This is CyanogenMod.

So after a couple of false starts I’ve finally managed to set up my Nexus One for custom ROMs. And let’s face it, the only one I was ever really after is the famous CynanogenMod. And here it is!

The hardest thing about Cyanogen is getting it on your phone in the first place. By the time you do you’ll know all about Bootloaders and such, and will appreciate not having to perform some arcane key combination to boot into your other disk partitions.

You’d expect that CyanogenMod would offer lots of homescreen customizations, and you’d be right — the current version tested here (7.0.3) features ADW.Launcher, letting you tweak to your heart’s content.

Here are (almost) all of the default apps — note the presence of both a terminal and a proper file manager (sans ads) — which you don’t get with a stock Android install.

Also note that if you want the privacy-hating “Google Experience” you can have that too. 😉

Wallpapers are a highly personal matter, but I think the Cyanogen ones are particularly awesome. But wait, there’s more…

Out of the gate CyanogenMod lets you theme your device with one of three options. More are available through this CM Updater, but the one shown above suits me fine for now.

Parting Thoughts

Having flashed it on my Nexus almost immediately after last week’s post, I can definitely recommend Cyanogen to anyone who has the cojones to install it. You might have issues with the GPS radio if you’re not using the Google apps; I’m still investigating that…

Even so, Cyanogen has provided a rare jaw-dropping experience that I haven’t had on a mobile device since I got Debian to run on a Nokia N900.

Community-built ROMs like this are the perfect antidote to the mobile patents arms race, where manufacturers seem bent on locking in every aspect of the user experience to their own proprietary OS. Though the future of CyanogenMod is a bit unclear, what its makers have accomplished is nothing short of amazing.


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