Many of you probably already know how I feel about CyanogenMod – I swear by it, especially on my EVO LTE. Nothing beats it in terms of bringing a (mostly) stock experience to your device with just the right amount of tweaks and extra features. Plus, there are nightly updates that satisfy my need to stay on the bleeding edge and get a daily fix of… fixes. The only downside to this is that each nightly update (for my EVO, anyway) hovers around 180MB, a download that takes just a little more time than I care to spend sometimes.

Enter CyanDelta Updater. This app, which entered the Play Store several days ago as Mattia Baldani's debut Android app, eliminates the need for ~200MB downloads every day, bringing the latest and greatest version of CyanogenMod to your device in incremental updates. To do this, it simply downloads "delta" files which, as the name would suggest, represent only the changed pieces in each update.

The process is just as easy as it should be, and the interface is positively fool-proof. On first run, you identify the .zip file you've most recently flashed (or identify a downloaded zip and flash it first).

CyanDelta then takes a look at the installed zip and figures out whether there's a newer one available by checking get.cm. If there is, it will tell you so, and allow you to download the delta file (created, according to Baldini, with the "RFC3284 VCDIFF algorithm and some magic") and get going.

While testing the app, I was blown away by how quick this all was. Although CD told me there was an 86MB delta file for download, it took a mere handful of minutes to download, which is especially amazing considering I was connected to Sprint's 3G service the whole time. If all goes well, CD will prompt you after flashing to delete the extra zip. What's interesting is that once I downloaded the delta files, I checked my SD card to find what appeared to be a full-size nightly zip. I can't speak to what "magic" CyanDelta uses, but it would appear it sticks new files into your previous zip to flash.

Screenshot_2012-10-17-21-06-04 Screenshot_2012-10-17-21-08-49 Screenshot_2012-10-17-23-58-50

Screenshot_2012-10-18-00-29-29 Screenshot_2012-10-18-00-33-17 Screenshot_2012-10-18-00-33-24

What's great is that once you've got CyanDelta set up, it's got a few really handy settings to automate your CyanogenMod updating even further. These options include automatic update checking (from once every three days to once every hour), disabling past a certain battery level, and installing extra zips after each update, which is great for those who like to fiddle with kernels and modems.


Of course, with any app that automatically downloads and flashes zips to your device, there's going to be a certain amount of concern for security. To that end, Baldani assures users in CD's Play Store listing that "all downloaded data is digitally signed by us to prevent manomissions," but doesn't say much else. While I haven't confirmed concretely that the app isn't up to anything fishy, I've been using it for the past few days and haven't run into anything suspicious, and if we had reason to believe that this app was doing anything unwholesome, this hands-on would not exist.

In the end, if you're a fan of CyanogenMod and love having the latest nightly but don't love spending time downloading huge files and subsequently flashing them, CyanDelta is definitely worth a shot. Did I mention it's free from the Play Store? The app offers an option to "donate to remove ads," but I haven't actually seen any ads associated with the app (yet). Hit the widget below to grab the download.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • wildkarrde21

    Hm, I thought that CM's recently implemented built-in updater was only supposed to do the delta changes already? Or maybe I misunderstood what it does.

    Either way, very cool app, looking forward to trying it and avoiding the full 200MB downloads every time /flashjunkie

    • eindbaas

      This was my impression as well.

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      I don't think it's a delta updater, it was just something built in so they can push updates OTA style. Speaking of which what's up with GooManager wasn't that supposed to do OTA like updates? why not use that?

  • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

    This should be integrated into CM. Awesome, awesome work.

  • skitchbeatz

    This should be apart of Cyanogemod's updater!

    • Dorien Ackerman

      It is apart, but if it was a part of it that would be great.


      • skitchbeatz

        Oops. I accidentally a space.

  • Zach

    Have you had issues with camera/wifi not working with CM10 or really any JB on the Evo LTE? I travel a lot and need WiFi in case I don't have a data connection in the hotel, and it's currently killing me....

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      The camera, while it works, is not really where I want it to be in terms of quality, but I can put up with it since I rarely use my phone camera for anything important. As for Wi-Fi, I've had zero connectivity problems there.

  • jammer

    Hmmm. The question I have is does the installer clear the caches, and format /system before flashing the updated ROM?

    • Razormike

      I don't think so, generally speaking it doesn't need to either.

    • benanov

      Only if it needs to do so - since this is CM to CM, the answer is "it doesn't"

  • Daniel Wiggins


  • bevon

    does this wipe my phone like whenever you normally have to flash new update and then have to reinstall all my data and apps or is it like ota updates where it updates and everything is there like you left it?

    • http://youtagged.me/ pache71

      You don't do this with CM10 anyways.

    • Razormike

      Usually you only need to do this if you are going from cm9 to cm10 or cm to aokp e.t.c you shouldn't need to if you're only flashing a nightly.

  • Gav456

    Shame it doesn't appear to work on "unofficial" cm builds. As cm don't currently support cmX on the sensation, I'm using Bruce2728 kang pyramid Rom (which is amazing)
    Tbh I wasn't expecting it to work for obvious reasons, but it would have been nice. What I did find odd, though, was that the app scanned the zip (148mb), then created it's own (218mb) where did that extra 70mb come from?

  • coversnails

    This would be better if it had push notifications rather than polling, I can understand why cyanogenmod didn't include push notifications because it wouldn't work if you didn't flash gapps, but an app on the Play Store wouldn't have such restrictions.

  • prolificity

    Not just Cyanogenmod, but this should be made AOSP!

  • T

    Does it mess up gapps?

  • reevester

    So the About>Update option in CM is basically worthless right?

    • OhAaron

      No it isn't. It works just as intended, if you don't mind downloading 170ish mb for each nightly.

  • SuyashSrijan

    In the first screenshot (http://cdn.androidpolice.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/nexusae0_Screenshot_2012-10-17-21-06-04_thumb.png), It says "Goto http://www.get.com and manually .." it should be "http://www.get.cm" not "http://www.get.com"


  • faceless128

    so i read that people were getting soft bricks when using this to update... guess i'll stick to 200MB downloads.

  • DrMacinyasha

    Another feature copied from GooManager...

    I should clarify: GooManager offers this for ALL developers, but they have to opt-in. I'll see about enabling it for CM...

  • Quintin

    Will this erase previous data

  • sunny

    i tried it for the first time yesterday and sadly i entered a bootloop. couldn't enter recovery via. the 3 button combo either. had to start fresh from gingerbread.
    a very bad experience for me.
    will try again later.

  • Mr Vw

    i have to say that cm10 is awsome but when i`ve tried today to do an update it says that was possible to bootloop and a friend of mine got it , and a lot of people have , do you know when this will be fix !?:) thx

  • http://www.twitter.com/RaptorHawk Hawk

    I wanted an app that did the same thing, but for AOKP.