Chameleon OS First Look: An Open Source MIUI-esque ROM
When it comes to Android ROMs, MIUI is probably the most customizable thanks to their advanced theme engine. Before your English based MIUI ROM gets onto your devivce, a lot of background work is done. Each week, Xiaomi, the Chinese company behind MIUI, releases a new weekly beta build. This beta ROM is then downloaded, translated to English, and ported to various Android phones and tablets. This is how it’s been done for years. The problem is, developers from such communities as MIUI.us deal with closed source ROMs, making porting this gorgeous ROM to various devices a real pain in the ass, especially when new bugs or new features appear without notice each week. Out of this frustration, Chameleon OS or ChaOS ROM for short, was born.
ChaOS is an custom Android ROM, based on CyanogenMOD, that focuses on user control and customizing each piece of Android. The most notable feature of ChaOS is the theme engine. The entire framework has been modified around their theme engine, which allows users to mix and match themes until the user gets it just right. The Launcher and Messaging app has been completely overhauled as well with various options for customization.
Even though ChaOS is in public beta, their feature list isn’t short. Here’s a few notable features.
- Built on CM, fully open source
- Highly customized launcher, gestures, previews, scaling, etc.
- Advanced theme manager, based on MIUI theme engine
- Mix and match themes on the fly for Icons, Status Bar, Boot animation, Messaging, Framework, and Ringtones, Font (requires reboot)
- Customized status bar and toggles
- Customized messaging, revised layout
- Manage installed app permissions
For a complete feature set, visit the ChaOS feature list.
You can view more screenshots on the official ChaOS gallery.
As ChaOS ROM is currently in the beta stages, the list of supported devices is limited, however they are covering some of the heavy hitters. Follow the links below to download the latest beta build for your device. If you’re looking for support, head on over to the official forums.
Nexus 4 (mako)
One X (evita)
One S (ville)
Galaxy Nexus (maguro)
Galaxy Nexus (toro)
Galaxy SIII (d2att)
Galaxy SIII (d2vzw)
Galaxy SII (hercules)
Galaxy SII (skyrocket)
Nexus 7 (grouper)
Nexus 7 GSM (tilapia)
Kindle Fire (otter)
If you love customization and open source, this Android ROM has a lot of potential. As the Chameleon OS project matures, we’ll continue watching it and report on any updates as needed.