One of the joys of Android is the fact that users are not fenced in in quite the same way that iOS users are – it is possible to install a wider range of software on your device with fewer worries. If you want to take things to the next level, CyanogenMod is a replacement for your existing Android OS which has been stripped back and optimized to provide a balance between performance, stability and customization.
The firmware is built around Android 2.3 and while the interface is nothing flashy, the focus is on speed rather than looks – but you still have the option to use themes. The unique tweaks and options include the ability to swipe notifications off the screen, while the built in music player boasts the simplicity and ease of use of an iPod. Support for customizable gestures means that it is easier than ever to control playback.
Gestures are also put to good use on the lockscreen where swipes can be used to not only unlock your device, but also switch on the flashlight and toggle sound. New in this version of the ROM is the ability to use Touch to Focus when taking photographs and it is also possible to change the way focusing works as well as using a timer to take group photos.
Security is important for any mobile user just as it is for desktop computer users, and CyanogenMod makes it possible to take control of permissions that have been granted to apps. While this is something that should be used with caution, it is also place users firmly in control. There is also an interesting Phone Goggles tool – referred to by the developers as ‘drunk mode’ – in which phone calls and messaging features can be disabled until mathematical captchas have been solved.
There is a huge amount to explore in this firmware, and while it is something that novice users should perhaps shy away from, it is well worth a look.
You can find out more and download a free copy of the firmware by paying a visit to the CyanogenMod review page.