Dirty Unicorns is an Android 4.3.1 based AOSP ROM with elements of many other ROMs baked in to make it a rather amazing hybrid.
Some of the features they’ve added since we’ve last covered them include the BAMF theme engine, AOSP 4.3.1, a shortcut bar in recent apps list, updated Paranoid Android’s PIE controls, an option to download GAPPS directly from the DU updater, and a ton of other settings, including individual app permissions. Basically this is one of those ROMs that seems to have every feature from every other ROM; however, it probably wins for clean presentation.
What’s most interesting to me with this release is that it now has the ability to do split screen for apps. Simply open an app, then press recent apps to bring up your selection list, long press and choose “Add to Split View,” and you’re halfway to having two apps on the screen at the same time. With the split screen app option, you can be texting and chatting in Hangouts at the same time (although this will soon be a Hangouts feature for most), or reading email and browsing the internet, etc.
Throw the Halo options into the mix and you could have probably a third window floating over the split screen windows,if that’s your jam.
Whatever the case, the ROM flies, is clean, much less clutter than previous version of DU, among others. It also performs like a beast. I’ll point out though it does not benchmark like a beast with the included kernel, but it’s not terrible. The only configuration I had to locate was key remapping, as I don’t like the default layout and that was intuitively in system settings, ROM control, and hardware keys.
The one thing you’re going to run into that I’ve found with Dirty Unicorns 4.3.1 is you’ll want to find another kernel if you have issues waking the device up (where it powers up and you can feel it unlock but the screen doesn’t come on). Beyond a kernel wakeup issue, I’ve dropped the Sense 5 ports for my daily running ROM and am running DU full time once again.
A very long tangent
On a side note, every time I publish something about Dirty Unicorns, I get asked via email and Hangouts why I cover it so much, and not ROM X or ROM Y. This is something that I feel should probably be addressed, as it also answers why I’ve been doing fewer ROM reviews lately.
Since I started writing for Good and EVO (now Pocketables), I have tried to never write bad ROM reviews for when a developer’s just missed something or there’s a fix underway. They’re doing this for free usually, and there’s no need to beat someone up over a mistake or something that doesn’t exist yet. I’ve also tried to stop writing reviews of ROMs where the GPS, Bluetooth, and data don’t work properly, as the general feedback is complaints.
I’ve had a rather bad streak of flashing ROMs recently where everything supposedly works, or an update is expected shortly to fix what doesn’t, and that update never comes, the ROM is broken, the ROM is a kang, or the dev responds with “nobody has that problem but you.” Or the next version of the Android OS is released, and development is abandoned.
There’s also the the DU team, which is pretty good at keeping a change log of what actually has happened from release to release.
So that’s one of the reasons they get coverage. Another is that their developers toss me a note when a ROM is ready to take a look at, which works much better than me wandering into a ROM mid-development. So yeah, developers, email me if you want coverage.
As far as I can tell, Dirty Unicorns works on all aspects of the EVO 4G LTE hardware. You can visit the development thread here or grab the download at the link below.
Some interesting things in this ROM include the ability to switch out hosts lists. What this means is, if you use an ad blocker, you can choose to block the ads on them until they get the idea that perhaps they are losing ad revenue due to obnoxious advertising. Then you can switch hosts out and let sites you want to support get advertising impressions.
App ops give you the ability to revoke an application’s operational permissions, such as when you don’t want to allow Facebook to have any idea where you’re at, you can disable location services.
It’s a pretty complete ROM with no issues I’ve managed to locate except the kernel wake issue.