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Just a few clickity-clicks and you'll have that latest Android distro that your carrier denied you

For the masses waiting on their oft laggard Android carrier and OEM to update their device to the latest and greatest version of Google Inc.'s (GOOG) operating system (which is currently Android 4.4 "KitKat") CyanogenMod (aka "CM") has offered an escape route.

While the reach of this replacement firmware package was long limited by complicated installation procedures -- procedures that required a fair degree of user tech savvy as the user navigated through as many as 20 steps (a process CM's authors described as admittedly "brutal") -- as many as 24 million Android users may already have taken the plunge, according to CEO Kirk McMaster (this estimate includes unregistered users; 9 million users went through the trouble of officially registering themselves).

Now that reach is poised to expand dramatically as CM has released -- as promised -- an installer app to grossly simplify this process.  To get started you just grab the CM installer from the Google Play store (the installer was at last approved today), grab the PC client app, and connect your Android tablet or smartphone to the PC.  From there the client takes over, requiring just a few straightforward approval click-throughs.  Behind the scenes the installer app and PC client use scripting to do all that heavy, geeky lifting for you, allowing the tech "n00b" and enthusiast alike to experience CM.

The Android device-side app [Image Source: Google Play]

A full list of compatible devices is available here and it looks quite extensive.

CM 11
Experienced users might want to opt to download the early nightly builds of CM 11 (which includes Google's new KitKat improvements) instead of the Jelly Bean-based CM 10 which is included with the easy installer.

The only disappointing news is that the KitKat distributions for CM remain in the beta phase (as CyanogenMod 11).  They're available here for experienced users willing to deal with potential bugs, but for entry-level users who opt for the easy-installer it appears they'll be receiving CM 10, which is based on the Android 4.3.1 ("Jelly Bean") source.


Company founder Steve "Cyanogen" Kondik, remarks:

Our goal for the installer has always been to allow more users to experience the benefits of CyanogenMod, without the hassles of technical guides and concerns associated with the process.  I’m especially pleased by the support the community has shown for our initiative and want to thank all those that helped beta test the installer.

In addition to making the latest version of Android available to device owners quicker than U.S. carriers/OEMs, CM also snags security features both from third parties and other parts of Google's development tree (e.g. CM boasted SELinux enforcing improvements, back when they were only available as part of special distributions like KNOX).

It is a notch above other replacement firmwares (generally) in that it allows you to tune the setup to your speakers with DSPManager, and updates itself via over-the-air (OTA) updates, reducing any sort maintenance chores for the user.

Once a hobby project for Mr. Kondik, CyanogenMod is now being developed actively by a small engineering team, and scored $7M USD in a recent round of venture capital funding.

Sources: CyanogenMod on Google Play, CyanogenMod, DroidLife

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RE: orly?
By retrospooty on 11/12/2013 8:54:28 PM , Rating: 1
Its just the first release from an unfunded open source dev... Give it time. Cyanogenmod support over 1 hundred different devices ROM's. The freegin manufacturers dont even do that.

RE: orly?
By Motoman on 11/12/2013 9:13:01 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I get all that. My only point was that the existing list is anything but "extensive."

RE: orly?
By retrospooty on 11/12/2013 9:48:28 PM , Rating: 2

So, I just did it. From scratch, it is alot easier for a newb. Props for that. Once you are on CM the update process is simple. Choose nightlies, or stable and that is what you will be notified on. Then click the "new version" notification and it will d/l and update automatically. Nothing to it at all, easy as pie, and easier than the pie launcher mod LOL.

If you are already rooted and using a custom ROM (CM or otherwise) its not worth doing, not to me anyhow... I would rather not stick to CM only, but like I said a great option for people that are a little nervous to do it the old way.

Now all we need are more Oppo's for sale in the US... Or more OEM's picking up Cyanogenmod, which is thier goal.

RE: orly?
By flyingpants1 on 11/13/2013 7:34:46 AM , Rating: 2
What does this have to do with Oppo?

RE: orly?
By retrospooty on 11/13/2013 8:06:01 AM , Rating: 3
CM has gotten some funding, turned into an actual official company and is pushing to get their custom non oem/carrier bloated ROM's officially paired with OEM devices. Oppo is the 1st partner to sign on.

This automated installer/updater is another step in the plan.

RE: orly?
By retrospooty on 11/13/2013 12:56:02 PM , Rating: 2
RE: orly?
By Mitch101 on 11/13/2013 12:21:42 PM , Rating: 2
Extensive enough that 24 million Android users may already have taken the plunge

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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