Week Ending: June 19, 2014
“This Week in CyanogenMod” is an ongoing feature that aims to serve as a one-stop shop for weekly updates. Topics discussed are culled from our social media accounts, gerrit, status updates and general thoughts.”
4.4.3, 4.4.4, new features, devices, security, and towels – a jammed packed update this week!
Released in the first week of June, Android 4.4.3 has been fully integrated into CM 11 source. With it came over 7000+ changes! All nightlies build between June 6th and June 18th are based on 4.4.3 code.
Google did a two-for-one this month, and released Android 4.4.4 to address some OpenSSL items this week. CM actually already included these OpenSSL patches right around the time we did the 4.4.3, so 4.4.4 brought little more than a simple version number change. All CM11 nightlies past June 19th are based on this 4.4.4 code, as will be next month’s CM 11 M8 release.
Also making headlines this past week was the ‘Towelroot’ exploit, said to affect a large amount of Android devices. We are happy to say that the exploit used in Towelroot (futex) was patched for most devices’ kernels the day of public disclosure, June 5th – 10 days ahead of Towelroot’s public release of the exploit.
Some long running Sony devices received a substantial update this week, including the T and V variants. If you haven’t checked out the builds recently, now would be a good time to get back on that bandwagon. Many thanks to FXP for their continued support of the platform.
Additionally, support for the Sony Xperia Z2 (sirius) joins our roster of CM11 devices, bringing support for the D6502, D6503, D6506, & D6543.
The LG p880 also received an overhaul, thanks to new maintainer Demetris Ierokipides, who has stepped up to take over this device.
Another new maintainer – M1cha – brings in the codename ‘aries’ device for CM 11 support. Nightlies for the Mi2 are now available.
Oppo Find 7a
We also kicked off nightlies for Oppo’s Find 7a variant (find7) last week. Please note, this is currently only tested against the Find 7a – if you have the Find 7 QHD, please wait for confirmation on support until attempting to flash. We are expecting to receive some of the QHD units soon, and will begin integration afterwards.
The newest device on the list of support comes in the form of the OnePlus One (bacon), which was open sourced and added to the nightly roster this month. Note for those of you who are using the retail version of this device with CyanogenMod 11S – the nightlies may release more frequently, but likewise, are prone to additional kinks and do not include some of the closed-source components that arrived with the 11S distribution of CM.
In addition to addressing the usual series of fixes – this month sees a multitude of new features coming into CM 11.
With Android 4.4.2, there were mass complaints of broken VPN routing in AOSP core. We merged in patches to resolve this for CM 11 M7, however, with the introduction of Android 4.4.3, these patches started doing more harm than good. We have reverted the change in question, so if you were impacted by broken VPN in our 4.4.3 nightlies, this should now be resolved.
Hidden apps meet protected apps
The much loved Trebuchet feature of hiding *ahem* apps you’d rather other people not find, we see the return of hidden apps with a new super-power. Apps can now be hidden per-normal, but the access to these applications can now be protected by a Pattern unlock. Additionally, the hide functionality is no longer just superficial to the launcher – apps now marked as Protected will be hidden from all launchers (including third parties), and even the Settings > Apps list itself. Protected apps will still be available via your multi-tasking recents menu, but the uninstall and clear data options will be blocked until the application is marked as no longer protected.
Got a app (or apps) that you’d rather have protected, but still have immediate access to? We are also introducing protected folders – allowing you to perform the applying of protected status to multiple apps at once, group them to your liking, and have them sit close-by on your home screen, but unreachable to those who don’t know your pattern unlock.
Trebuchet: GEL & CMHome
Also added to the Trebuchet sliding panel is an option for ‘Search panel’. This setting introduces Google Experience Launcher-like behavior, allowing for a custom panel on the far left of your home screen. For now, this merely launches Google Now, and you can exit this back to your home screen by sliding from the right most edge. Eagle-eyed watchers of our gerrit may have seen references to a new ‘CMHome’ concept. This is coming to a build soon, and we will showcase it when it is ready for nightlies.
Heads Up, Thumbs up
Buried inside the Android source code was a reference to a ‘Heads Up’ notification mode – and starting with tonight’s nightlies, we’ve brought that setting to you, with the usual CM enhancements. Heads Up allows for a floating notification to display on top of your current activity, with the full access (eg. Expand, Reply, Interact, etc) that you would expect from a standard notification. This allows for a quick and easy way to read incoming notifications while in otherwise full-screen applications (ie Games). Obviously, no one likes being nagged in the middle of their favorite Youtube video of cats – so we have introduced a ‘Do not disturb’ filter to this functionality. You can select which apps the new Heads Up functionality should not interrupt.
Pictures are always fun!
In our never-ending quest to make sure that CM remains easy to use with the addition of all these features we’ve, once again, re-organized settings for best fit. Trebuchet settings move out of the main settings app, and into the sliding panel as seen in the screenshots above. Gone is the generic “Interface” category – replaced by newly created ‘Status Bar’, ‘Notification Drawer’ and ‘Gestures’ categories. These all should be straight forward and allow you to find your favorite CM features more easily (though you may have to overcome a bit of muscle memory). Other notable moves: Expanded desktop now lives within the Display category; All lock screen items are now in the ‘Lock screen’ category, and duplicate entries in ‘Security’ have been removed; Navigation Bar layouts can now be found with all the other button controls under ‘Buttons’.
Got a suggestion for a topic you’d like to see in the next round-up? Let us know in the comments below. All device/port requests will be ignored.