After 2 weeks watching the development of Android 4.4 KitKat (link) blossom for my aging phone Samsung S2 9100, I decided to take a plunge.
Followed infected_’s thread on XDA Developers, downloaded the ROM (OmniRom branch of KitKat), required Google Apps and SuperUser. Factory reset\clear data, clear the caches and flash away. Due to limited space in the system partition, always use the modular or minimum version of Google Apps.
The phone rebooted and greeted with the usual first time Google login. Google’s 2FA SMS authentication broke. Never received any messages. Dug out the standby phone (with duplicate number) to retrieve the SMS. This happened to me on CyanogenMod’s 4.2. stable too.
After a nearly a month on Aviate and the new KitKat homescreen really threw me off. Google Now is always available on the left side of the screen. You can only add homescreens on the right. This is going to be a big problem with people having lots of homescreens. The number five screen is going to a lot of swipes away. Whereas on the older JellyBeans, the extreme ends is no more than 2 swipes.
Build quality wise, needs more testing to surface out the bugs. Appears to be snappier than CM10.3
Bugs on 2 Dec 12 nightly:
- Power off charging animation not working.
- There are ghost icons or not working properly. When the Menu or Overflow key is pressed, ghost icons shows up
- Status Bar cannot be changed.
- Battery indicator cannot show numeric value (enabled in a latest nightly)
- Quick Settings tiles cannot be changed (enabled in subsequent nightlies)
- Not possible to switch to silent or vibrate mode.
- Access to Settings is via App Drawer or Quick Settings only.
- Access to Play store is via homescreen or app drawer only.
- Button Savior (non root) kills Google Now hotword activation. Use root version.
- Android color is now white, so there is no way of knowing if you are connected to Google servers.
Update 11 Dec.
After nearly a week of use, I decided to switch back. The battery drain was really too much to bear. Omni ROM was so true to Android that I missed some of the shortcuts that were provided by Cyanogenmod. I will let that mature for a few months and evaluate again.
Due to the difference in recovery manager, TWRP and CWM, it is not possible to flash a CM ROM immediately. There is an intermediate step to download a CWM zip into the phone BEFORE WIPING the phone. link link
Update 9 Jan 14
Infected_ has stopped further builds on OmniROM. link