As an open system by design, the concept of Android is nothing less than freedom for developers, software and sharing best practices. Linux users just love Android and based on its roots, the Linux kernel (kernel version 3.x with Android 4.x, prior 2.x) it shares the same heart. Android is a Linux based operating system running on mobile (phone) devices. Today, Android is available in different versions from the main development branch and even hundreds of custom ROMs built by independent project teams.
Android ROM Variety
Yes, not only manufacturers use different Android versions with their smartphones due to product life cycles, but also developers create their own custom ROMs – similar to various Linux distributions. Each version provides different features and vendors implement their own branded apps and software.
This droid evolution brought one name to the top of the custom ROM scene food chain: CyanogenMod. This mod is pretty well known today for its great support of nearly all Android smartphone devices available through the market of Android phones. CyanogenMod is the most famous third-party customization project for Android today. Another custom ROM project is Paranoid Android, which we will review closely in our custom ROM series for Android.
This article is the first of a series of review articles to show the most important Android custom ROMs, their features and how to install them onto your droid.
Mod based on Android Jelly Bean 4.1
The current ROM version of CyanogenMod is based on the Android 4.1.x main developer branch and includes all pure features of Android’s operating system. From a design perspective, this mod always kept the look and feel simple to focus primarily on system features and usability. All base features are fully supported and available in this Mod. Special custom effects like HTC sense desktop display will never be part of CyanogenMod to keep it functional even for older devices.
With CyanogenMod Android becomes a pure joy on every Android phone, keeping full performance of the system by selecting out all unneeded apps and customizations often implemented by mobile phone vendors. This simplicity is the basis for compatibility with a large amount of different mobile devices.
Features of CyanogenMod
The droid custom ROM supports all official features of Jelly Bean 4.1.x plus additional unique features. Cid – the mascot – is a grown up teen now and provides us users with a bunch of cool features like:
- Custom Theme Support (create and change your droid theme)
- Although its focus is on functionality, mod provides eye-catching design features
- New customized lock screen (easy handling for user login/lock screen)
- Customizable status and toolbars
- New app launcher (Terbuchet)
- Improved disk space handling (enough intern space for apps now available)
- User Profiles (handle different environments and profiles)
- Private Browsing (Android Browser supports Privacy-Mode!)
- OpenVPN (secure network connections to home and company)
- Fast Speed & Performance (incredible system speed and response times)
- Tweaks and System Stability
Mod installation is similar for all custom ROM versions and can be done with the following steps:
- Copy custom ROM archive to SD or memory card and plug it into your Android phone
- Install and Open the Android ROM Manager (available for free in Google App Store)
- Perform a system backup of configuration and data to secure your personal data
- Choose the custom ROM file to install it using the ROM Manager
- Follow the installation steps given by ROM installation setup
Finally its time to fully explore, discover and enjoy your new custom ROM operating system and a new droid feeling. Its the feeling of freedom in our Droid Galaxy. If you have any issues on how to install CyanogenMod successfully to your smartphone, just let us know and we will share the spirit.