I have always looked for an answer to this question myself. A few years back, writing on how to have Cyanogenmod installed on your Android device would have been a very difficult thing to do. Be it Samsung or HTC or any other Android device, the first thing that rings alarm bells on every users’ minds would be voiding the warranty of their devices by doing so. Ok, so for all those users (new ones especially) what is Cyanogenmod? According to Wikipedia, “CyanogenMod is an open source replacement distribution for smartphones and tablet computers based on the Android mobile operating system. It is developed as free and open source software based on the official releases of Android by Google, with added original and third-party code”. You can read more about this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanogenmod .
In short, Cyanogenmod is not the normal thing that you see on your Android devices when you purchase it. Cyanogenmod according to me is the original Android with a bit of tweaks by the developers. What difference does it have with that of the normal phones? Well this is the tricky part. Devices like Samsung, HTC or LG all come pre-loaded with their custom user interfaces and features. For examples features like S-Pen, S-View etc in Samsung and Beats Audio, Blinkfeed with HTC One all are customized by the manufacturers themselves. Howerver Cyanogenmod will be a clean and stripped down version, say Pure Android, but without any of those luxuries provided by the manufacturers. So the question will be why in the hell are we installing Cyanogenmod on these brand new devices. There are some techie freaks who simply love Cyanogenmod and care less about the bloatware that the manufacturers add to their phones which gradually reduces the performance of the devices over time. Cyanogenmod helps particularly for older devices. Devices such as Samsung Galaxy SII or any other device which according to their manufacturers cannot be upgraded to any of the lastest Android versions. This is probably because the hardware of these phones would have gotten outdated and will not run all the extra features that the manufacturer would want to add.
I have a very good example of such an instance. Samsung Galaxy SII , the phone that really changed the way that consumers looked at Samsung phones. I bought this phone when it was the best phone in the world. It was such a hot product in the market. But 2 years after it’s launch, Samsung closed the doors on it saying that it’s hardware couldn’t take any more of the Android updates because of the new features that were being included by Samsung having Galaxy SIII in mind. This really saddened all those hardcorde SII fans, but this was always going to happen. The previous update, Android 4.1.2, had started taking a heavy toll on my SII device. It had started getting painfully slow. This is when I decided to purchase a better phone. An year later, Cyanogenmod announced themselves as a new company with an app in the Play Store to enable installation of Cyanogenmod on devices that it supported. It longer required rooting of your device or any other circus that needed to be performed to have a taste of Cyanogenmod. I downloaded the app successfully installed Android 4.2.2 on my SII and it’s so smooth and fast now.
Cyanogenmod, according to me, fires a new life into the older phones whom their own makers have left to rot. Cyanogenmod too have a list of devices that they support for which developments are going on. If you have an old warhorse whom you don’t want to or don’t feel like parting with yet,then I would welcome you to the world of Cyanogenmod!
While some may not be of my opinion, I’m not a techie freak or an expert in the world of Android and the devices that it supports, I’m of the opinion that our older devices still have a chance. So let’s breathe a new life into them.
PS: The cyanogenmod is no longer available in the Play Store. You can always go back to http://beta.download.cyanogenmod.org/install and follow the instructions given here.