CyanogenMod is the most popular custom ROM for Android devices. While it’s an unofficial build of Android, it probably provides an experience closer to Google’s original vision than the software on your current Android phone or tablet does!
What is CyanogenMod all about?
CyanogenMod is a custom version of the Android operating system. It’s here to offer a ‘better’ version than Google can provide, with more features and more control for the hardcore user.
5 things you can do with CyanogenMod 12
1)Apply system-wide themes
One of the neatest features of CyanogenMod 12 is the theme installer. It’s dead accessible, and lets you thoroughly reskin your phone with just about zero effort. What’s better than customising your phone yourself? Getting someone else to the leg work for you, of course.
CyanogenMod 12 themes alter fonts, lock screen styles, app icons and even notification and alarm sounds. They effectively give your phone a complete reskin, without any of the residual wonkiness you often get with custom home launchers you can run on any Android phone.
Of course, this has become less of a big deal since the likes of HTC and Samsung jumped on the theming bandwagon. But do either of those companies allow you to theme individual apps? That’s precisely what you can do with CyanogenMod 12’s App Themer.
2)Get a taste of Lollipop
Yes, CyanogenMod is all about the customisation potential, but it’s also a neat way to get a stock Android experience on the majority of Android phones that don’t have it yet.
Even if your phone does have Lollipop, CyanogenMod is also a great way of getting a purer Lollipop experience. It’s got a nice clean Lollipop-like appearance as standard, which is more than can be said for the custom efforts of most major manufacturers.
You also get handy Android 5.0 additions like those improved notifications and multi-user support.
CyanogenMod lets you set a whole bunch of different profiles that alter the behaviour of your phone. These profiles save settings for things like Bluetooth, mobile data and Wi-Fi, giving you pretty good control over how much juice your phone uses throughout the day. You can also tweak how notifications come through for SMS, emails and so on.
You can even make them trigger when your phone is docked with an NFC tag, or when it connects to a certain Wi-Fi network. It’s up to you to put in the initial legwork of dictating how these work, but they should prove extremely useful. You switch profiles manually from the power-off menu, just as you would when switching to aeroplane mode.
4)Tweak the screen calibration
CyanogenMod has long let you tweak the look of your screen, fiddling with things like contrast and colour saturation. It comes in very useful if you find your phone’s normal colours a bit oversaturated, or a little dull-looking.
Version 12 introduces LiveDisplay, a new hub for panel calibration that lets you mess with colour temperature, automated effective times, screen colour and colour calibration, and to lower power consumption.
Many phones have little extra gestures these days, but with the latest version of CyanogenMod you get ones that don’t even require the screen to be on in order to register. We imagine this won’t be suitable for all phones, but it works well on the OnePlus One.
Draw a circle on the phone’s screen while it’s in standby and the camera will launch. When music is playing, a two-fingered vertical swipe will play/pause the audio, and left/right arrows drawn will switch tracks. The most unusual, though, is that drawing a V will turn the LED torch on. And there was us wondering why the flash kept on turning on in-pocket. You can turn these off if you’re not a gestures fan.