A group of well-known developers (in the Android custom ROM world) are working together on a new custom version of Android called OmniROM. It will initially run on the most recent Google Nexus phones and tablets and a few devices from Sony and Oppo. The software is based on the Android Open Source Project, offers a handful of customizations, performance tweaks, and apps, and is focused on the user community.
The team says development will happen in the open, with users getting early access to mockups and prototypes of new features so they can provide feedback throughout the process.
In other words, OmniROM is a bit of a reaction to the latest developments from CyanogenMod.
CyanogenMod is probably one of the most popular custom ROMs on the market, but what started off as a community-driven spinoff of Google’s open source software has recently become a commercial venture. The founder and a team of developers founded a company, started working on CyanogenMod full time, and started delivering a series of new features that they’d been working on behind closed doors.
They’ve also promised to deliver an app that makes CyanogenMod easy to install on many phones and tablets, announced a partnership with Oppo to offer a version of the company’s latest flagship phone with CyanogenMod preloaded, and are hoping to partner with companies on additional handsets in the future.
But some of the company’s policies have been a bit controversial, including requiring developers to dual-license their software so it can be sold, and the idea of making money off of the work of folks who contributed code for free.
CyanogenMod is hardly the only game in town. Other popular ROMs including Paranoid Android and AOKP are some of the most popular versions that aren’t based on CyanogenMod. OmniROM has the pedigree to join their ranks.
Developers Chainfire, XplodedWild, and Dees_Troy are members of the team. Those are the folks behind the SuperSU app, the Focal camera app, and the lead developer of TWRP custom recovery, respectively.
At launch, OmniROM will support multi-window mode (allowing you to run more than one app on the screen at once), flippable quick settings, changeable colors, and more.
The team is also working on OmniInstaller, an open source ROM installer that aims to make it easier to install any custom ROM on your phone or tablet. It sounds like it’ll work a bit like the CyanogenMod Installer, but it won’t be tied to just one ROM. Makers of other custom Android ROMs will be able to add their software, simplifying the process of installing their software as well.