Since Google released the source code for Android 4.4 KitKat, plenty of developers have started building custom versions of Android for various phones and tablets. But now the makers of one of the most popular custom ROMs have weighed in with their first build of KitKat.
CyanogenMod 11.0 M1 is now available for the Google Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 10, and all versions of the Nexus 7.
These are the devices Google offers Android Open Source Project code fore, and since CyanogenMod is based on AOSP code, they were the first to get fully functional builds of CM11. The team has tested and confirmed that the devices work as they should — but an M1 release is still sort of a beta, so if you need a device to be 100 percent stable, you might want to stick with Google’s version of Android.
The CyanogenMod team plans to start offering nightly builds soon for other devices including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and other phones which don’t have official AOSP code. It’s likely that there’ll be some bugs in those phones and tablets which don’t affect the first batch of Nexus builds.
CyanogenMod tends to offer users a bit more control over their device settings, as well as UI customization options that aren’t available in Google’s stock version of Android. The team behind the software formed a company earlier this year and are working with hardware partners including Chinese phone maker Oppo to ship devices with CyanogenMod pre-loaded. But there continues to be an entirely open source branch of CyanogenMod available for installation on devices with unlocked bootloaders, and that’s what the team is updating at the moment.
The launch of CM11 comes on the same day that Google released the source code for Android 4.4.1, a minor Android update which provides improvements to the Nexus 5 camera app, among other things. Future builds of CyanogenMod will incorporate some of those changes.
Note that CyanogenMod doesn’t come with the Google Play Store and other Google apps pre-loaded. You can download the latest gApps package separately from the CyanogenMod wiki.