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Custom Android ROM Developers Get OTA Update Capabilities Like Carriers

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Android 50

hypnosec writes "A new service dubbed OTA Update Center has been launched that enables Android ROM developers to provide over-the-air (OTA) updates of their ROMs in a centralized and easy fashion. Custom ROM developers had very little at their disposal when it came to providing updates and when any user with such a ROM did want to apply an update, he/she was required to reinstall the new ROM from scratch, which often involved deletion of the backup, installation of the new ROM, and restoration of data. This was a lengthy process and often a deterrent when it came to updating the ROM. Also, the developers were required to have their own infrastructure whereby they would be required to host their own servers and have the required bandwidth to serve scores of downloads. The OTA Update Center changes this and provides a free-to-use service that is easy and noob-friendly to use."

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50 comments

Goo Anyone (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40941201)

Goo.im does the same thing, it seems to work fine and have lots of standard roms in it.

Re:Goo Anyone (1)

NoEvidenZ (807374) | about a year and a half ago | (#40941225)

Yeah, this doesn't look like much of an improvement over Goo.im
Now if it worked the same way as official OTA updates, that would be exciting.

Re:Goo Anyone (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40941285)

Goo.im sounds a lot like Goyim, which is what Jews call non-Jews.

Which makes perfect sense because there's no money to be made from Android apps. All the big bucks are for iOS, and the Jews are on it because they need monies to buy U.S. politicians so America can be Israel's Goyim attack dog. Israel says, "Sic-em, boy!" and points to Iraq, then Libya, then Syria, then Iran.

Then the U.S. goes "rawwwwr" and attacks what the Jews tell it to because it is a faithful, loyal pet. Then Israel rubs peanut butter all over its nuts and the U.S. licks it clean, every time.

Have fun lickin big, curly-haired Jew-balls, American Goyim.

-- Schlomo Silverstein

Re:Goo Anyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40941385)

That was quite a tangent

noon-friendly (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40941215)

they are having a problem with that time slot?

ClockworkdMod (2, Informative)

ep0niks (837882) | about a year and a half ago | (#40941245)

Same thing as ClockworkdMod Developer, http://developer.clockworkmod.com/ [clockworkmod.com] Register, upload your ROM, hosted and pushed via ROM Manager on devices..

Re:ClockworkdMod (4, Informative)

Alex Zepeda (10955) | about a year and a half ago | (#40941419)

Yeah, except CWM is closed source, ad laden crapware with a penchant for bricking some phones.

Re:ClockworkdMod (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40941573)

Wow! Such a thing! What a day it has been!

Now, I know that this sounds completely absurd, but hear me out! Five minutes ago, I expelled flatulence out of my very own asshole. You heard me right: I farted out of my own asshole, and no one else's.

Wow! Such a thing! Such a thing...!

Re:ClockworkdMod (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40941585)

CWM (recovery) is great. The ROM Manager application is the ass-sucking part.

Re:ClockworkdMod (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40942035)

However, CWM Recovery's scripting API is encrypted, so that the author can lock you into using his ROM Manager application. TWRP, on the other hand, has a completely free, open source scripting API that anyone can use (and Goo Manager is one app that does). It's also got a nicer interface than CWM. These days CWM only sticks around through inertia and Cyanogenmod's documentation.

Re:ClockworkdMod (1)

petteyg359 (1847514) | about a year and a half ago | (#40941599)

Except that ROM Manager can't actually flash the ROM, and it sucks ass.

Re:ClockworkdMod (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40941831)

It can flash a flashable rom, and has been able to since the beginning. Perhaps going to recovery mode, selecting update rom then the zip file is too difficult for you? Me thinks so...

Re:ClockworkdMod (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about a year and a half ago | (#40943313)

BTW, can anyone tell me what's up with the CWM main page [clockworkmod.com] ? It seems to have no information whatsoever on the ClockworkMod Recovery thing, which is surely a major feature of ClockworkMod?

I didn't know (1)

kyrio (1091003) | about a year and a half ago | (#40941253)

I didn't know that updating your ROM at noon time was more difficult than any other time.

does it really work so efficiently..?? (-1, Offtopic)

mebel jepara (2700759) | about a year and a half ago | (#40941413)

I don' t think it will suit for Android ROM developers since having the server on his/her own with the specific required bandwidth will cause them another problem...and erase the backup data....hhmmmm... such a reluctant feeling...well,,,,up to them....I prefer have my android to promote my own business Mebel Jepara [tokojepara.com] ....ciaaooo

Incremental updates? (5, Interesting)

ahow628 (1290052) | about a year and a half ago | (#40941513)

I would be highly interested if I could download incremental updates (patches?). Who wants to download 70-600mb of data for every nightly?

Re:Incremental updates? (1)

Artifex (18308) | about a year and a half ago | (#40941953)

I would be highly interested if I could download incremental updates (patches?). Who wants to download 70-600mb of data for every nightly?

The size for me isn't such a factor -- at least up to about 300M or so, at which point it becomes a time suck to do often. What keeps me from doing any nightlies is having to wipe& reinstall. I use so many registered services that it's very annoying to redo their apps every time, even if I'm just cutting and pasting from the 1Password app. And yes, I do have Titanium Backup Pro, but it's not a good idea to recover all data across releases, even point ones.

Re:Incremental updates? (2)

hey_popey (1285712) | about a year and a half ago | (#40943041)

How exactly do you manage to do that? I change update CM9 nightlies with CWM. No wipe is needed [xda-developers.com] at all. Not a single app login is lost during the process! The only thing I need to setup again is the avast anti theft service.

Re:Incremental updates? (1)

cawpin (875453) | about a year and a half ago | (#40944427)

Me too. I have CM9 on my Touchpad and have updated to a new nightly release about 25 times and never had any issues at all. In fact, it has been less painful than updating my previous phones to official releases.

Re:Incremental updates? (1)

Artifex (18308) | about a year and a half ago | (#40962431)

My nightlies are from another developer, not one of the Cyanomod family. That's how :)

Re:Incremental updates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40945069)

You're right, it's not a good idea to recover all data across different releases, but app data is just fine. Instead of restoring everything, try restoring missing applications with data. This is just the user apps and shouldn't incur any issues.

And like someone else said, a lot of nightlies you can just install one over the other without wiping.

Re:Incremental updates? (1)

Kufat (563166) | about a year and a half ago | (#40945101)

You really don't need to wipe and reinstall as often as they say you do. I recently upgraded from CM7 to a CM9 kang without wiping anything except cache and only had to reinstall a few apps. (That said, sometimes you'll end up with a non-working mess and will have to wipe anyway...but it's very rarely necessary for point release or nightly upgrades.)

Re:Incremental updates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40948879)

I really do not think that you have not broken something in the process. CM 7 and 9 are extremely different internally.

Re:Incremental updates? (1)

Artifex (18308) | about a year and a half ago | (#40962441)

The zips for the nightlies for the ROMs I use (not Cyanogen) usually auto-wipe.

Re:Incremental updates? (1)

ahow628 (1290052) | about a year and a half ago | (#40945365)

I usually wipe once every week or two on nightlies unless I'm getting a lot of force closes or reboots. For me, the downloads are the biggest time (and battery) suck. I'm not on Sense on my Evo LTE anymore, but the base rom is about 550mb. That is huge.

Re:Incremental updates? (1)

Artifex (18308) | about a year and a half ago | (#40962457)

Wow, that is huge. When I use a Sense-based ROM on my Inspire 4G, it's usually 3-400M. When I tried ICS out for a while, it was under 200, I'm pretty sure.
Wonder if that ROM's got a bunch of extra stuff in it like third party browsers, etc.?

Re:Incremental updates? (1)

ahow628 (1290052) | about a year and a half ago | (#40987877)

Sense is a bloated beast. Sense roms are about 550, as I said. AOSP (CM10) is 150. HTC is the worst.

Re:Incremental updates? (1)

compro01 (777531) | about a year and a half ago | (#40945839)

As long as you're not shifting to a different base version or bug hunting, there's generally no need to wipe the data partition.

Is it ROM or not-ROM? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40941555)

If one can do OTA updates, then it isn't ROM is it?

What are these people thinking? Are they intentionally misrepresenting their products? Or have the figured out how to do matter teleportation over standard carrier networks?

Re:Is it ROM or not-ROM? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year and a half ago | (#40941725)

If one can do OTA updates, then it isn't ROM is it?

What are these people thinking? Are they intentionally misrepresenting their products? Or have the figured out how to do matter teleportation over standard carrier networks?

ROM - Read Only Memory. You can't push your phone's firmware back into the cloud, only read it from their cloud ergo, it's ROM.

Re:Is it ROM or not-ROM? (2)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#40943605)

Uh.. not really. It's more just a word left over from when ROM actually was ROM. It originally was a part of the Operating System that was held on a read-only chip. Even when devices' "ROM" started to become updatable, we still call it ROM, because we're silly like that.

noon (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40941659)

noon=noob

This isn't really that useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40941809)

This isn't really that useful. I mean c'mon.. anyone who has rooted and Rom'd their phone probably knows to go to XDA, Cyanogen, etc... and look at the update patch notes. With Clockwork Recovery installed, it's just a matter of making sure you install a flashable rom to begin with, then wait for an update by checking periodically. Seriously, do you really want to be pushed an update that is probably untested and just hope for the best? We're not talking AT&T or T-Mo here, this is Joe in his parents basement with his cool rom. I'd rather wait and read a couple reviews about it before I choose to update.

Re:This isn't really that useful (1)

silanea (1241518) | about a year and a half ago | (#40949557)

[...] Seriously, do you really want to be pushed an update that is probably untested and just hope for the best? We're not talking AT&T or T-Mo here [...]

Well, we were just a sentence ago... Seriously, it was Samsung's official updates that drove me to CyanogenMod.

Great... (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#40941985)

ROM developers are among the worst at documenting how to install their ROMs. The guides - and I've read a bunch - all assume the user is a fellow developer. They read like notes an experienced man wrote to himself so he doesn't forget how to do something. Consider yourself lucky if the author uses capitalization and smooth sentences instead of "textspeak" and run-on sentences. You'll get gems like "Please make sure that gfree_verify returns secu_flag = 0 before following this steps!!!" without bothering to explain what gfree_verify or secu_flag mean, nor how to ensure that the value is 0. Then there are head-scratchers like "If you main software version is higher than the version of the PC10IMG you want to install (in this case 1.19.531.1) you have to change the main version number in the misc partition." Again, assuming the user is an expert just like the writer. Any over-the-air updates would be welcome. My favorite advice from ROM developer: "make sure you are to flash the proper stuff or you will have a brick"

Re:Great... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40942251)

Then perhaps you should use the stock rom and not be doing this anyway?
Just saying...

Re:Great... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40942539)

Then perhaps you should use the stock rom and not be doing this anyway?

Perhaps if Google made root priveleges a check-box capability then that would be an option.

Re:Great... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40943815)

Wouldn't that be nice? Google letting you have control over something you purchased, or more to the point, Google not designing it so that you DON'T, and stopped doing their level best to ensure that you CAN'T get that control? I've heard it whispered that Google did this so phone companies would buy phones from manufacturers that use a system that doesn't let you do whatever you want with what you thought was YOUR phone. That is, if Google did not do this, phone manufacturers would not have used Android, because the phone companies wouldn't have bought them to resell them to customers unless they could do so with their own BS branding and custom crapware.

Whether or not this was ever the case, it isn't probably true anymore. Google could make their next one, Key Lime so that it is not possible to deny the user root access. What would all the companies that embraced Android do? Make their own new OS, keep using an older version or just switch to Windows Phone X.XX? Yeah, right. Android is most likely here to stay, so unless Google has made some secret pledge to build each version to deny people root access without "rooting" their phones, odds are they could do it. The just need to make the phone's OS burned into ROM so that no matter how bad you screw it up, you can always reboot from ROM, then reflash it yourself back to stock, and make it as good as new, with instructions an 8 year old could follow. Or an 80 year old.

But will they? No, because they've forgotten the word "Don't" in their motto, or they don't think denying people access to something THEY HAVE PAID FOR to be evil. They probably think the phone companies or the OEM's are their customers, but they forget the END USER is really the customer, and if one national carrier is willing to provide non-locked-down phones, the others will have to follow suit. I never liked the fact my first Android phone had a bunch of crap on it I couldn't delete. I didn't need a program dedicated to the National Football League, or to National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, since I have absolutely ZERO INTEREST in the NFL, or in football in general, or in car racing of any kind, so why would I want apps taking up memory I could use better for other things, or icons I keep having to look at despite that I will NEVER EVER EVER use them? I'm not going to change my mind, Sprint...

Sorry, drifted off-topic there. My new Samsung Galaxy I am happy to report didn't come with all that BS, and I couldn't be much happier with it...

But anyway, Google should definitely give us that access, and simply bake the OS into ROM as I suggested, to take care of all the people who will break their phones' software, to keep people from running en masse to their phone stores to complain that their phones mysteriously "just stopped working for some reason that has nothing to do with me..."

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40947431)

..., to take care of all the people who will break their phones' software, to keep people from running en masse to their phone stores to complain that their phones mysteriously "just stopped working for some reason that has nothing to do with me..."

hahahahah....lol.
this is awesome.

Re:Great... (2)

wolrahnaes (632574) | about a year and a half ago | (#40947887)

You need to look at better ROMs and ignore the crap.

What I've observed from having a few Android devices over the last few years is that in general stock-based ROMs are garbage. Each device typically has one or two developers who actually care about making a clean, functional ROM while sticking to the OEM-provided software where possible for stability reasons. Fresh is a good example of this on the HTC side of things. Unfortunately the vast majority of stock-based ROMs are made by kids who think l33tsp34k is cool and that everyone will love their abortion of a theme. You can usually tell these apart by how much their XDA threads look like Geocities or Myspace pages, full of animated GIFs and eye-raping colors. The "developers" usually don't take well to criticism, particularly if it's about their terrible visual choices, and XDA unfortunately encourages these idiots.

AOSP ROMs such as CyanogenMod tend to be a million times better. Don't confuse this with "kang" versions thrown together by someone who is usually about one step above the aforementioned eye rapists, I'm talking about official builds and unofficial releases from people who actually work on the project. AOKP would be another similar large AOSP-based project I'd put on the same level. Their documentation tends to be terse but clear and the people working on the project generally aren't three year olds.

MIUI is another AOSP fork worth mentioning on its own due to how far they've taken the UI. It's AOSP (I think derived from CM) at its core, but it's almost like a carrier skin on top, just not shitty and designed to work on many devices and keep up with AOSP in a reasonable timeframe. This started as some bored people translating a Chinese ROM that was a blatant iOS knockoff, but has morphed in to a much larger project.

Centralized... as in *controlled* (=*power grab*) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40943475)

They simply want to grab the power and control the interface between custom ROM developers and users. Nothing more. Fucking sleazy assholes.

Google should really be doing this (1)

vawwyakr (1992390) | about a year and a half ago | (#40944779)

The facility to find and flash roms should be easy as easy to access as the app market in my opinion. Google is letting manufacturers and carrier ruin the system with their slow updates and locked in crap. If someone makes a JB rom for my phone I shouldn't have to spent hours trying to find it, and then figuring out how to get it on my phone without bricking it in the process. The instructions that are out there are terrible at best for the most part and risky to even try.

I know people will say stuff about it being a free and open thing and something you are doing at your own risk. But the counter is that as it is it's hard (as in you need to do a lot of reading first) to do and it doesn't need to be. It would be a real boon to the entire Android ecosystem if more open ROMs were available easily and quickly for anyone. People could just find the best rated rom for their phone and flash it to keep it up to date and not be beholden to their stock rom that is a year out of date.

Meh... (1)

nighthawk243 (2557486) | about a year and a half ago | (#40947999)

It isn't that hard to download the updated Jellybro ROM, Franco kernel and then update it by dirty flashing it in recovery on my Galaxy Nexus. All I have to do is flash 3 zip files (ROM, Kernel, Gapps) and I'm done.
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