Behold the mighty HTC DROID Incredible, now running Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3! Yes, you read that correctly, the mighty DInc, the phone that will not go away, now has an Ice Cream Sandwich port that is ready for prime time as a daily driver! Let me introduce to you AOKP, by Team Kang.
Follow along after the break.
As of this writing, build 27 was the latest and greatest version. Once downloaded, it flashed easily in the most current ClockworkMod with a standard wipe of data, cache and Dalvik cache. In addition to the ROM you must also flash GAPPS for access to the Market and Gmail. The folks at Team Kang were nice enough to include a link for GAPPS on the same page as the ROM, so making sure you have the correct GAPPS is a snap. Other Google apps like YouTube and Maps/Nav must be downloaded from the Market separately.
As usual, first boot takes a lunar age, but this is the time real “Crack Flashers” take to socialize with family and loved ones so all is not lost. Once booted, the ROM will walk you through signing into Google. You should be near a Wifi hotspot for this, the setup wants you to sign in on Wifi and not on 3G data. Once you sign in you have the normal Google backup options to choose from and once you are through the setup you can choose between the Stock launcher and NOVA Launcher. I chose the Stock Launcher for this review, but in retrospect I may switch to NOVA Launcher for the option of removing the Google Search widget from every screen.
The angry pink Unicorn with a rainbow mane who greets you at boot sets the tone for this ROM. It’s all business with no frills or bloat. This is straight ICS with tweaks. There is no Hulu, ROM Manager, Netflix or third party tethering apps baked in. The only “add on” that comes with it is ROM Control, a settings/mod ad on by Team Kang. It was a bit of a surprise to see such a sparse setup, but also refreshing.
Once I got over my initial ICS crush rush, I started noticing some things that warrant mention. Foremost of these is that you will want to reduce the height and width of the ICS menu icons in ROM Control. The default button size obscures most of the bottom row of the keyboard in portrait mode and takes up too much screen in landscape. Don’t fret though – even someone with ham hands like mine can still use the buttons easily. All of the capacitive buttons on the DInc still work, so you won’t really need the ICS buttons if you find them to be too small to be useful. I found myself alternating between the capacitive buttons and the ICS buttons out of habit.
ROM Control also gives you a long list of customizations for the General UI, the Nav Bar, Lock screen, Power Menu, Weather, Notification mods, and a built in Performance section for over/under clocking and freeing up memory. There are a wealth of settings that can be tweaked including some of my favorites, dBm readings for signal and a circle battery mod for the notification bar. The options are too numerous to go over individually, but rest assured you can easily burn a weekend tweaking just the right color, icon, display, performance preference you are looking for.
Keep in mind AOKP is still a work in progress and there are bugs to be found. For example, the Gallery kept crashing on me and I had to set my favorite wallpaper from the Settings menu rather than in the Gallery or long pressing the screen background. Netflix did not work, several Widgets I installed were buggy and the Data Usage Meter is not working. Bluetooth performance was spotty, sometimes it worked like it should and sometimes it didn’t. Video recording is also a known issue, but with all that being understood AOKP is a very useable and very stable ROM. There is no noticeable lag transitioning between screens, apps launch quickly and battery life on the stock kernel is quite good.
I’m looking forward to future builds and enhancements. The fact that ICS runs this smoothly on a device considered to be geriatric by industry standards is nothing short of impressive. Much credit should go to Team Kang for making this ROM as painless as it is, with promise of even greater things to come. I’m pretty sure I’ve found my new daily driver.
AOKP is currently available for both the GSM and LTE Galaxy Nexus, the Nexus S (both GSM and 4G flavors), the Captivate, the Incredible and Incredible 2, the Galaxy S i9000, Tab 10.1, the Xoom, EVO 4G, HP Touchpad, Vibrant and Galaxy Tab 7.