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.
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.