OnePlus One's CyanogenMod firmware comes packed with personalization options that standard Android devices could only achieve with root-level access. By simply entering the Settings app, OPO owners can make changes to their lock screen, status bar, and notification drawer, as well as apply themes and gestures to make their device a little more customized.
Motorola changed the way users interact with their devices when they introduced their "always listening" feature on the Moto X. When I first saw it demoed, I couldn't wait to get the same functionality on one of my handsets, and now that has finally come to fruition.
As much as it pained me to lose lock screen widget functionality, I just can't bare changing out the sleek-looking lock screen that's standard on the OnePlus One. The latest OTA introduced a new transparent theme, and while that's a welcomed improvement, I need more options!
Straight out of the box, the Nexus 5 is an awesome device, but even it can be faster with better battery life. Luckily, one of the things that makes it so awesome is that there are tons of developers creating mods for it, since it runs stock Android by default. When it comes to gaining speed and better battery life, flashing a custom kernel is the way to go.
Despite CyanogenMod actively working on their CM 12S Lollipop-based ROM, OnePlus has opted to develop their own ROM, and after a few setbacks, OxygenOS is finally out. The OS is the result of OnePlus wanting to ship their devices without needing an outside company to create a ROM to power it. Like CyanogenMod's ROMs, Oxygen OS offers a vanilla Android Lollipop experience tailored for the OnePlus One.
The camera in CyanogenMod, CameraNext, takes some pretty impressive shots when compared to those offered by HTC Sense and Sony Xperia, but it doesn't have many of the features that make it a real competitor. Even the Color OS version of the OnePlus One has received better reviews when comparing low-light shots, which implies that it's not the camera sensor that's lacking, but the software.
By default, Android limits your call history to the last 500 incoming, outgoing, or missed calls. When you reach this limit, older entries get trimmed off the bottom of the list and deleted forever. This isn't an issue with storage space, because even the biggest call logs only occupy mere kilobytes, so it's really just an artificial limit.
My OnePlus One easily gets over a day of battery life without a problem, but when I try to charge it, it seems to take just as long. For some reason, no matter what charger you plug your OPO into, it never gets more than USB-level power, meaning that charging times are more than double when compared to traditional AC-charging.
Rooting. As an Android user, I'm sure you've heard the word once or twice. According to Kaspersky, 7.6% of all Android users root — but for the 92.4% who don't, we wanted to talk to you.
No one is perfect, and this goes double for software developers. All of the quality assurance testing in the world does nothing when you put a new OS in the hands of everyday users, since we all use our devices in different places and for different reasons. Recently, Cyanogen released their version of Android Lollipop, Cyanogen OS 12, and with it came a whole lot of great features, but some bugs also slipped in.
OnePlus changed the way we think about high-end phones. Their "Never Settle" motto led me to ditch my high-cost smartphone for their flagship One, which not only packs some pretty impressive hardware, but won't break the bank. Now that OnePlus has made a name for themselves with the One, they're trying their hands at ROMs, too.
As we near the one-year anniversary of its release (and the inevitable unveiling of its successor), the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 remains a device that packs quite a punch when it comes to hardware. It boasts a 2.3Ghz CPU and was the first mobile phone ever to house 3GBs of RAM. Suffice it to say, it can handle any software you throw at it with no discernible lag. Even Samsung's notoriously bloated TouchWiz ROM seems lightning fast.
Perhaps one of CyanogenMod's greatest features was its built-in theme engine. It wasn't perfect, but it got the job done and gave users a unique look. Now that CyangenMod is defunct, and the developers behind its successor, LineageOS, have confirmed they won't be continuing the theme engine, users have to find another way to theme their devices. No need to fear, though, Substratum is here.
A new feature in Android Nougat lets you add your own custom tiles to the Quick Settings panel. This menu, which can be accessed by swiping down from the top of any screen, lets you quickly adjust settings and toggle system features on and off. So now that it's been opened up for third-party development, we're starting to see all sorts of cool and useful tiles roll in.
The Snapdragon 801 processor inside the OnePlus One puts the device on par with other phones like the HTC One M8 and LG G3 in terms of power and speed. While the OPO is just as fast and responsive as many of the flagships currently available, there's no reason why we can't try to squeeze every last bit of speed and performance out of it.
If I were a math major, I'd probably be rolling in dough somewhere in Silicon Valley right now, but since multiplying numbers and figuring out tangents gives me panic attacks, I went the English route... pays much better.
A month ago, we showed you what I, and many around the web, dubbed the "Nexus Killer". That device is the OnePlus One, a low-priced, high-powered, CyanogenMod-run Android device.
Desktop users have taken advantage of dual-booting operating systems for decades now. If your core system software is lacking in any regard, dual-booting a secondary OS can give you access to those features that you're missing out on.
Music is definitely more immersive when it's accompanied by a bit of visual stimuli, which is why CyanogenMod and other custom ROMs have started integrating music visualizers into elements of the Android system UI. It's a great effect, but it's not necessarily something that's worth replacing your stock firmware over.
Since Android is an open source operating system, that means anyone with a little know-how can download, view, and even alter its underlying code base. Manufacturers do it all the time, which is how we end up with skins like TouchWiz and Sense. But when Android's awesome third-party development community gets their hands on this code, we end up with custom ROMs like LineageOS and MIUI.
Update (February 2019): The methods below will help on older Android versions, but we've recently revisited this topic. So if you have a newer Android phone and you want to get rid of Google, head here.
Android L hasn't made its official release yet, but if you installed the early release using the Windows or fastboot method, you may have noticed some minor inconveniences, like the lack of a battery percentage icon and the absence of a Clear All option in your notification tray.
Third-party ROMs like CyanogenMod are the ultimate form of customization for softModders. Hard-working developers offer us alternate Android experiences to replace our often bloatware-riddled stock ROMs.
That didn't take very long! Yesterday, after a lengthy delay, Google opened up the development kit for their Chromecast HDMI dongle.
Ever since Sense 4, HTC phones have had no access to easy access setting toggles from the notification pane. CyanogenMod and other custom ROMs are an option, but even if your phone isn't rooted, you can still have clean, functional quick settings. Step 1: Install Power Toggles
The great thing about Android's customization is that you can either clutter up your home and lock screen with an infinite amount of awesome features and tweaks—or choose more of a stripped down minimalistic look. If you're someone who leans more towards a minimalistic look, a new mod by XDA member enryea123 will show you how to hide the status bar at the top of the phone, while still retaining its full functionality and ability to swipe it down.
LineageOS, the successor to the wildly popular CyanogenMod custom ROM, is adding an interesting new feature that could potentially save lots of juice when your battery is running low. When enabling "Extreme power saver" mode, which can be set to kick in automatically at 15%, you'll soon have the option of changing your kernel's performance profile as well.
If you're tired of Google tracking you, but love how Chrome works, CyanogenMod has you covered. Their browser is called Gello, which is based off Chromium, Chrome's open-source counterpart. It's basically a souped-up version of Chrome—without all of the intrusive Google stuff. So if you're uncomfortable with Google displaying personalized ads based on your browsing history, or using your location to bring the "Physical Web" to your phone, you won't have to worry about any of that with Gello.
CyanogenMod, the popular custom ROM available for many Android devices, has a nice little feature that displays a music visualizer beneath your on-screen navigation keys while you're listening to your favorite songs. It's a subtle touch, but it makes for a more immersive experience when you're jamming out while using your phone or tablet.
As it stands, Firefox OS isn't a very popular third-party operating system for Android devices, especially when compared to others like CyanogenMod, but Mozilla developer Fabrice Desré is attempting to change that.
Being in a band, I exposed myself to years of extremely high volumes, so I can't hear as well as I once did. I'm not concerned about going deaf or anything, but I tend to have the volume raised to the max, beyond the "high volume" warning, whenever listening to music on my OnePlus One with headphones.
Keeping prying eyes off your device isn't always the easiest thing to do, especially once you lend somebody your phone to make a call. Seems that whenever someone is scrolling through your pictures or checking out your new phone, they always end up somewhere you don't want them be. You could always hover over their shoulder to make sure they're not getting into your texts or photos, but that isn't always possible.
Lock screen apps are a dime a dozen, but every now and then one pops up that defies expectations. We've already covered some good ones for the Samsung Galaxy S4, including Picture Password Lockscreen (which gives you secret unlock gestures), SlideLock (which improves notifications), and TimePIN (which gives you a more clever PIN).
When I'm showing off my HTC One, the first thing I do is unlock my device and say, "OK Google". It may earn me a weird look or two, but in the end people are amazed by the voice recognition and automation of the Google Now Launcher.
These days, our smartphones carry some very sensitive data. From banking app passwords to personal photos, there are many things on your Nexus 5 that you might not want other people to have access to.
It's been a great week for Chromecast owners. First, Google released the development kit, allowing devs to install the casting code into their apps. Then, CyanogenMod dev Koush updated his AllCast app to support the Chromecast. That means you can shoot personal movies, music, and photos directly from your Android device over to a Chromecast-connected display.
We have shown you how to get CyanogenMod on your HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S3 in only a matter of minutes. But when modding your phone by installing custom ROMs, you'll often lose your access to Google Apps. Since Google's Apps are very useful (Gmail, Chrome, and Maps to name a few) most people will prefer to have these apps on their custom ROMs. While you can scour the internet searching for individual .APKs, it's hard to find the correct versions to work with your particular system (and do...
Full screen mode, also called immersive mode, is one of the most popular features on CyanogenMod, but it's almost exclusive to CM and other custom ROMs. What this feature does essentially is remove the Status bar and soft keys from your screen, creating a more mesmeric feel.
If you're new to Android phones, one of the first things you've probably noticed is how notification alerts differs from Apple devices, especially in regards to getting a text message.
In a previous softModder tutorial, we installed CyanogenMod on our HTC Ones to approximate the look and feel of the Google Edition HTC One. Unfortunately, this rendered Beats and HTC's ImageChip (among other things) useless.