After CyanogenMod announced its decision to go corporate as CyanogenInc, some users were left wondering what would happen to contributors and developers who weren’t invited to join or declined to continue being a part of the new structure. At the Big Android BBQ, we got our answers. Several top developers have started a new community ROM project called OmniROM. According to its website, “Omni is a community-based project for the Android community which is Free^3: Free to Use, Free to Modify, Free to Share. It’s also about options, which is the beauty of Android.”
OmniROM lists several big names in the ROM development community such as XpLoDWilD, Entropy512 and Chainfire among its contributors. According to a post by XpLoDWilD, the key features of OmniROM are listed as including:
- Flippable Quick Settings
- Roadrunner mode
- Daydream enhancements
- Integrated Performance Control
- Color-changeable, 3D depth Phase Beam
- And a bunch more
As of now, the ROM is still in its early stages and not all of the key features are complete, implemented or fully functional. I have downloaded XpLoDWilD’s semi-official build for the Nexus 4 and flashed it successfully onto my Nexus 4. However, it wasn’t without any issues. On my first few attempts, I tried flashing OmniROM using CWM Touch Recovery 220.127.116.11 and while it booted properly, the radio was down. There was no baseband listed in “About phone” and no tricks managed to get it working. I tried redownloading the ROM, reflashing the ROM, clearing data and cache multiple times, and even tried flashing in a few different radios to no avail. Restoring my NANDroid backup got my stock ROM up and running with working radio. What finally did the trick for me was using TWRP Recovery 18.104.22.168 to flash in OmniROM. My Nexus 4’s radio started working at bootup. It seems like something in OmniROM doesn’t work well with CWM Touch Recovery 22.214.171.124. Another user reported a similar experience so it seems like it is not an isolated instance.
Multi-Window does work in the current semi-official build (custom-4.3.0-20131015-custom_mako-HOMEMADE.zip) but there is still some small issues with it. When typing into the bottom window, the popup keyboard basically overlaps the whole window, causing you not to be able to see what you are typing. Typing into the top window is fine. However, this does not mean it is not usable. For instance, I can still type then hide the keyboard to see what I had typed earlier. A little troublesome, but definitely still usable. Before I forget, to use Multi-Window, open the recent apps list then long press the app you want to use as Multi-Window. Repeat for the other app.
Will this ROM be awesome? I think it definitely has all the potential to be. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this ROM. Will it be my daily driver? Probably not right now since Android 4.4 KitKat is just around the corner. I’ll be moving back to stock Android after playing around with OmniROM for a couple of hours. Perhaps I’ll give it a shot at being my daily driver when OmniROM moves over to Android 4.4. Here are some screenshots of OmniROM’s Multi-Window in action. Links can be found after the screenshots. If you have any questions, head over to the XDA-Developers Forum or post them in the comments below.