Google Maps switches from custom to native share sheet

Following Chrome last year and Photos a few months ago on Android 14, Google Maps is the latest first-party app to drop its custom share sheet and switch to the native version.

While the previous version made use of a sheet, it was basically a fullscreen UI with “Share” and a close button at the very top, while your profile picture, name, and email address appeared as part of a “Sharing as” indicator in the corner.

The sheet let you quickly “Type a name, phone number, or email” and that was followed by a carousel of Suggestions. App shortcuts appeared next, including Copy to clipboard and More to access other apps.

The new version on Android 14+ brings up the system Share sheet. The link preview is richer with the place name and even an image. You then get Direct Share contacts and the app grid, with “Maps: Add to list” appearing first. 

Meanwhile, Google Maps had added a more prominent share button on fully open listings. It appears next to the search icon and is much faster to access than scrolling the Directions, Start, Call, Save, etc. carousel.

We’re the Android 14 share sheet on version 11.122.x of Google Maps today.

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The popular custom ROM ‘Pixel Experience’ shuts down

Under the most disappointing of circumstances, the widely admired Pixel Experience ROM is shutting down. It’s opting out of the Android custom ROM scene leaving users in search of alternatives. The lead developer, José Henrique, made this announcement today that he is terminating the project. He also confirmed that older builds will still be accessible.

Popular Pixel Experience custom ROM is ending development

Even so, the lack of new releases means that it’s all over for the Pixel-inspired Android experience, leaving fans disappointed. Through a short blog post, José Henrique has shared his thanks with the community without disclosing why he decided to quit developing Pixel Experience any further.

Although older builds might still be around for a while, Henrique has left those who love Pixel Experience wondering why exactly the project ended. Per the internet claims, reasons could range from possible time constraints to dwindling interest on Henrique’s part.

Nevertheless, no clear explanation leaves an aura of ambiguity around the occurrence. Users are wondering what provoked such an abrupt decision. The decision may let down people as they do not understand what will happen next and how the developers will wrap up things in a good way.

The custom ROM community might find a way to recover from this

However, there could still be other developers to take over the project or start another one that has similar objectives; thus the custom ROM community is not entirely dead. But even though for a decade now we have been seeing a decline in the world of custom ROMs, Android’s allure will keep enthusiasts looking for different firmware to try out.

For users who have said goodbye to Pixel Experience, their hopes are still high about further development of custom ROMs. The Android community remains innovative and exploring

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Google Contacts makes it easier to manage custom ringtones

The Google Contacts app is rolling out a new, dedicated section to help you set and manage custom contact ringtones on your Android device.

As spotted in development late last year, Google Contacts is now rolling out “Contact ringtones.” This new section found under the “Fix & Manage” tab shows any existing contacts with custom ringtones, and lets you easily set a custom ringtone for contacts. On Pixel, this uses the Pixel Sounds app to change the ringtone, but also supports importing your own ringtones.

Prior to this, setting a custom ringtone through the Contacts app required going into each individual contact, tapping the overflow menu, and then selecting “Set Ringtone” before selecting the ringtone of your choice.

The new flow is faster, and also makes it much easier to manage contacts that have a customized ringtone set.

This feature is rolling out now via a server-side update on top of Google Contacts 4.27. We were able to immediately use the feature on force-stopping the app. TheSpAndroid first spotted the rollout.

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12 Best Custom ROMs for Android (2024)

The Android developer community is huge, with their biggest feat being the ability to develop custom ROMs or custom Android builds. A custom ROM is an aftermarket firmware production based on the Android source code provided by Google. So if you are someone who wants to install a custom ROM on your device but are confused about which one to go with, here are our picks for the 12 best custom ROMs for Android in 2024.

1. Pixel Experience

Pixel Experience is the best custom ROM for Android right now and there are three reasons for the same. Support for lots of devices, Pixel features to non-pixel devices, built-in GCam support, and more features, and the overall stability, which is top-notch among all the ROMs that we’ve tried so far.

Third, it has amazing stability among all the ROMs that I have tested for years. The main developer, Henrique Pereira, is not in a tearing hurry to port new Android versions to all the devices.

Pixel Experience Custom ROM

Instead, the developer picks a popular and developer-centric device and creates a base. After that, he publishes all the changes to GitHub for other maintainers to work on. Not to mention, Pixel Experience has maintainers around the world who work round the clock to quell bugs on time.

So to put it straight, if you want stability and new features right from Pixel devices then Pixel Experience is the best custom ROM on Android, bar none. Keep in mind, that you won’t get the latest Android build immediately, but you will have a stable and hassle-free experience for sure.

2. LineageOS

When people hear the word “custom ROM,” LineageOS is probably the first thing that comes to mind. LineageOS is CyanogenMod and for those unaware, back in the fall of 2016, Cyanogen announced

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Native Android 14 share sheet will replace the custom menu on Google Photos

For those unaware, the share sheet is the page that shows up when you want to share an image, a website, or certain content from your phone. When you press the share button, this page shows up showing all the platforms and people that you can share with. According to Google News on Telegram (via 9to5Google), with changes to the Android share sheet taking place in Android 14, it seems that some of Google’s own apps will stop offering a custom share sheet and instead use the default Android share sheet.
For example, Google Photos is planning to follow Google Chrome and drop its custom share sheet for the new native Android 14 menu. Chrome used its own share sheet for years but is also taking the opportunity in Android 14 to help Google present a more unified software experience. The new Google Photos share sheet will include a preview on the top of the page with four shortcuts directly underneath (Send in Photos, Add to Album, Create Album, and Create Link). A Modify button in the upper right will allow you to select additional images.
The bottom of the default share sheet includes the apps used frequently by the device owner with a row of Direct Share contacts on top. So regardless of whether you are sharing a picture by sending it directly to a pal’s messaging app, or sharing a screenshot of your driver’s license to an auto insurance company via Gmail, the process is easy and simple to use. So far, the new share sheet has not yet made it to my Pixel 6 Pro running Android 14 Beta 5.3.
The release of Android 14 has been pushed back from the
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The Pros And Cons Of Installing A Custom ROM On Your Android Phone

The most obvious advantage of installing a custom ROM on your Android device is gaining better control and customization over the operating system. Many Android smartphones come with customized versions of the OS, often accompanied by manufacturer-specific interfaces and pre-installed apps. Users can break free from these limitations by opting for a custom ROM and enjoy a more streamlined and personalized user interface. Custom ROMs offer a wide range of customization options, allowing users to select their preferred launcher, theme, icon packs, and other visual elements.

Customization isn’t the only benefit of installing a custom ROM on your Android device; they have also been proven to enhance performance and overall speed. Through resource optimization, fine-tuning settings, and efficient algorithms, custom ROMs provide a smoother and more responsive user experience. These improvements can be particularly advantageous for lower-end and mid-range devices that may struggle with the resource demands of stock firmware and can be particularly useful for older phones that aren’t receiving updates anymore because frequent updates align with the release of new Android versions, which means custom ROMs are available in multiple versions. 

In this perspective, the advantage of using these Custom ROMs lies in their ability to bypass limitations and the lack of support that often accompanies official Android installations on older devices. Remarkably, even on aged devices, the latest Custom ROMs can be effortlessly installed, ensuring a seamless and futuristic experience with compatible software. Moreover, there are additional perks, such as the removal of bloatware and unwanted pre-installed apps, extended device compatibility, and support.

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