September 3, 2014

ROM of the Week: CyanogenMod 11

cyanogenmod

ROM of the Week is dedicated to highlighting our favorite custom ROMs and builds for Android users. If you’re the type who likes to tinker and push their device to new limits then this column is for you.

Note that this isn’t the sort of thing that every AndroidGuys reader will enjoy; however, it can be an eye opener. Our hope here is that we help you discover something new and exciting that you can do with your favorite smartphone. Enjoy!

If you’ve searched for any type of custom ROMs for your Android devices or even dabbled in the idea of rooting then I am sure you have heard of CyanogenMod.  It is one of the most popular ROMs available for Android devices and probably the easiest to install for novice users.

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Now you’re probably asking, “What is a ROM and why would I want it?” Well, you’re not the first and certainly won’t be the last!  A ROM is customized version of the current Android OS running on your device.  A new ROM can bring you the latest version of Android before your manufacturer does, or it can replace your manufacturer-modded version of Android with a clean, stock version. Or, it can take your existing version and just beef it up with awesome new features—it’s up to you.  

Below is a list of features gathered from Cyanogen’s website:

  • CM Updater: Never miss an update! 
  • Privacy Guard: Control what your applications can learn about you and your contacts. 
  • Global Blacklist: Baked right into the OS is the ability to flag telemarketers, robo-callers, annoying people (yes even the in-laws) and blacklist them. 
  • Quick Setting Ribbon: Embed quick toggles (and even your camera) right in your notification drawer. Just one swipe away.
  • Quick Settings Config: Whether using the ribbon view, or the larger grid view, customize the layout and order of your quick settings.
  • Status Bar Behavior: Customize your status bar and unlock some additional behavior. Tap the time to quickly set an alarm or tap the date to access your calendar. 
  • CM Account: Get remote find and wipe capabilities (for free) so even if you lose your device, you still have some control.
  • Display and Lights: Control brightness, rotation, wallpapers, remote displays, notification lights and battery lights. You decide what suits your tastes.
  • Profiles: With profiles you can control application, sounds and even connectivity to quickly adapt to the environment in which you are using your phone. Go one step further and set up a profile to be location aware, or use NFC to trigger a profile change.
  • Button Configuration: Enable additional functionality from your hardware keys, or even remap them altogether. Your choice.
  • Navbar: Why stop at hardware buttons? Customize the software navigation bar to your liking as well.
  • LockScreen: Add quick unlock targets to access your favorite apps directly from the lockscreen. Use our custom lockscreen widget to increase your productivity – show the weather and your calendar events without unlocking the device. 
  • Tethering: Share your device’s data connection with your PC, tablets, friends and families with built in tethering over USB, WiFi and Bluetooth.
  • Superuser: Manage what apps you’ve granted root access to, check access logs, and revoke their when you are done.
  • Root Access: Useful to developers and users alike, control your exposure to root applications and debugging tools.
  • Performance Options: Push it up to eleven and access power tools to over-clock, manage device governors and more. Recommended for advanced users only.
  • SMS Rate limit: There are bad apps out there, and one common vector is to make money off of spamming bogus SMS message services. Get a notice if your phone is sending higher than normal message counts. Or maybe you just have a teenager and this is perfectly normal.

These are just some of the great features CyanogenMod has to offer, a more detailed list with pictures can be found at their website here.

If you are interested in CyanogenMod, just head on over to their website, here and follow the easiest steps known to man, to get one of the best custom ROM experiences for your Android device.  If you have CyanogenMod already installed or have any questions, let us know what you think of it!