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Carriers continue to actively resist jailbreaking, which they say threatens security

For the first time, popular indie Android ROM CyanogenMod has hit 5 million Android users in the wild.  While that's only around a half a percent of the nearly 1 billion users on Google Inc.'s (GOOG) popular Linux-based smartphone, tablet, and television platform, the third-party ROM has nonetheless been wildly popular among technophiles.

With many carriers in the U.S. and elsewhere being notoriously sluggish in rolling out Android updates, many users have taken matters into their own hands, using Cyanogen's after-market firmware.  Many Android OEMs offer tools to root their devices, allowing third party ROMs like CyanogenMod.

If there's one thing holding CyanogenMod and its ilk back from wider use, it's carrier pushback.  Some carriers like Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD), and  AT&T Inc. (T) have fought back trying to prevent users from using bootloader unlocking tools, which they claim compromise security.


Builds of the popular third-party ROM trail Google's central source slightly due to their unofficial nature; Cyanogen's Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean mod is currently in its Milestone 2 (M2) release.  Only about 25 percent of Android devices are estimated to have updated to Android 4.1 or 4.2 (Jelly Bean) by carriers.

Source: CyanogenMod

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By Motoman on 5/16/2013 2:24:36 PM , Rating: -1
I will say this...not long ago I decided to root a phone and put Cyanogenmod on it for the first time ever. Up until then I'd never cared enough about anything happening on a phone to even try.

It was a HUGE pain the butt. It was way too difficult and required all kinds of monkeywork.

In the end, I did successfully get Cyanogenmod running on the phone in question...after a week or so of usage though we noticed that, for whatever reason, the phone had big delays in getting/sending texts and sometimes in recieveing calls. Not really sure what that was about.

It was kind of cool having ICS on a phone that previous was Gingerbread...but all that boiled down to, really, was just sort of different icons and stuff. It looked cooler.

Had to flash it back to factory though so it worked correctly again.

I guess the point is that it's such a massive pain in the butt to do. I'm sure I'd get better at it if I did it all the time...but I can't imagine a "normal" person having any success at all.

I don't see any reason why the manufacturers have to make it *that* hard to do things like that. What do they care if you do something stupid and brick your phone? Then you have to go and buy another one XD

RE: >.<
By rich_92 on 5/16/2013 2:45:38 PM , Rating: 2
Not as big a pain. I rooted my Nook Color very easily. Got a MicroSD card, followed a video in Youtube and now have a nook color which runs android. Pretty straight forward.

RE: >.<
By Motoman on 5/16/2013 2:58:16 PM , Rating: 2
I think it varies a lot from one device to the other.

I was working with an LG smartphone. Maybe the Nook is easier to deal with.

In any case...I just don't see why the manufacturer really cares. If you try to flash your phone and it bricks, you're likely to toss it and buy a new one. If you flash it and it works...what difference does that make to them?

RE: >.<
By EricMartello on 5/16/13, Rating: 0
RE: >.<
By elleehswon on 5/16/2013 5:20:13 PM , Rating: 2
In any case...I just don't see why the manufacturer really cares. If you try to flash your phone and it bricks, you're likely to toss it and buy a new one. If you flash it and it works...what difference does that make to them?

unless you somehow manage to fubar your bootloader , you can't "brick" your device. can you hose the OS? sure. can you bring it back from hosed to fully functioning? yes.

RE: >.<
By Motoman on 5/16/2013 5:34:47 PM , Rating: 2
I believe you.

But I also believe that the average tenderfoot could easily try to flash his device, have it be completely FUBAR, and then throw it away because he has no idea how to un-FUBAR it.

RE: >.<
By ven1ger on 5/16/2013 6:13:56 PM , Rating: 2
I was looking at rooting my daughter's Samsung Vibrant, but as I have never done it before, Googled for how to do it and while I found several and also complaints about failures on doing it, there were also help on how to restore the back to original in case of failure.

If the average person can search for ways to root a phone, there are also a lot of material out there for restoring it.

RE: >.<
By retrospooty on 5/16/2013 9:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yup. Its alot like modifying your car. Most people wouldnt bother, but those that want to and know how to can make it better. I have been running CM and other custom ROM's on my GS3 since a month after I got it. I thought alot of OEM PC's were bad with "Winbloat", but Samsung takes the cake. It definitely deserves its own term "Sambloat"

RE: >.<
By Maiyr on 5/17/2013 8:09:53 AM , Rating: 2
If the average person can search for ways to root a phone, there are also a lot of material out there for restoring it.

The average person does not even know what rooting a phone is. My phone is rooted, but even my wife wouldn't know what I was talking about if I told her my phone was rooted. I work in IT and I would say of the folks on my team maybe 2 of them would even know what that is. The average person would not even know to Google to root anything. The concept is foreign to most.

If you are rooting your daughter's Vibrant, then you sir/mam are above average. :)


RE: >.<
By kmmatney on 5/16/2013 2:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
I've tried to put CM on 2 devices, and my experience last year was similar - took a lot of work, and it was pretty buggy - I had some major problem with the camera in both cases. (one of the phones was a 3D phone, so I didn't expect the 3D part of the camera to work, but it was still buggy). it mostly worked, but then I'd get weird problems with headphones or the speaker. I guess you have to decide if you can live with small problems to get the latest OS. The phones I tried it on weren't the most popular, so had less support than other phones.

I haven't tried CM for a while, so maybe it's improved a lot. I recently bought a Nook HD+ for my daughter, and decided not to use CM, since they now allow access to the Play store (the main reason to root the Nook before).

RE: >.<
By GulWestfale on 5/16/2013 3:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
ICS needs at least 768 MB RAM to work without hiccups. for my old sony xperia ray, sony even developed a custom ICS that excluded certain features so it would work properly with just 512MB. so check how much RAM your phone has before upgrading, or your performance will certainly suffer.

RE: >.<
By kmmatney on 5/16/2013 8:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
One of the phones was an LG Optimus S, and although there plenty people posting that it "worked great", it's not on their official list as a supported device (and has only 512MB of RAM). Oh yeah - and getting it back to stock Froyo was even more a pain in the butt.

RE: >.<
By arthur449 on 5/17/2013 3:24:45 AM , Rating: 2
Yep. Same issue with my LG Optimus G (LS-970) and CM10.1, well, not the trouble with rooting and unlocking. That part was a breeze.

In essence, everything about the phone's hardware that wasn't shared with the Nexus 4 didn't work. WiFi/Bluetooth module was buggy, NFC didn't work, GPS had hoops to jump through, camera didn't work, MMS/SMS failed more often than not, and phone calls 'ended' before they started, but still went through. Made it impossible to easily log hours on the phone with clients for billing purposes.

I'm happy for the people with a popular Android handset that get all sorts of awesome with their phones and Cyanogenmod, but praising it as a universal answer to problems people have with their phone's with stock firmware is either naive or misinformed. If all the hardware in your phone doesn't have open source drivers, then you're at the mercy of your phone's popularity or a roll of the dice in how skilled other developers who bought your phone on XDA are.

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