Should I modify ("mod") my device?
When making the decision on whether or not to modify the software on your device, several factors come into play. Your Android device is pretty much a full computer (and if it's a phone it has additional mobile functions), so it may help to think of it in the same way as you would consider modifying your laptop or desktop computer from its stock installation.
Common reasons to modify your device's operating system include:
- Remove unwanted programs ("bloatware") installed by your carrier
- Receive more frequent security updates
- Have access to the current version of Android - most carriers take months to update devices on their network to the latest version of Android, if ever. Taking control of your OS allows you to update regularly, when you feel like it's time.
- Better performance
- Extra features
Common concerns include the following:
- Some device manufacturers or mobile providers may offer a limited or voided warranty after modifying
- It is possible that by installing a rooted operating system, you introduce new security risks. For instance, you need to be smart about the permissions you grant applications.
- Non-stock firmware could contain malicious code - which is a good argument for making sure you download custom ROMs from trusted sources, or even better, learn to build it yourself!
- Stability issues may arise when using an experimental operating system. However, for many people, CyanogenMod has proven to be more stable than many official ROMs.
To read more about the pros and cons of rooting and installing custom roms, check out this article from Android Authority. For a good overview of CyanogenMod specifically, check out this article from Addictive Tips.
Why use CyanogenMod?
What's a list of 'why' without some compelling reasons to entice you?
The core ideas are the same throughout our releases:
- Light footprint
This translates into an abundance of features that let you truly own your phone.
Trebuchet: Not only does our custom launcher 'Trebuchet' allow for customizing the layout of the homescreen, it's backed by a comprehensive, built from the ground-up theme engine. With custom theme packs, you can take your customization to a whole new level, altering window styles, icons, fonts, wallpaper, the lock screen, boot animations, and sounds!
Profiles: Our lives are always subject to context - what's appropriate at home may not be at work. So why aren't our devices? With profiles you can control application, sounds and even connectivity to quickly adapt to the environment in which you are using your phone. Go one step further and set up a profile to be location aware, or use NFC to trigger a profile change.
Lockscreen: Add quick unlock targets to access your favorite apps directly from the lockscreen. Use our custom lockscreen widget to increase your productivity. Show the weather and your calendar events without unlocking the device. Optionally display battery status or even your name and ICE information.