The CyanogenMod Team has always had a special place in the hearts of modders around the world, since it was one of the most widely sought after ROM builds that was not only on par with, but also out-performed the factory-fitted OSs that arrived on most smartphones.
Well, it seems like the team has now reached the end of the road, all thanks to the looming management troubles that had been plaguing the founder of the company over the past few months. This has resulted in the complete shut-down of operations due to lack of any more support.
Even their nightly builds on their forum will cease to exist and will be discontinued as of December 31. Phones such as the OnePlus One thrive on the Cyanogen ecosystem. So that leaves owners of the phones with just one option – to flash a custom recovery and enter the world of custom ROMs. The process is a little tricky, and since it’s not a commercial product, users will have to go about altering their phone’s orientations a bit. Here’s how to go about doing it.
Unlock the bootloader
OnePlus has been kind enough to make it easier to unlock the bootloader for their devices by simply adding that option in the settings under Developer Options. While there, USB Debugging also needs to be checked in order to allow for proper communication with the PC. All it’ll take in some Command Prompting after switching the phone to Fastboot mode (holding the volume up +- power buttons). After typing in ‘fastbootoem unlock,’ the process should take care of itself and the phone should reboot.
Install the custom recovery
The recovery is where all the flashing will happen. This is so ROMs can be installed through this. TWRP is one of the more popular universal recoveries so users should go ahead and Google installing TWRP for their respective phones. It’ll involve using Command Prompt again as in the previous step. With the custom recovery active on the phone, the phone is officially flashable and also unlocked.
SuperUser basically allows users to have full control over Android’s API so that installing custom ROMs and changing backend files in the system isn’t hindered. Changing system file settings is otherwise not permitted on official ROMs. Again, the process for install SuperUser can again be done through Command Prompt.
Flashing the ROM
Now comes the best part – flashing the custom ROM. Ideally, the XDA forums have a number of official and unofficial releases that should spoil users silly. Users can choose between PAC Man ROMs, Paranoid Android or other Remix build ROMs that are more prominent around the spectrum. Each ROM has its own procedure for installation. So if users are going to be installing one, they should know exactly what they’re trying to do. The most common methods include moving the ROM file to the phone storage and flashing it through the custom recovery along with doing a Data Wipe and Cache wipe. Some ROMs come with Google apps, else they’ll have to be flashed separately as well.
And voila, the custom ROM experience comes to life. Granted, it’s not exactly a very easy way of going about doing things, so those who aren’t specifically tech savvy or don’t want to get their hands dirty will want to avoid this process entirely. But OnePlus should come up with a way to minimize backlash of its first ever model so that users don’t suffer. They could perhaps provide a way to install Oxygen OS for their users and bring them on par with the rest of the OnePlus line-up, making it easier for everyone.
The CyanodenMod had tied with OnePlus earlier but the deal turned sour. They had also tied up with Yu, the Micromax subsidiary as well as Lenovo for their Zuk line-up. But it turns out that none of these tie-ups really made the OS more popular as it turns out.
It was fun while it lasted. Let’s hope Lineage OS, which is supposed to be a spin-off created by now CyanogenMod members, fares better.