Dirty Unicorns Releases First Official Marshmallow Builds, Fascinating New Features

Not many of the most popular custom ROMs have managed to release a fully-featured stable build to the public during the Marshmallow era. If you look at the Nexus device forums at XDA or in the communities devoted to custom ROMs in G+ you’ll see very few ROM builds (not counting those with very little added to stock Android) without the words “test”, “alpha” or “beta” in the filenames. One of the most fully-featured ROMs available in the Lollipop era has been Dirty Unicorns, which just ushered in March by announcing a stable public release of its Marshmallow iteration (literally, it was announced at midnight EST on March 1).

In addition to the latest and greatest from Google’s latest Android version, Dirty Unicorns introduces many features peculiar to the team’s unique take on Android. Four of them promise to capture the imaginations of both users and other development teams:

  • Per-app theming done open-source style via the CyanogenMod Theme Engine (more on that in a separate article but for now suffice it to say it’s much more user-friendly than the implementation in Cyanogen OS and furthermore it’s open-source)
  • A “Fling”-based system-wide gesture-based navigation feature
  • “Smart Bar” which takes your navigation bar to a level approaching a full-featured launcher complete with icon pack support
  • “Pulse”, a music visualizer that pulses an animation across the bottom of your screen reminiscent of a graphic equalizer (seriously, why haven’t there been music visualizers featured prominently in the Android platform all these years?)

Here are a few YouTube videos in which the Dirty Unicorns team shows you how these unique features work:

Fling



SmartBar

Pulse

Per-app theming was not showcased in a YouTube video at the time of this writing, but you can find a full explanation on the team’s website. Also, I’ll be publishing a review of it myself once I’ve edited all my screenshots. Be sure to check the Dirty Unicorns website for your device to see if the new builds have rolled out yet.