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Android Cellphones Handhelds Hardware Hacking Open Source Operating Systems Software Build News

CyanogenMod 9 Working On the Nexus S 218

MrSeb writes with an article in Extreme Tech about progress toward getting an AOSP build working on the Nexus S. From the article: "Over the past week, ROM Manager extraordinaire Koush has been frantically working on making a working build of CyanogenMod 9 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for the Samsung Nexus S. The custom ROM, which is built purely from the Android Open Source Project, has now reached 'alpha 11.' All major features are present and no significant bugs remain. It's too early to say that the build is ready for prime time or mission-critical work — the final release of CM9 is due in the new year — but it's certainly stable enough for daily use. The most significant feature, if you can call it that, is that Koush's build of ICS is really very smooth — it's as nimble as Gingerbread, if not more so. Unlike the previous, non-CM build that was released last week, this alpha build of CM9 has every feature enabled, including Google Wallet, and setting a mobile data limit. As usual, the custom ROM is pre-rooted, has ROM Manager installed, and absolutely no bloatware. "
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CyanogenMod 9 Working On the Nexus S

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  • by dell623 ( 2021586 ) on Monday November 28, 2011 @09:35PM (#38197450)

    Qwerty keyboards are useless. Swype or similar input methods are faster and more intuitive than mashing tiny hard keys that add bulk and extra mechanical components that can fail. Screens are huge these days so seeing the keyboard on screen while typing is no big issue. Instead of getting a thicker bulkier keyboard equipped phone a bigger screen phone is a better compromise. Physical Keyboards are simply inefficient on mobile devices - not that great for typing, add bulk etc.
    The Galaxy Nexus kind of device with no buttons at all is the future, even the soft buttons disappear for video etc, maximizing screen real estate. Ultimately you want the smallest possible device with the biggest possible screen.

  • by phoenix_rizzen ( 256998 ) on Monday November 28, 2011 @09:41PM (#38197524)

    I hear you.

    It would be so nice if the major Android phone manufacturers would stop spitting out new phones every 6 weeks, and instead focused on 2-3 phone hardware platforms per year. I say platforms in that they use the exact same innards (SoC, storage, etc) but with 1-2 screen sizes, and with/without keyboards.

    Sony Ericsson is the closest to doing this with the Xperia Mini/Mini Pro, Xperia Neo/Pro, and Xperia Arc/Play. They all basically have the same hardware, with just screen size and keyboard/gamepad variations.

    Just imagine how much simpler life would be for their Android devs, support staff, and customers if they did this.

  • Re:Yay (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chrb ( 1083577 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @12:02AM (#38198658)

    Not done. That is Ubuntu running in a chroot environment. And it makes phone calls fine, because Android is still present. Personally, I would love to see a real Linux distribution running on an Android device. Android has so many limitations: the bionic C library, Dalvik apps only (yeah, I know about NDK, but "real Linux" has Python, Perl, C++, OpenJDK Java etc.)

    The limitations of Android stem from being targetted at 2005 phone hardware, so they created a cut-down Linux. With 2012 tablets, dual-core 1.2GHz+ CPU and 1GB+ memory, there is absolutely no reason for these artificial software limitations. I want to see Gnome on a tablet. And KDE. And other GUI environments. And I want Android to be relegated to an app-compatibility environment in the same way that Java and Mono exist today - not because that's a bad thing, but because Android is just one application environment of the many that exist on Linux. Why shouldn't tablet programmers use Python+PyQT to build their apps, deployed on Debian-style apt-get repositories? Why shouldn't we have Ubuntu for Tablets? The hardware is powerful enough now, and it is only going to get more powerful, we don't need to be hobbled by the design choices of what was (8 years ago) a small startup in California.

  • Not open enough (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Richard_J_N ( 631241 ) on Tuesday November 29, 2011 @02:42AM (#38199542)

    I bought one: it was a wonderful device (except for the touchscreen being resistive), but what killed it for us was that it had critical parts of the GUI being non-open.
    We would have deployed 200 of them, but we needed one minor bugfix: the ability to operate the camera during a voip phone call (which meant being able to disable the shutter sound so as to allow the sound-card not to block). Sadly, the camera library was crippled: it's very, very easy to use Hildon (basically GTK) to access the image capture with gstreamer, but we only if we didn't use the proprietary feature called "auto-focus"! So we couldn't fix it ourselves, and when we reported the bug, the Nokia team confirmed it, but didn't actually get round to fixing it (at least, not within many weeks).

    It's a real shame too: I could SSH into the phone, launch X-applications (on either $DISPLAY), install applications with a real package manager, and enjoy all the other Linux goodness.

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