CyanogenMod for the Average Amigo

In this article, I will explain what makes CyanogenMod better than stock Android (for me).

What is ‘stock’ Android?

Nexus 4. The back *sparkles*.

Nexus 4. The back *sparkles*.

Stock Android, is ‘Vanilla Android’. This is the most ‘purest’ form of Android, and so does not have any bloatware / additional software added in by phone companies and carriers.

In another words, ‘stock Android’ is Android with only its essential functions (…this is pretty much true).

For your info, Nexus devices (phones and tablets) come with stock Android, whereas most other devices come with Android with bloatware.

Pros of Stock Android

Nexus devices are known to have the most smoothest, lag-free Android experience, known to mankind. This is mostly due to the fact Nexus devices come with stock Android (i.e. no bloatware).

Nexus 5, with stock Android

Nexus 5, with stock Android

CyanogenMod vs. Stock Android

CyanogenMod is stock Android, except that it adds a few features that makes it more useful and ‘special’. From their website:

CyanogenMod is designed to increase performance and reliability over Android-based ROMs released by vendors and carriers such as Google, T-Mobile, Samsung, etc. CyanogenMod also offers a variety of features & enhancements that are not currently found in these versions of Android.

Here are what I have found most useful in CyanogenMod:

1. Significant increase in battery life

I have found that my phone’s battery life can be significantly increased, with CyanogenMod’s Privacy Guard.

I found that ‘Google Play services‘ was among the worst culprit apps that was draining my battery. In fact, with my usage, it was using up more battery than the screen.

Google Play services was doing this, by ‘waking’ up my phone when it wasn’t being used, and keeping it awake to do it’s thang, even when it wouldn’t make a difference.

Introducing Privacy Guard, which prevents apps (such as Google Play services) from waking up your phone, and draining your battery!

To get to Privacy Guard: Settings -> Privacy -> Privacy Guard. Then you can press the top right Menu button (the one with 3 vertical dots), then Advanced, then select the app you want to muzzle.

Denying Google Play services from draining my battery!

Denying Google Play services from draining my batteruh!

2. Left-hand friendly Landscape mode

Does your phone have on-screen navigation buttons (the 3 ‘main’ buttons – back, home and recent apps buttons)? Do you use your phone with your left hand / left handed? 

As for me, I am a lefty when it comes to phones. When I watch videos on it, I rotate my phone to its side, and it goes to landscape mode to maximise the size of the video, while I hold it with my left hand.

To the dismay of millions and trillions of lefties around the globe, stock Android’s on-screen buttons only show on the right side of the screen.

However with CyanogenMod, you can have those navigation buttons on the left side if you wish! Rejoice, left-handed Android users of the world.

On-screen navigation buttons, on the left side! So simple, yet not on stock Android...

On-screen navigation buttons, on the left side! Lefties, rejoice!

To enable on-screen buttons on the left hand side of the screen in landscape mode, Settings -> Interface -> Left handed mode (tick it).

3. Easy disabling of Rotation

There are times when I don’t want my phone to automatically rotate when it’s on its side. Such an example is when I read on my side in bed…

It’s so easy to do a Rotation Lock, with CyanogenMod; the lock comes with the software. Just swipe down to your Quick Settings, and disable Rotation. Done.

Rotation Lock, from a simple swipe down...

Disabling rotation, from a simple swipe down… Too easy. Note: ‘Torch‘ is also accessible here!

4. Super quick access to Quick Settings

Two finger swipe down, from the notification panel (top of screen), to access Quick Settings(as in stock Android)? No way, that’s too hard!

With CyanogenMod, I can access them by swiping down with ONE finger, from either the left or right side of the notificaiton panel.

This is mostly useful when you use your phone with on hand.

To enable this: Settings -> Interface -> Quick Settings panel -> Quick pulldown.

Faster access to your Torch, or whatever... It's here.

Faster access to your Torch, or whatever… Your Quick Settings is there, with the swipe down of ONE finger.

Your life is that much simpler.

5. Media playback control, using the volume keys

It’s simple. Skip song = hold volume up button. Increase volume = press volume up button. And vice versa. Your life is now complete.

To enable, or disable if you are mad: Settings -> Buttons -> Playback control.

In case you didn't see it, 'Playback control', to control your music playback with the Volume keys!

In case you didn’t see it, ‘Playback control’, to control your music playback with the Volume keys!

6. Ease of installation.

Time to close the sale. Jokes, I am simply recommending CyanogenMod due to its advantages that have helped me (mentioned in this article), as well as its ease of installation.

Thankfully, installing CyanogenMod is easy.

If you’ve tried doing this and given up in the past, due to the confusing terminology and steps, I feel you dawg. All that ‘ABD’ ‘Root’ ‘Unlocked’ ‘ROM’ ‘Bootloader’ ‘WTF’??? (Usually followed by, “F*ck this sh*t, I give up”).

I have made the simplest guide for us Average Amigos. We don’t have to know all of those terminology, because… well, who cares? We just want CyanogenMod on our phones, full stop! Also, no confusing coding BS.

See for yourself with my previous post, for a no jargon nonsense, easy step guide for installing CyanogenMod for Average Amigos.

Cyanogenmod. Simple installation, for real, for the Average Amigo.

CyanogenMod. Simple installation, for real, for the Average Amigo.

(The guide will also automatically unlock and root your phone, for further customization. If you didn’t understand what I’ve just said, no problemo, amigo.)


That’s all folks – Why I find CyanogenMod so much better to use, than stock Android! I fully recommend it to anyone, especially to those who want a simpler, smoother and faster experience.

One thought on “CyanogenMod for the Average Amigo

  1. Is CM quicker than stock or bloatware Android on a weaker device? (Samsung Galaxy S3 I8190N for example – though that specific version of S3 doesn’t seem to be included on the CM wiki). What about Paranoid Android – is it any quicker? I know you don’t specifically recommended it over CM but what about speed?

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