CyanogenMod Easy Click-Through Installer Hits Google Play Store
November 12, 2013 6:31 PM
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 (
) 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
and it looks quite extensive.
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
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,
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.
CyanogenMod on Google Play
"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes
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