CyanogenMod 9 Features and Highlights

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CyanogenMod is my favorite custom ROM, I’ve been using it since I had my original Android: a T-Mobile G1. It’s gone through a lot of iterations since then. The most recent of which is almost done: CM9, based on AOSP Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.

How far has the CM team come with version 9? Let’s take a look!

New Mascot

I’d like to introduce you to Cid, CyanogenMod’s new mascott. He’s Cyanogen Blue (cyan, I suppose), and now no longer a chunky little android. Nope, now he’s a teenager — with an attitude.

The boot animation has been changed to reflect the new mascot, but the nightlies I’ve tried haven’t incorporated it just yet.

Lock Screen

The more relevant information you can put on your lock screen, the less you have to search for by turning on (and unlocking) the device. CM9 adds the ability to include your upcoming calendar events and the current weather right on your lock screen.

You can also set up a few apps that you might want to quick-launch (I have Waze, Camera, Barcode Scanner, and SoundHound set as my quick-launch shortcuts).

Trebuchet

Trebuchet is the new launcher that comes with CM9. You can do quite a bit of customization with it, and it’s what I use on my daily driver. We covered the highlights of this awesome launcher in our Launcher Wars series. If you missed it, you can check it out here: Launcher Wars Part 6, Trebuchet.

Themes

We got used to theme support in CM7 and it was painfully missing when the early CM9 releases started to trickle out. Now, in the June Nightlies, we’re starting to see theme support included and a search for “CM9 theme” in the Google Play Store has more than a couple really high-quality themes available for you to download.

System

Want to change the status bar? In this build of CM9 you can hide or show the clock along with displaying the am/pm suffix, change the battery and signal status styles, and change the brightness by swiping (though I still haven’t figured out how that works).

The Notification bar has been given super-powers, too, including the return of the Power Widget (to quickly toggle airplane mode, WiFi, Bluetooth, and whatever else you’d like it to include). Unfortunately, the “Flashlight” setting doesn’t work yet (at least not on the 6/5 Nightly for the GSM Galaxy Nexus, aka Maguro).

From here you can also change the Navigation bar, the three buttons at the bottom of the screen. At last you can have a dedicated, always-there search button! And there was much rejoicing!

Advanced

Under the Display tab you’ll find one of my favorite things: tuning!

I know what you’re thinking, it sounds really lame, and it’s not flashy or wiz-bang, but opening the Color Multipliers Tuning and Color Gamma Tuning and selecting “CM Sett.” makes the tired colors on your phone look marvelous! Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

Profiles

When I’m at work I don’t need my WiFi on (the bubble is limited to “company approved” devices), I don’t need Bluetooth, I don’t need GPS, but I do want my mobile data on, data sync on, and my Portable Wi-FI Hotspot turned on (gotta get the innerwebz on my Android Tablet somehow, right?). I’ve got a “Work” profile that does all that.

When I’m in my car I want WiFi and Portable Hotspot off, and GPS and Bluetooth on. I’ve got a “Car” profile that does that.

When I’m home I want my mobile data, Portable Hotspot, and Bluetooth turned off; and my WiFi turned on. I’ve got a “Home” profile that does that.

When I got to sleep I want to be left alone, so I’ve got a “Night” profile that turns off all alerts and vibration.

Want to switch profiles? Press and hold the power button, tap “Profile” and select whichever one you want then OK. Powerful, easy, and awesome. There’s even something more awesome — but you’ll have to wait to see that in an upcoming video.

Performance

In this section you can do some real damage. No, really. You can cause system instabilities and overclock and do all kinds of cool stuff that can either help your system go faster, make your battery last longer, or even turn your phone into a brick (though that last one is unlikely).

There are a few other additions to the ROM scattered here and there, but that covers the biggies. Did I miss one of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

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About The Author
Joe Levi
Joe graduated from Weber State University with two degrees in Information Systems and Technologies. He has carried mobile devices with him for more than a decade, including Apple's Newton, Microsoft's Handheld and Palm Sized PCs, and is Pocketnow's "Android Guy".By day you'll find Joe coding web pages, tweaking for SEO, and leveraging social media to spread the word. By night you'll probably find him writing technology and "prepping" articles, as well as shooting video.Read more about Joe Levi here.