Oct 26 AT 12:08 PM Taylor Wimberly 27 Comments

CyanogenMod goes legal and stable

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.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • s15274n

    Best ROM you can put on your phone, period. I love it with sir mez’s m_blend theme. My G1 is now sexy and blazing fast.

  • http://www.googleandblog.com/ Michael Martin


    Did you try flashing the official Donut update for the Google ION we got at Google IO?

    Debating to flash using recovery image (as opposed to fastboot) or Cyanogen.

    ,Michael Martin

  • http://www.googleandblog.com/ Michael Martin


    Did you try flashing the official Donut update for the Google ION we got at Google IO?

    Debating to flash using recovery image (as opposed to fastboot) or Cyanogen.

    ,Michael Martin

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I flashed the ADB recovery image on my ION per the instructions found on XDA.

  • http://twitter.com/txhoudini Eric Weiss

    CyanogenMod is the only ROM I use. His “experimental” update is more stable than others final versions and has a polish lacking on others.

    Don’t forget to follow him on twitter to know the instant an update is posted or when the rare bug is found: http://twitter.com/cyanogen

  • NotSoSilent

    Anyone know if this will work on a Sprint Hero?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      It is designed for the HTC Dream and Magic(aka G1 and myTouch).

  • http://mdm-adph.blogspot.com mdmadph

    Works for 32A Magic’s, too!

  • Ty

    I’m a newbie at rooting. If I install CyanogenMod, will I be able to get rid of it later if I don’t like it?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Yup, you can freely swap which versions of Android you use. The official wiki has a guide to “unroot” or restore your phone to normal.

  • Benge

    Definately the best out there, I skipped messing around with 4.1.nines builds and went straight from CM & straight to 4.2.1.
    I have to say this is the snappiest ROM yet & keeping home locked in memory is a godsend.
    I usually have the Community Hero theme installed but I’m worried about it causing problems, so sticking with vanilla now, don’t want to mess up my phone now it’s running smoother than ever!
    Very grateful for all the hard work Cyanogen puts in & will be making a donation come payday.

  • chuksy

    I’ve been a bit reluctant in rooting my phone,cos am scared i culd get something wrong. But i’ve decided to take the plunge now,can’t keep postponing it.if i get stuck i hope you guys would be there to offer help.
    B4 i start, how do i put a file in the root of the SD card.Is it just dragging and dropping it in the SD card? where is the root of the card?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Root directory just means the default directory of your SD card. Just drop the files on the SD card and do not place them inside any folders.

  • http://marcuslee.posterous.com Marcus

    Hello everyone,
    I’m hoping someone here can confirm I’m about to flash my phone correctly.

    I’m currently running CM 4.0.4 (Yeah, not entirely sure why I didn’t update before).

    I am about to…..

    Copy 4.2.1 & the HTC 1.6 recovery image and place it on the root of my SD card

    Reboot by holding Home+On to enter recovery mode.

    Perform a Nandroid backup

    Wipe everything

    Apply 1.6 from SD card

    Hold Home while it reboots

    Apply 4.2.1

    is that it and is that correct?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Yup, those are the basic steps. I did not have to hold home between flashing ADP and CM. If you are using cyanogens 1.4 recovery image, it should reboot into recovery image automatically after flashing ADP.

      • http://marcuslee.posterous.com Marcus

        That’s great, man. Yeah I’m pretty sure I am running 1.4.

        I was getting confused with the backup tbh cos I was reading on other things to go in to Bootloader by holding Camera + On. I didn’t remember doing this before so I thought I’d just confirm what I was doing.

        Cheers very much.

      • http://marcuslee.posterous.com Marcus

        Hey again,
        Just another note about further updates, I assume when I update to another version (e.g. 4.2.2) all I’ll need to do is download through CM Updater, nandroid, apply…

        I assume I won’t need to apply the HTC 1.6 updater and don’t need to wipe anything, right?

  • Steve

    My phone has never run faster! thanks cyanogen! On a separate note and maybe this should go in a forum, but anyone know how to make it so that with touch input I don’t have to change my entire phone local just so I can type in Portuguese? When I click on languages it only has English :(

  • http://www.berlinisteinereisewert.de Sebastian

    what about the google-apps?
    I think there are: Mails, Maps, Market (waht about paid apps?), Youtube, GTalk, Calendar?)
    Which ones can I use after going to the new ROM?
    Cant find anythink about it in the wiki :(

    Any ideas/experience?

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      You can still use all the google apps with this. The latest stable release of cyanogenmod backs up the google apps and then copies them over to his build when you flash it.

  • http://codeshogun.com lordhong

    Awesome! will flash CM ROM once i get my next android phone, possibly the Droid!

  • http://eanmeldelser.weebly.com Norfeldt

    What about making a how-to video on youtube, androidandme?

  • portlander

    Update looks good y’all, my husband and I both have MyTouches, he is downloading it and I can’t wait to see how it works. :) Thanks.


    any screenshots… he doesn’t have any on his website..

  • alex

    How do I *correctly* remove that T-Mobile IM app?

    I tried removing various combinations of these – IM.apk, TmoImPlugin.apk, I think one or two more app with IM in it – result is almost same – syste becomes unstable and the IM Icon is still in launcher.

    What should I do?

  • http://yellowrex.com William Furr

    I’m a little bummed that some of the speed enhancements (BFS, Compcache) got cut in the 4.2 final version. There were just a few minor issues in the 4.1.99+ builds that he couldn’t get straightened out.

    Ah well, there’s always 4.4. :)

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