So you're a fan of custom ROMs, but you're not quite ready to live on the bleeding edge (or alternately, your device doesn't have a reliable Android 4.3 build yet). Fear not, cautious Android power user: the CyanogenMod team has a build for you! CyanogenMod 10.1.3 will be the last version of CM based on Android 4.2, and release candidates are now being posted for supported phones and tablets.
10.1.3 is more precisely based on Android 4.2.2, with all the bells and whistles that Google and CyanogenMod could shove into last year's release.
In a post to Google+, CyanogenMod has announced "the death of Power Widgets," offering up an explanation of CM's new solution: a Quick Access Ribbon.
Power Widgets, as the post explains, have been a hit since their birth in CyanogenMod 7, but have languished both in terms of maintenance and usefulness ever since. Their redundancy took another hike with the introduction of Google's Quick Settings shade in stock Android.
"Soon," the post goes on "we will say goodbye to the notification power widgets, discarding their 3000+ lines of code for a sleeker (only 370 new lines), newer, and more efficient method of toggling your settings."
The new implementation will offer a sleek, slim ribbon of quick settings tiles determined by the configuration of the actual Quick Settings shade, and will allow the CM team to offer functionality similar to the old power widgets without maintaining a separate stream of code.
CyanogenMod is already one of the most polished Android ROMs out there, but as the dev team says in the most recent blog post, running a custom OS shouldn't mean you're lacking first-class features. To that end, CyanogenMod ROMs will soon include CyanogenMod Account for encrypted device management. The account provider is already in CM's Github, but don't get too ahead of yourself – the CyanogenMod Account isn't rolling out right away.
The HTC One X+ is the last phone of an era. It was a simpler time, back when new devices got more letters and an extra helping of punctuation rather than a simpler title that makes them harder to Google. Those of you who have a One X+ now have an official CyanogenMod ROM build to call your own, at least if you're using the international version. The first nightly has been posted to Get.CM.
Our readers already know about CyanogenMod, as it's only the most popular Android ROM out there, so I won't waste time with an introduction. Many also already use CyanogenROM Downloader to get their hands on the latest versions, even though it's not an official updater. The app's already awesome, but its author sent out a tease a few days ago implying that it could be even better - that it could automatically update your ROM to the latest version overnight, do a backup beforehand, and install your preferred custom kernel without a single touch.
Talk about a blast from the past: the Sprint Galaxy S II, released way back in 2011, now has official CyanogenMod support. Most of the other international and regional versions of the GSII are already supported to some degree, but I'm sure there are more than a few Sprint customers who are happy to see the most popular custom ROM family come to their devices. There's one nightly of CM10.1 (Android 4.2) available at the time of writing.
Update: The Nexus 7 2013 build (codename "Flo") has now been posted. It's the first official CM build for the new Nexus 7.
ROM addicts, the time has come. The CyanogenMod team has been working diligently on version 10.2 of the popular ROM family, the Android Jelly Bean 4.3 update. Tonight the first batch of nightlies are being posted to the download page, Get.CM. There are only a few devices with updated builds at the moment, but that should change as the night progresses.
Last week we reported that the CyanogenMod team had added almost a dozen new phones and tablets to their list of officially-supported devices, including Barnes & Noble's increasingly affordable Nook HD and Nook HD+. At the time the B&N tablet builds weren't quite ready, but nightly ROM builds just showed up for both the 7-inch and 9-inch versions. Go forth, ROM addicts, and flash to your heart's content.
Ever since Jelly Bean, the reasons to switch to a custom ROM (as opposed to a stock, rooted build) have been slowly shrinking. But today ClockworkMod Recovery developer Koushik "Koush" Dutta gave us a reason to be incredibly excited for upcoming builds of CyanogenMod. With a little tweaking of the famous ROM family, he's managed to integrate Chromecast streaming across the system, making any video or audio app compatible.