CyanogenMod isn’t just one of the most popular custom Android ROMs. It’s one of the most stable. So a lot of testing goes into each new release — which is why it’s been more than a year since the first CyanogenMod 10.1 nightly builds starting going out and it’s just now that the team is dropping the beta and release candidate labels and rolling out the first “stable” builds of CM 10.1.
The software is a custom version of Android based on Google Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and includes a number of additional apps and features. While some folks like to call the stable build the “final” release, development of CyanogenMod 10.1 will continue — but developers will focus on adding new features. The move to stable basically means that if you have a supported device, CM10.1 should run reasonably well on it.
Not every Android device will get a stable build of CyanogenMod 10.1 right away. But if you’ve got a device that’s been getting the recent release candidate builds, the stable version should be available soon.
CyanogenMod 10.1 can basically turn any supported Android device into one that feels a bit more like a Google Nexus device. But even if you have a Nexus phone or tablet, there are some reasons to try CyanogenMod. For instance, you can install themes, customize the quick settings panel, adjust items in the status bar or adjust notification light settings. The software also comes with its own music player and file manager apps.
Those features might not sound as exciting as, say, the Halo notifications or PIE controls in Paranoid Android. But the CyanogenMod team has been working on some pretty innovative things lately, including per-app incognito mode and a mini-camera that you can access from the quick settings.