New year, new you ROMs. Yep, the Galaxy S II is getting even more attention, with a duo of Ice Cream Sandwich versions landing on that capacious 4.3-inch screen. They consist of an early Android 4.0.1 build made on December 20th and version 4.0.3 crafted just ten days later. The interesting part is that, according to YouMobile, both of these will arrive through Kies, Samsung’s Android connectivity software. The mobile news site also suspects that these are close (but still buggy) approximations of what we’ll see on our as-yet un-tinkered Galaxy S IIs in the very near future. These Kies-capable builds also have a few cosmetic differences to the build leaked earlier, like a distinct lack of Tron hues adorning the notification bar at the top. While we await a release through the official channels, you can check out a swift run-through right after the break.
Let’s see if we’re grokking this: Samsung is not only telling the dev community it’s okay to place custom ROMs on its flagship device, it’s actually encouraging the practice by handing out free phones? Atinm, the developer responsible for prepping CyanogenMod on the Captivate and Vibrant, took to Twitter to praise the manufacturer for sending him a free Galaxy S II. From the looks of it, Samsung sent the phone to a select number of devs intent on building an official release of CM7 for the GSII. Unlocking bootloaders has already become the new fancy with manufacturers like HTC, Motorola, and Sony Ericsson jumping on the bandwagon, but this is the first time we’ve heard of a company doling out free devices to the custom ROM community. Does this mean that, instead of enforcing TouchWiz with an iron fist, Samsung is looking at how this practice could actually benefit consumers? We doubt this will be the case for all of the company’s future Android phones, but wouldn’t you love to live in a world where it was?
We’ve recently seen Google crack down on rogue apps and patch some server-side security issues, but let’s not forget Android does have a small measure of built-in security: app permissions. But as with those pesky EULAs, many users tend to breeze through the permissions screen. And Android forces even the most attentive readers to accept or deny all permissions requested by an app. But the newest nightly builds of the CyanogenMod custom ROM include a clever patch allowing users to grant and revoke permissions individually — something like the TISSA security manager we’re still awaiting. Obviously playing God with permissions can crash your applications: with great power comes great responsibility. But we figure if you’re running aftermarket firmware on a rooted phone, you’re comfortable experimenting. See how it works in the video after the break, then hit the source link to download.