Cyanogenmod Categories and FAQ

CyanogenMod is a customized operating system for several Android devices . Based on the Android Open Source Project, CyanogenMod is designed to increase performance and reliability of Android-based operating systems released by tech giants like Google, T-Mobile, HTC, Samsung etc. CyanogenMod also offers a great number of features and enhancements that are not currently found in these versions of Android. Cyanogenmod categories are divided into 4 major versions.

CyanogenMod is available for number of cell phones based on the open-source Android operating system. It offers features not found in the official Android based firmwares.

Cyanogenmod Categories

Currently, CyanogenMod categories consists of four major versions: CyanogenMod 10 (Android 4.1), 10.1 (Android 4.2), 10.2 (Android 4.3) and 11 (Android 4.4).  These variants of the firmware are classified into four major  categories, such as: Stable, Release Candidate, M-series and Nightlies.

The Stable version, as suggested by the title, is tested and tried by the community and it is stable for your phone and almost bug free version that can be used as a daily operating system for your phone. The latest stable version is available for an assortment of the officially supported devices.

A Release Candidate (RC) build may not be the final version, but a variant that has no fatal flaws or bugs, on the stabilization stages to become the final product that is the Stable variant.

M-series releases behave similar to the RCs, but are considered ‘stable’ for the users.  

Last one is Nightlies, which are as volatile as a firmware can get. These releases keep coming at an interval of a day or two and if you do end up trying one of these, do not be alarmed if your device goes mad at you. These ROMs are largely untested, and as advised by CyanogenMod, not meant for use for an average user. These releases, are meant to test untested waters that may or may not break your phone.

Whether you’re an experienced Android user or you’re just getting started with open-source software, there are lots of ways to get involved with the CyanogenMod community.

Cyanogenmod Categories and FAQ

Cyanogenmod Frequently Asked Questions:

Following are the most frequently asked questions about the cyanogenmod categories and firmware.

1. Can I use cmupdater to jump version numbers?

NO. Backup and do a fresh install. Updates that are not jumping version numbers (so say a 10.2 nightly to a 10.2 RC) are fine to update without messing with anything else.

2. I want to put Cyanogenmod on my phone! What do I do?

This is different for every phone, there is not one standard way to root a phone (that means to gain full access over the device) and then install cyanogenmod. Try googling first (there are some great guides on Youtube), if nothing comes up, make sure that Cyanogenmod supports your phone at this link.

3. A new version of android just came out yesterday, why has my phone not been updated?

New versions of mobile OS’s do not work in the same way that new desktop OS’s do. It is not possible to simply take the new version of android, load it up onto any phone, and call it a day. Each phone requires that the build be custom tailored for the device. This takes a lot of time from Cyanogen’s mostly volunteer developers. Provided your phone is still supported though you should start seeing builds within the next few months. Be patient, if your phone remains well supported, it should eventually get updated.

4. I want to backup my contacts/apps/messages/phone, how do I go about doing it?

There are several android apps that are meant for this purpose, Titanium Backup is a great one link. If you have ROM Manager installed, you can do a backup of your entire system quite easily. Simply go into the app and click Backup Current Rom. This will backup everything, think of it as freezing your phone at an exact state in time.

5. So you are telling me I can put a new operating system on my phone? Sounds pretty rad, what does that even mean?

First off, if you are asking this question it might be best to read up a little bit before attempting to put Cyanogenmod on your phone. Nonetheless, here is the basic process of what you are going to be doing to put Cyanogen on your phone. In order to make such a major modification to your phone as loading up a brand new operating system, it is important to get root access. A majority of phones by default prevent the user from having full access of the phone. This makes sense for most people since full administrative control can make it easy for someone to accidentally delete important system files and inadvertently mess up the entire phone. For us however, we are going to need full (root) access. This is accomplished a multitude of different ways but usually involves some exploit to trick the phone into thinking you are the administrator and gaining access that way.

Once root access is gained, the next step is to give the phone a new recovery (think of a PC BIOS) that is capable of installing new operating systems on your phone. Normal recoveries are usually only capable of factory resets and updating. This step requires root access first since this is something that can only be done by someone with full control over the phone. This process is traditionally done with the app Rom Manager which essentially replaces your existing recovery with one that is capable of installing (henceforth called flashing) a brand new system.

Once this is done, it is now possible to install a new ROM. This part works best if a factory reset is done so that non applicable code from the old ROM doesn’t move over to the new ROM. Now at this point, the ROM file is flashed and all the data is installed onto the phone. Now when you boot up, voila, the phone will boot into the installed ROM!

That’s all regarding Cyanogenmod Categories and FAQ’s. If you still have any query. Feel free to ask me in the comments. We would really appreciate if you would like to add something to the above article. You can also share with us your experience of CyanogenMod in the comments.