Yesterday was kind of a big day for Android. The long-running and extremely popular custom ROM family CyanogenMod has been incorporated into a company which plans to further the software into a bona fide platform. CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik and extremely vocal CM team member Koushik Dutta (CTO and VP of Engineering for the new Cyanogen Inc, respectively) did what you're supposed to do whenever cool stuff happens: head to Reddit for an "Ask Me Anything" session.
As part of today's announcement of CyanogenMod as a company, CTO and founder Steve Kondik said one of the first goals the team had was to make the process of installing CyanogenMod easier. Kondik called the current process "hideous" and too difficult for "mere mortals." He also announced that the Android installer companion app will be released to Google Play in the coming weeks.
The Android app is only half of the equation, though – a Windows application will also be released.
We've known that something's up at CyanogenMod for a while, and now the cat is formally out of the bag. Today Steve Kondik and other prominent contributors to the CyanogenMod family of ROMs, along with investors and new hires, announced the formation of Cyanogen Inc. The new company first aims to make the CyanogenMod ROM more stable, more widely available, and easier to install on more devices. Investor Mitch Lasky is reporting that the company has secured $7 million in startup capital, and has at least one hardware partnership in the works.
If you've been using an LG Optimus Pro for the last few months and wondering when you'll be able to ditch the manufacturer's custom skin, wonder no more. LG's super-sized flagship is the latest device to grace CyanogenMod's ever-growing list of official builds. Two nightly ROMs based on CyanogenMod 10.2 (Android 4.3) are already available from Get.CM.
In case you've forgotten, the Optimus G Pro is a bigger, beefier version of the Optimus G intended to go head to head with Samsung's Galaxy Note family.
The developers at CyanogenMod never seem to sleep these days. After publishing the first Android 4.3 nightlies a few weeks ago, the long-promised CyanogenMod Accounts feature is being enabled on new builds starting tonight. This adds an option for an official CyanogenMod account in the Accounts section of the Settings page (right next to Google, Facebook, Dropbox, et cetera). Users can create a new CyanogenMod account right from their phones or tablets and access it from the official Account page on the CyangenMod website.
The Droid DNA was sort of an unprecedented phone. It was the first device in the US to feature a full 1080p display – something that has since become the norm. But at the time, its 440 PPI was absolutely mind-blowing. While mobile technology has undoubtedly progressed since the DNA's release, this phone is still able to hold its own in nearly every situation.
However, if you're a DNA owner who has grown weary with Sense UI, good news: official CyanogenMod nightly builds are now available.
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 folks at CyanogenMod never seem to sleep. After adding no less than thirteen devices this month, they threw two more official builds into the nightly updates this weekend, both for Samsung hardware. The international LTE version of the Galaxy S4 Mini and Verizon's localized version of the Galaxy Note 10.1 both have shiny new pages on Get.CM.
The Galaxy S4 Mini is on CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.2), with two nightly builds available at the time of writing.