drop ROM manager, which was the de facto standard of getting CyanogenMod updates." Instead, the CM team is building its own updating method, explained (with screenshots) at Android Police.
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CyanogenMod Drops ROM Manager In Favor of OTA Updates

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  • jargon decoding (Score:5, Informative)

    by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdotNO@SPAMhackish.org> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @06:02PM (#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.)

  • by AmberBlackCat (829689) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @06:21PM (#41509065)
    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.
  • Re:Better Android (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @06:38PM (#41509169)

    AT&T does things like put a paid, read-only entry for Yellow Pages at the top of my contacts for my Galaxy S2
     
    Aha! I see what all the extra screen space is for... spamming the end user and using up their data allowances with ads.

  • by beano311 (852024) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @07:06PM (#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.
  • Re:jargon decoding (Score:1, Informative)

    by vux984 (928602) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @07:29PM (#41509473)

    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 @08:02PM (#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:Better Android (Score:5, Informative)

    by Calos (2281322) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @08:18PM (#41509725)

    That's not fair. I know plenty of smart people with iPhones, and a quick look at forums will show you many people in far over their head trying to root and install ROMs.

    But it's very apparent that what you do rooting etc. is not officially supported, and more than clear that official lines of support are useless if you have issues. Now, if people were calling AT&T to complain about their jailbreaking gone wrong or something, that would be different.

  • Re:Better Android (Score:3, Informative)

    by jazzmans (622827) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @08:38PM (#41509825) Journal

    No, dipshit anonymous coward, It means I'm willing to put up with a bit more configuration/troubles then the usual user if I perceive an improved user experience.

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

    by gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @08:51PM (#41509891) Homepage Journal

    That's because stupid people don't put CM on their phones. Stupid people do, however, buy iPhones.

    They also know to lie to the CSR about what they did when there is a problem.

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

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

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