CyanogenMod ran into some trouble last month when Google asked the creator Steve Kondik to pull down his custom versions of Android. Google did not appreciate that Steve was distributing their closed source apps (yeah Android has lots of closed bits) and CyanogenMod was temporarily put on ice. The minor setback did not stop Steve and he began working on a new experimental build that excluded the Google apps, but still allowed users to back them up and use them.
After several weeks of testing, CyanogenMod 4.2.1 STABLE was released one month to the day of the cease and desist letter from Google. CyanogenMod is our favorite flavor of Android and I already loaded it on both of my Android phones. If you were stuck on CM-4.0.4 stable, now is the time to update. The update process is fairly simple and only takes a few minutes.
Highlights of CyanogenMod 4.2.1 stable include:
- UNIVERSAL! Runs on both Dream and Magic 32B
- Based on Android 1.6, many bugfixes and enhancements from AOSP, XDA, and me
- Highly optimized kernel with many extra modules
- Enhanced ramdisk which uses optimal mount options and smart startup
- Includes E2FSProgs for checking and converting Ext filesystems
- Apps2SD is automatic! All you need is a second partition (ext).
- Launcher with 5 screens and auto-orientation and compact drawer layout
- Clean filesystem shutdown at poweroff/reboot, and fsck at boot (no FS corruption!)
- Includes T-Mobile IM application, Amazon MP3 store, and Work Email (MS Exchange support)
- Does not require “DangerSPL”
- Includes a massive APN list
- Maximum CPU scaling frequency set to 528MHz with latency tweaks
- Various enhancements to the Settings app including extra partition space
- Phone app enhancements by cytown
- Loccy’s “BetterBrowser”
- MMS enhancements from rgv151
- FLAC audio support thanks to kroot
- Commandline extras: powertop, htop, nano, busybox, openvpn, openobex tools
- Ability to lock home app in memory (control in Spare Parts app)
For help installing CyanogenMod, visit the official wiki. I used to write guides for installing these custom builds, but I think it has been documented enough by now. You might as well use the official instructions anyway. If you really need help or have questions, anyone is free to drop by our forums and start a new thread.
I also suggest dropping by the official CyanogenMod site and placing a donation if you enjoy running Steve’s builds on your phone.
And for our new readers, I suggest you read The dangers of rooting your Android phone if you are curious about hacking your new phone.