Saturday, August 18, 2012

Android, AOSP, Cyanogenmod and life

So I own an AT&T Galaxy SII i777 I can't say enough good things about this device. Nearly a year and a half old, it still kicks the ass of most devices people have in their pocket. It's fabulous

After hemming, hawing and complaining about the carrier's lack of interest in keeping old (but very capable) phones updated with the newest version of android, I took matters into my own hands.

I've been a longtime fan of CyanogenMod and its close relative AOKP. I happily ran AOKP ICS for a while (task650 variant), cheerfully bragging to my oblivious iOS pals about how behind they were.

Well with Google's Jellybean release, the AOKP front has been silent. And the Cyanogenmod (v10) activity is present, but just beginning. But I said to myself, "I'm a developer, I don't have to wait!". So I've been compiling my own CM10 builds. You can find it here.

Yet more opinions..

But my point wasn't to brag so much about that really nifty XDA thread I posted. That's just a happy accident. The real focus was to go on record and say how awesome android development is. I've tried my hand at Windows Mobile, iOS even a tiny bit of Palm OS back in the day. There's no comparison. Android blows them all away. And I don't say this lightly. I am a self-admitted Microsoft lackey, with a deep and passionate love affair with the .NET framework.

When it's good, it's good. And developing on Android is great.

I'm not loving the AOSP build process, but I see the necessity to its complexity. But as far as the OS and apps are laid out, it follows my #1 most important rule of development: predictability. Things are where you expect them to be. And if they aren't, once you learn a bit, you say - AH, that's a good place for them.

Upping the ante

So now that I've been running my own builds for a while, I've learned a few things. Enough to start tweaking some of the inbuilt CyanogenMod apps. Namely, I've had my eye on DSPManager for a long long time. It's not a major thing, but I've always been annoyed that you couldn't switch your EQ curve/audio profiles easily.

So, I've started a github repository and am once again taking matters into my own hands. My ultimate goal is to get it into the official build, but I have a lot of learning to do between now and then.