Android One is Google’s program to help smartphone makers offer low-cost phones in developing markets (including Indiawith decent hardware and up-to-date software. Google offers device makers a list of compatible hardware to choose from and the software company provides the software and updates.
But if you’d rather run different software, independent developers have been offering custom ROMs for these $100-ish phones a while. Now the makers of CyanogenMod are adding official support for Android One devices.
That means you can install official builds of CyanogenMod 11, based on Android 4.4 KitKat. Eventually the team plans to bring support for CyanogenMod 12, which is based on Android 5.0 Lollipop.
CyanogenMod is a custom version of Android based on the open source version of Google’s operating system, but it includes a number of custom features that give you more control over privacy settings, power options, and more.
Since the first Android One devices feature processors from MediaTek, this makes them the first phones with MediaTek processors to officially support one of the most popular custom ROMs available. Up until now, there hasn’t been a lot of development of independent Android firmware for devices with MediaTek chips.
CyanogenMod’s developers say they plan to release updated builds of their software on a weekly basis.