A tale of tablet flashing

About a year and a half ago, I picked up Asus’ original Eee Pad Transformer tablet. This precursor to the growing crop of Win8 convertibles quickly worked its way into my life, proving the virtues of the concept long before Microsoft had an OS to match. Me and Arcee, as I sometimes call her, developed a true bond. We spend countless hours cuddled on the couch reading together. She was by my side for a romantic road trip through Italy and a rugged kayaking adventure on the remote Pacific coast of Vancouver Island. We played together and we worked together. She even met my parents.

My love affair with the Transformer burned brightly for close to a year before the flame started flickering. How could it not? Arcee shared space on my coffee table with an ever-changing harem of newer tablets boasting faster processors, higher-density displays, and thinner bodies. Making matters worse, some of those other tablets started running Android 4.1, otherwise known as Jelly Bean.

Asus did a great job of keeping the Transformer up to date with new versions of Android for the first year after the device’s release. The tablet got a taste of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich before most of its peers, too. However, as newer Transformers and other devices have been upgraded to Android 4.1, the old Transformer appears to have been left behind. Asus has been mum on whether a Jelly Bean update will ever be released for the tablet.

Why get worked up about a 0.1-point increase? Because Android 4.1 includes a series of "Project Butter" performance tweaks that make the entire user interface feel noticeably more fluid and responsive. That’s the sort of upgrade that could breathe new life into an older tablet like the Transformer. Jelly Bean also offers Google Now, a nifty information aggregator with surprisingly effective voice recognition. After experiencing both of those enhancements on several other devices, I couldn’t bear to use the Transformer without. It was time to take matters into my own hands.

At its core, Android is a Linux-based operating system. Google releases the source code for new versions, and a sizable development community has grown around making that code work with various devices. There are countless custom ROMs available for tablets and smartphones alike, including several different Jelly Bean flavors tailored specifically for the first-generation Transformer. Having successfully—and painlessly—flashed my Galaxy Nexus to a stock Jelly Bean image this summer, I figured I’d do the same with the Transformer. How hard could it be?

Yeah, I know. Famous last words.

The easiest part of flashing my Galaxy Nexus was choosing the ROM. Google provides a stock image for the device, and that’s what I installed. Since the Transformer isn’t part of Google’s Nexus program, only third-party ROMs are available. I went with the latest one from the CyanogenMod team, mostly because I’d heard of them before. The CyanogenMod Wiki also provided clear, start-to-finish instructions for installing the ROM on an otherwise unmodified device.

To prime the Transformer for flashing, I had to jump through a few hoops. First, I needed drivers to allow my PC to communicate with the Transformer’s diagnostic APX mode. After that, separate software was required to push the ClockworkMod Recovery image onto the tablet. With that installed, I was finally free to cut the cord to my PC and proceed with the tablet alone. I downloaded the latest version of CyanogenMod and the supplemental Google Apps package and rebooted into recovery mode.

Once in ClockworkMod Recovery mode, the flashing process was pretty straightforward. Within minutes, I was watching the Transformer boot into its new OS. It only took a few swipes of the touchscreen to confirm that Jelly Bean’s responsiveness enhancements had greased the UI. Google Now loaded without a hitch, too, and I soon had the system configured just how I like it.

For the most part, CyanogenMod looks and feels like a stock Android install. The custom ROM does add some new features, such as the ability to display weather information and additional shortcuts on the lock screen. A file manager is included, as is a DSP app loaded with audio controls. There’s support for themes, too, if you’re into that sort of thing. CyanogenMod even has a built-in update mechanism that downloads the latest nightly build, although you still have to flash it manually.

The extras were nice, but they were soon overshadowed by a handful of pesky flaws. The Gallery app didn’t sync with my Google account. Closing the tablet/keyboard clamshell no longer put the device to sleep. The keyboard’s shortcut keys all worked, but gone were the pop-up notifications confirming their status. Asus’ Android customizations were also missing, obviously, and I was surprised the CyanogenMod folks didn’t copy the most important one: the ability to change the touchpad’s on-screen avatar to a proper mouse pointer instead of a clumsy, fingertip-sized circle.

By far the biggest problem was the fact that the GPS didn’t work. That’s a real deal-breaker for me. After using tablets to navigate the streets of Taipei, a huge chunk of Italy, and the waters off British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, I’d rather not give up the ability to track my precise location on a sizable screen.

Since the flashing process was so easy, I decided to try some alternative ROMs. My initial attempts at additional flashes failed until I stumbled upon a forum post recommending ditching the ClockworkMod recovery image for one from TeamWin and using that to wipe various caches before each flash. With a name like TeamWin, how could I lose?

TWRP—TeamWin Recovery Project—worked like a charm, and I was soon cycling through ROMs from RaymanFX, EOS, and JellyBro. Each one was a little bit different, but they all had the same Jelly Bean goodness I was seeking. Thing is, none of them worked with my tablet’s GPS. I even tried an early RaymanFX build based on the very latest Android 4.2 revision, to no avail.

After digging around some more in the XDA Developers forums, I discovered I’m not the only one experiencing GPS issues with custom Jelly Bean ROMs. I’ve seen a handful of reports of other problems associated with various ROMs but also lots from happy users who have no complaints. ROM development is ongoing, and I’m vaguely optimistic that someone will release a Jelly Bean ROM that gives me everything I need… eventually. In the meantime, the Transformer has been restricted to couch duty, where Jelly Bean’s smoothness can be enjoyed without the lack of GPS reception getting in the way.

While I’m a little discouraged that perfection remains elusive, I’m pleasantly surprised by the process as a whole. Flashing custom ROMs is quite easy, and so is finding the latest versions. There are even free Android apps that will take care of the downloading. Depending on the support level for your particular hardware, installing a custom ROM can be a great way to revitalize an older device with Android updates it wouldn’t get otherwise. Custom ROMs can also bring the benefits of the full Android experience to locked-down tablets like the Kindle Fire, which is strangled by Amazon’s heavily modified OS. Freedom is just a flash away.

Comments closed
    • CBHvi7t
    • 7 years ago

    I have a Laptop from 2004 with changed:
    OS, RAM, Panel, HD, Power-supply, DVD-Drive
    still running 60 work minutes off the original battery.
    Will my Tablet still be usable in 2019 ?

    • ashley01x93
    • 7 years ago
    • dashbarron
    • 7 years ago

    Sad to hear it didn’t work for you. But you saved me hours of work trying to get it to work (and with GPS).

    What apps do you use for GPS navigation on the Transformer?

    • swaaye
    • 7 years ago

    Nook Color has a decent Cyanogenmod 10 too right now. Unfortunate the device doesn’t really have enough RAM for it. Multitasking is rather painful on it. But I like the stock web browser quite a bit so I haven’t gone back to CM7 (which is generally much faster).

    • grege
    • 7 years ago

    Do not assume the GPS does not work. I have had this problem with CM10, Team EOS and others on all my flashed devices. It all comes down to permission for apps to use the GPS. What I do is just keep hitting the settings until it works. In settings there is Location Services. Deselect them all then reselect. Under Accounts-> Google there are two more lots of settings. In one ROM I used you had to actually tell the system to use the internal GPS, and the setting was deep in a sub menu. Once everything is toggled off then on restart the tablet and install Opera or Firefox, then do a search on Coffee from a standard Google Search page, select Places and let it find the nearest Coffee shop. If it works you are on the right track. Open the standard browser and repeat. It will ask you for permission to access the GPS. You may need to restart again. All this mucking around is tedious, but once it is working it will keep working until you flash a new ROM, then the fun starts again. This is part of the joy of 3rd party ROMs.

    I am currently running TeamEOS 3 Stable, Android 4.1.1 on my Motorola XOOM 3G and it works well, including the GPS. I have found 4.1.2 ROMS do not work as well for me. I was caught with a Hong Kong sourced XOOM with an odd partition layout and was stuck with Android 3.2. CM10 reduces my 32GB XOOM to a 4gb one, but TeamEOS works with the odd layout and gives me Jellybean.

    • ermo
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]... "While I'm a little discouraged that perfection remains elusive" ... [/quote<] Yup, that's going to be a pretty steep mountain to climb. On the other hand, you'll likely never run out of source material for your chosen vocation. Can't beat that. And obsessing over which Linux distribution to chose is SO last decade. Or, wait... [i<]*looks at HTC Desire Z, wonders whether now is a good time to try that 'in-testing' CM-based JB build*[/i<]

      • k00k
      • 7 years ago

      andromadus/flinny has been making solid progress lately on kernel 3 and JB for the desire z (vision) 🙂

        • ermo
        • 7 years ago

        Indeed.

        I flashed flinny’s Andromadus build 129 of 4.1.2 Jelly Bean last night. Works like a charm so far, so I’m one happy cookie!

        The only negative I’ve encountered is that the phone seems a bit slow to get up to speed after sleep, though. But once it’s got everything cached, it feels much smoother than with CM7.2 (2.3.7 aka Ginger Bread). Not necessarily faster per se, but definitely smoother.

        That and the UI is very neat and functional out of the box. Colour me positively surprised.

    • BabelHuber
    • 7 years ago

    People flashing ROMs on Android need to know that there are 2 flavours of ROMs: AOSP and modified stock ROMs.

    AOSP-ROMs are built from scratch using the Android Open Source Project’s source code.

    This means that developers need to take care of all the special functions for a device for themselves. For the TF101, this e.g. means support for the keyboard dock, or getting drivers for the GPS-Hardware used.

    CM is AOSP.

    OTOH there are modified ROMs. The base ist the original OS from the vendor (e.g. Asus), then it is modified. Such ROMs have the Hardware support by default of ourse, but often they also have the disadvantages of the original ROM compared to AOSP.

    For my TF Prime, I tried out the CM9 and CM10 AOSP-ROMs. While the developers did a great job including support for the dock, not everything was working, I had e.g. problems with screen rotation, which I found pretty annoying.

    Hence I currently use a modified Asus ROM, the Androwook Prime. It is based on the original Asus JB ROM, but enhances it considerably.

    I opted for the version with Clemsyn’s overclocker Kernel with Data2SD.

    This means I have Android installed on a Sandisk Class 10 SD-card with 64GB instead of the internal memory (which is slower) and OC’d it to 1.7GHz CPU and 650MHz GPU (IIRC).

    This beast really flies now, it is much smoother than the stock ROM. You notice this especially when downloading Apps or updating Apps:
    While the stock ROM slows down the tablet considerably, since the low random write speeds of the internal memory makes the tablet become laggy, the Data2SD-Kernel does not.

    So it is a huge improvement when doing heavy multitasking. Also, with the OC’d SoC, games like Shadowgun Deadzone run much smoother now, too – although battery runtime is of course decreasing. But most of the time, I still use 1.3GHz, e.g. right now while I write this post.

    So my advice to Android ROM-flashers: Take your time, read the according XDA-threads, find a ROM you want to try out, and if it annoys you try something else.

    But for the TF201, I really recommend Androwook Prime, it is hands down the best ROM for this tablet I have ever seen.

    EDIT: Spelling errors

      • The Jedi
      • 7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. Here I thought the Transformer Prime was the preeminent Android tablet. If Asus’ tablets are so de-tuned then how poor might Acer, or all of the other cheaper no-names be?

        • ludi
        • 7 years ago

        “De-tuning” is usually done to manage battery life and/or heat dissipation within the device. Overclocking can boost things a bit, but it also carries certain risks. At the very least, the user might want to make sure the new ROM supports dynamic clocking correctly before boosting the juice.

          • The Jedi
          • 7 years ago

          I can get that. By detuned I was trying to find a way to express why they used RAM so cheap that running the OS off of an SD card is actually faster. This would seem to be a serious lapse in performance quality.

      • brookespl091
      • 7 years ago
    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    Hey, how’s the CM10 for TouchPad..? Any major issues (like Netflix/Camera/Video)?

    I was thinking of upgrading now that I have time because my [i<]two-year project is over[/i<], but haven't been in touch (no pun) with what's available these days

      • Mumrik
      • 7 years ago

      HP Touchpad?

      I really like it. The camera still doesn’t work though. There’s some ongoing driver nightmare that a guy seems to have finally figured out, but it’s still not in the ROM (at least not in mine which is a few weeks old)

      I don’t use it for a whole lot though. Tablet are tablets, but it eats through 15+GB of Youtube content per month.

    • fl3cht
    • 7 years ago

    I recommend giving [url<]http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=11342772&postcount=1[/url<] a try. I use the Jellytime ROM for my ancient (and sadly unsupported by HTC) Inspire and love it, but it never gives me a GPS fix. After a restart into the ROM at least once after flashing I go back and flash the appropriate regional script. Damn near instant locks after that (though the first one can take a while - I also make sure to clear and update the AGPS info using the tools in the GPS Test app). Totally worth a shot.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      I’m lazy, do the work for me. Do they have anything for the HTC Incredible? I’m getting a used one for xmas as a toy.

      EDIT: I was joking, you know. Sheesh.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    My first EEE pc was the last time I tried or will try to outsmart a mobile device.

    • XorCist
    • 7 years ago

    my tablet is very modest….i only get a little bit off the shoulder….no full on flash…

    • Dizik
    • 7 years ago

    What a coincidence, I just rooted my TF101 last night, too. I’ve had it since shortly after its launch, and it’s been great. However, I have noticed flickering since I upgraded from stock Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich. Unfortunately, the jump to CM10 (Jelly Bean) didn’t fix the issue. Oh well, the flickering isn’t too bad for me to not use the tablet. I haven’t bothered checking to see if GPS is working properly, as I have zero use for GPS on a tablet (that’s what my phone is for).

    • gerbilspy
    • 7 years ago

    I have a 16GB Nook tablet (bought it last Spring) that runs the B&N GB abomination from internal storage and CM10 Jelly Bean 4.1 from the micro SD card. It’s the best of both worlds for me. JB takes a little bit longer to load from the SD, but not long enough to be painful. Once it’s booted it’s buttery smooth. The only glitch I’m experiencing is that it sometimes reboots into B&N land when I plug in the charger. No big deal because battery life is great and I always charge it up overnight. Everything else works as it should. Of course the Nook has no GPS so I can’t have that problem. Anyway, the tablet lives on my couch right next to my remote, replacing my laptop which is only used for work now.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      There’s now a uSD bootable version of CM10? Last I heard, you had to flash it to internal eMMC. Link please!

        • sbhall52
        • 7 years ago

        Check out [url<]http://www.n2acards.com/.[/url<] I installed CM9 from them onto a Nook Color I'm giving my granddaughter for Christmas. A week later, I was notified of a free upgrade to CM10. Works like a champ, and is one of the best ways I've spent $20 in years.

        • gerbilspy
        • 7 years ago

        here you go: [url<]https://iamafanof.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/how-to-guide-bootable-cm7cm9cm10-sdcard-for-nook-tablet/[/url<] The only cost is for the card, but the N2Acard sounds like a great buy for $20!

          • willmore
          • 7 years ago

          Wonderful, now I have something other than cleaning to do this weekend. Thanks!

    • obarthelemy
    • 7 years ago

    My experience with custom ROMs is that there’s Cyanogen and The Rest. The Rest are just cosmetics/performance tweaks, they don’t get new new features (drivers…), and you lose some reliability.

    Also, I’ve mostly stopped using custom ROMs, more problems that they’re worth, except in desperate cases. My original Nook Color just got a brand new CM10, and chugs along nicely (chugs along though, it doesn’t really “run”, at its age).

    I went from 4.0 to 4.1 on my Xoom too, with an official update… It really didn’t make that much of a difference to me. Certainly not a GPS worth of difference.

      • Darkmage
      • 7 years ago

      Hrm. I rand CyanogenMod on my Nexus One for years and loved it. But when I upgraded to the Galaxy Nexus, I left Cyanogen behind and went with Codename Android. The CM rom was just too much of a battery hog and I couldn’t keep the phone charged with light usage.

      I’ve been happy with CA and it has just the right amount of new features to keep me satisfied. And the GPS works. 🙂

        • ludi
        • 7 years ago

        Errr…I searched for CA and it appears they got Google’s “This Site May Harm Your Computer” designation (malware, adware…?). A bit worried about clicking.

          • Darkmage
          • 7 years ago

          That’s really odd.

          Try here: [url<]http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1839162[/url<]

            • ludi
            • 7 years ago

            FWIW the Nexus One you referred to is still working, I recently factory wiped it and upgraded to CM 7.2 (Gingerbread). I can’t use it anymore since Outlook 2010 requires ActiveSynch clients to support advanced remote administration features, but a friend of mine is headed to Burundi to teach for eight months, she might it take it with her.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        hardware feature issues like GPS tend to be different from model to model. My wife used a P509 Optimus T with CM7.2 and GPS was fine. CM7.2 on the G2X had a broken GPS. Both of those were “official supported” CM builds.

    • A_Pickle
    • 7 years ago

    The only device I’ve owned that I’ve [i<]not[/i<] sought to give a custom ROM is my Palm Treo Pro running Windows Mobile 6.1. It's a wonderful device.

      • no51
      • 7 years ago

      How much did Microsoft pay you to make that comment? Pimping WinMo even. Everybody knows that WinMo sucks, the internet told me so.

    • ante9383
    • 7 years ago

    …and that’s why I’m happy to have bought an iPad instead of an Android tablet.
    No need for custom firmware, and as much as I hate the phrase…”everything just works” 😉

      • A_Pickle
      • 7 years ago

      But everything [i<]did[/i<] just work on his previous device, as he indicated throughout this post. He wanted "Project Butter" and some of the new features, not to repair broken functionality.

        • ante9383
        • 7 years ago

        Well, if I want to update an iPad from 2010, I can do that quickly and easily. All the latest features are there, for free, and again, it’s *super easy*. That’s my point here. Any tech-savvy person will be able to flash a custom ROM onto most flashable devices, but it’s never as easy as doing it with iOS devices.
        I simply don’t have to jump through all the extra hoops I’d experience with upgrading Android devices.

        Being a nerd means custom ROM flashing etc. can be fun sometimes, but if I don’t have to upgrade my devices in such a tedious manner, then I certainly prefer that option.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          how’s iOS 6 on that original ipad?

          one advantage of win rt is the 4 year update schedule.

            • adisor19
            • 7 years ago

            That first iPad got 3 major iOS versions just like any other iDevice. The HTC Jetstream i got on contract for a poor soul at work is stuck with Android 3.1 for the rest of its life. So much for that Android superiority.

            Adi

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            i never said android was superior. that would be silly.

          • Darkmage
          • 7 years ago

          Just wait, ante. My 1st gen iPod Touch stopped taking new iOS versions some time ago. Obsolescence comes to us all, even in the Apple world.

          • Squeazle
          • 7 years ago

          If you want to update an ipad, you get a new one.

          LET THE CONSUMERISM FLOW THROUGH YOU.

      • LSDX
      • 7 years ago

      This is only partly true. As there is no new iOS for older iPhones, that fate might also lure for the iPad series someday. Custom firmware is just an additional option.

      But I admit that ASUS was killing off support for the first generation of Transformers to quickly.

        • ante9383
        • 7 years ago

        F*ck me, the iPad 1 really isn’t supported by iOS6…I did not know that…that’s certainly shitty, I admit.

          • trackerben
          • 7 years ago

          I have an iPad1 and it certainly can’t be upgraded “officially” to iOS6. It remains a fine browser, email and doc reader, and non-HD media player, and the screen is as functional and the build as solid as when it was new.

          But say you want iOS 6 on that fast new superscreen. This situation is what Apple’s high resale values are good for. So you back-up your iPad1 to iCloud, sell it for a good fraction of its original price, add a few hundred $ to buy a new iPad4, activate your itunes/iCloud account to reload your environment, then enjoy the new features with the usual appliance-like reliability and polish. The entire process is so easy that my wife and her fashionable friends routinely do this by themselves over their lunch breaks. What floors old-school guys like me is that they don’t realize they are successfully administrating back-up, upgrade, migration, and orientation procedures on advanced computers with little computing skill and zero help from experts.

          The unseen lifecycle benefits are what you paid Apple a $100-200 premium for, so use them up.

            • Darkmage
            • 7 years ago

            And the fact that I can back up my music to Google Music Player, Gmail and Drive, go buy a Transformer Infinity and sell the original for a good fraction of the original price means… what, precisely?

            You’re not paying $100-200 for “unseen lifecycle benefits”. You’re paying the Apple Tax for brand recognition, decent industrial design and a simplified UI. Nothing wrong with that, but let’s not kid ourselves that Apple is selling anything more than that.

            • trackerben
            • 7 years ago

            iCloud does far more than mp3s, it seamlessly backs up the system state including mail, docs, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, photos, etc. It also provides the service to selected apps like Goodreader. All this from a single, simple administrative point.

            Apple has designed things to be so easy that even my wife’s friends do things by themselves. If they even manage to flub things they just go straight to the nearest Apple Store for free yet premium support. That’s $thousands in benefits for several IT guys and techie spouses right there. It’s why I can find spare time for silly but pet stuff like repeatedly optimizing install partitions on my new Win8pro builds or customizing enclosures to minimize dust inflow. These neat things I reserve mostly for myself. For others I always tell them to consider Apple iOS devices seriously. it’s enlightened self-interest. When people around me buy Apple stuff they mostly become happy, while I become freer to complicate my life as I wish. I only recommend droids to knowledgeable friends who know how to dive into the gear and cope with the myriad UI and firmware issues and physical fragmentation.

            The polished, appliance-like performance of iOS hardware and the ecosystem is the holy grail of consumer computing. An extra $100-200 to drink from that cup is an easy decision once you’ve tasted of it in multiples.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            [quote<]The unseen lifecycle benefits are what you paid Apple a $100-200 premium for[/quote<] I love this argument because it's so easy to debunk. Paying $100-200 more to get $100-200 more in resale value later only ties up cash. (It applies less to the iPad because competitors aren't priced *that* much lower, but when people bring up this argument for Macs I want to smack them.)

            • trackerben
            • 7 years ago

            Which is a pretty valid argument if you are willing to spend more time than I like on fixing others’ problems or administrating your hardware. But on my ground I am ironically freer to attend to my own technical focus. Because most everyone I know is sensible enough to buy into a premium ecosystem which guides and supports them enough that I don’t have to. That’s a revolution in experience quality in my world which Nokia/Microsoft are only beginning to match recently.

      • obarthelemy
      • 7 years ago

      But yet again, you’ll run into a “hardware not supported” or “feature not supported” issue at some point, like earlier and not so early iPhones are, with the latest versions of iOS, Siri…

      Even if it’s a little hacky, it’s nice to be able to force-update to the latest stuff and functionnality.

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      How much did Apple pay you to make that comment? Shills are everywhere, sigh…

        • ante9383
        • 7 years ago

        Nothing, they didn’t need to. Even tech-savvy people like you and I can love ease-of-use, can’t we?
        Again, my point is that easy, official updates are there for 2+ year-old hardware is available from only a few manufacturers, Apple being one of the few. Of course, once the hardware no longer receives official updates, it’s technically “obsolete”, but a) you can still force-feed ROM updates to older Apple hardware if you really want to, and b) that point in time does not come too quickly for Apple’s iOS devices.

        I’m neither trying to troll nor am I a corporate shill – I’m just a satisfied customer who scoffs at how difficult most other manufacturers make it for their users to keep the OS up-to-date.
        I’d be pissed off if Apple came out with an iOS update that wasn’t compatible with my iPad 3 within the next two years – but I very much doubt that will happen considering the fact that the first iPad is still fully supported.

      • Shambles
      • 7 years ago

      You do realize that even though you can make an older iPhone say iOS6 in the settings doesn’t mean that it actually has the full update right? Apple frequently cuts features out in order to be able to merely say they support older devices.

      • Dposcorp
      • 7 years ago

      Guys stop picking on him. He was accidentally routed to this comment section using Apple Maps. 🙂
      Yeah, “everything just works” until iO6 that is. lol

      At least when us Android guys flash stuff and it breaks, we knew it was experimental………yours came right from Apple. POW! ZING! BAM!

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        I regret that I have but one +1 to give.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      You do realize that owning a Google Nexus device is the exact same experience, but without completely breaking a major feature in a major OS update, right? (Not that Google is perfect; they did something really, mind-bogglingly stupid with the lockscreen widgets in Android 4.2, but there was an app for that within a week).

      It’s the third-party devices with custom features that tend to have the sorts of limitations that Dissonance ran into, and even then, he didn’t need to update his device, he wanted to for the sake of tinkering. This is, after all, a tech website and people here are into that sort of thing.

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      Until it doesn’t, and you have to buy a new one instead of upgrading the firmware.

      • bfar
      • 7 years ago

      As a user of both android and ios, I’d have to say that android is probably the less problematic of the two. This is not down to the quality of the software, rather the fact that apple simply doesn’t allow various actions, such as play certain video formats. Some stuff ‘just works’ and some stuff is just a pain in the ass.

    • cheesyking
    • 7 years ago

    I’d flashed CM7 over the stock rom on my HTC Desire S a long time ago and was pleased with it. (no facebook or twitter rubbish that I didn’t want and no bits of sense deciding to force close every day)

    Then I flash the updated CM7.2 on to it and was very pleased. (a lot of bugs squashed)

    Last weekend I flash a beta version of CM10 (from NK111 on the XDA forums) and I’m just amazed! It’s complete transformed my 2 year old phone. Lots of new features, slick new interface, fewer bugs than the official 7.2.

    However something I came across recently that wasn’t just amazing, it was truly gobsmacking… I was doing some work in an office full of insurance salesmen (and one woman) and after a few minutes I realised they were all rocking android phones with custom roms!

    OK so I probably have a prejudiced opinion of tele-sales people but I think it shows how easy custom roms are it install.

      • k00k
      • 7 years ago

      Which build did you flash, cheesyking? nk111 and andromadus’ work are getting more tempting to try out lately as a daily driver. Like you, I’ve started with CM7.1 on my DS, then 7.2. Currently, I’m running on Fallout Evo 5 with the tweaked Sense kernel on my saga, and I’ve lived with it for a few months now. The Tweaked kernel extended my batt life by quite a bit over lowveld’s own kernel, even when mildly OC’d at 1.2Ghz.

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    Welcome to the club, we hope the Kool-Aid met your expectations. You may or may not have been following my largely successful 4.1/JB [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=84705<]saga[/url<] with a TouchPad in the forum. Unfortunately pretty much all aftermarket ROMs have their own set of issues, especially the ones that are relatively young or weren't supported long term, so it's kind of a research, try, try again thing as you discovered. It's also mildly addictive.

    • cjava2
    • 7 years ago

    I used to scour the XDA forums, finding the latest ROMs to flash all of my Android devices with,but I eventually discovered a lot of those ROMs had weird quirks. For example, on the Galaxy S2 version of AOKP, the flashlight would sometimes get stuck and not turn off until a forced reboot. I would have to flash again and again to fix more bugs as new releases came out. It got old really fast.

    I’ve gotten rid of those and moved to Google devices: a Nexus 4 phone and a Nexus 7 tablet. This has been the best decision I’ve made. I now get the latest and greatest updates from Google ahead of all the 3rd party devices. I don’t even plan on rooting these devices. They just work as designed. They’re also insanely cheap.

    The Nexus 4 runs Android faster than any device I’ve seen. Things are instant, the UI is extremely smooth. The built-in wireless charging is so convenient. The battery life has been stellar. It’s a killer device.

      • Ashbringer
      • 7 years ago

      It depends from device to device. For example, my T-Mobile G2 has Mimicry 1.5 and it’s the most stable and fastest rom ever used. Flinny is already got a working Jellybean for the phone as well.

      My Motorola Cliq2 was a huge mess when I got it, because the data connection was constantly going out. Getting my hands on CM7 for it fixes that, and gives it a huge performance boost, and battery life.

      Then there are phones like the Samsung Skyrocket. For some reason you can never get a perfectly working rom on that phone. Each rom has it’s own quirks. Again, it depends on the community and driver availability for the device. Especially if that device has a Tegra chip in it.

    • Forge
    • 7 years ago

    Welcome to the family. Next thing you know, you’ll be pulling the git tree and maintaining your own custom rom rollup! It’s not as hard as it sounds! *snicker*

    In all seriousness, you’ve opened Pandora’s box. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the ride. I personally enjoy AOKP most, which is halfway between Cyanogenmod and the official vanilla AOSP tree. There are lots of ROMs out there, though, so there’s sure to be one that works for you. The Transformer is a tricky beast to support though, since it did a lot of things that other Android devices never explored, like the dockable keyboard/touchpad.

    Let me know if I can help in the future.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This