CyanogenMod 7 and Why we Need this
CyanogenMod 7 offers features and options not found in the official firmware distributed by mobile device vendors.
The Sense UI used in the HTC EVO 4G had been having difficulties after a year of usage. Some of the problems encountered with the UI include the following:
- It started to slow down and become utterly frustrated even when doing simple tasks like downloading apps.
- It still uses Froyo whereas all other devices are already using Gingerbread – it is already 6 months since Gingerbread has been released.
- The 3G data became very slow at 100 to 200 kbps, so it’s difficult (and again, frustrating) to do things that require you to be online. You don’t become fully disconnected from the network, but the connection is becoming useless because of the slow speed.
- Almost nothing left at the internal space because the app partition stayed the same even as the size of the application grew. Thus, when you need to install a new application, you need to decide which app to uninstall first.
- Aside from the space, the device also started to lack memory.
- There’s a lot of lags in the home screen because Sense keeps on restarting
The degradation was a slow, albeit continuous process, and this is the reason why moving to CyanogenMod seemed to be the best option. HTC EVO 4G was a great, even amazing device, except that it had an outdated operating system that led to its poor performance after a year.
Converting the OS to Gingerbread helps to completely transform the device from a slow, frustrating, useless phone to a fast and very usable phone.
CyanogenMod 7 Magic can do to your phone
- CyanogenMod runs on the new Gingerbread. Compared with Sense which still uses the outdated Froyo, CyanogenMod gives you better performance.
- Using the device on Gingerbread felt like you are using a new phone completely
- Everything becomes noticeably faster, including the start-up time of applications, simultaneously using multiple apps, and navigating the menus.
Better data connection
- The 3G connection is supposed to be more stable because WiMax still has a spotty performance. In reality, it was still a slow mess of a connection. Thankfully, CyanogenMod helped improve this connection problem, helping it to become stable and reliable.
- The speed of data connection is considerably faster
- CyanogenMod notifies you whenever your connection is switched from 3G to 1x.
Built in WiFi tethering
- Gingerbread already has a built-in WiFi tethering in the OS
- The system is secure and works properly
- Some things to improve: It would be great if Gingerbread also has a disconnect timer in cases of long periods of inactivity and a MAC whitelisting.
More space for your apps and whatnots
- CyanogenMod 7 has an automatic support for Apps2SD so that you are automatically given more space to download for your apps and files
- Space no longer becomes a problem because CyanogenMod automatically brings most apps that you install to your SD card (aka your extra storage). For instance, the phone has 50mb remaining in Sense, but in CyanogenMod, the free space became 120mb.
Here is how the feature works:
- CyanogenMod’s explanation for this behavior is that it uses and improves the “native Google method” so that the developer of the application no longer needs to state if the app can be moved to your SD card.
- Users are given the option to force the app to download directly to the SD card
- It is not possible to transfer protected apps
- Some apps cannot run when on SD card because they are not designed to do so. Examples of this are widgets, virtual keyboards, and home replacement apps.
CyanogenMod brings you the latest Android version
- This is a huge plus because you no longer have to wait for the manufacturers to update your system. The reason for this is that CyanogenMod is compiled from Android Open Source Project or AOSP, so the moment an Android update is released, CyanogenMod quickly picks it up.
Built in function largely similar to SetCPU
- CyanogenMod lets you tweak your CPU. You can set the maximum and the minimum CPU clock speed, and you can also change the governor profiles, which include the presets for the battery life, the performance, and the like.
Notification bar has quick controls, lets you know the exact battery percentage, and swipes away the notifications
- A power control widget can be used in CyanogenMod. This can be found at the dropdown of the notification bar
- The quick controls can turn the buttons into a horizontal slider so that the buttons become clickable.
- CyanogenMod 7 allows the user to choose which of the buttons can be seen, and how the buttons are arranged.
- The buttons – and the quick control, in general – works properly. It is a much better alternative to ExtendedControls.
- Another good thing about CyanogenMod is that it lets you see the exact percentage of battery that you have left. Stock ROMs does not let you know this as it still requires you to download a widget just to get that number.
- CyanogenMod allows you to swipe away your notifications even without clicking on it. A downside – and something that can easily be improved with a quick update – is that the “swipe away” is not sensitive, so do not be surprised if you might have to repeatedly swipe away before it finally does your command.
- If you choose to, you can also completely remove the time from the notification bar
- The notification bar has a compact carrier label
- Notification sounds do not rudely interrupt podcasts anymore.
No bloats in the software!
- But alas – CyanogenMod does not have the crapware that is so common on most devices. This is one of the biggest pros that CyanogenMod has over Sense.
- As a result of the cleaner software (aka no bloats), the battery life of a device on CyanogenMod is also slightly better. The experience of battery life differs for every user.
- Again a feature that the Sense ROM does not have – the EVO 4G on CyanogenMod has a second LED found on the right side.
- This LED glows amber and green for notifications.
More tweaks that improved the phone’s performance
- CyanogenMod allows you to revoke permissions on your apps.
- It allows for an 180-degree rotation
- The “Add Widget” menu lets you group widgets based on the application to which they belong. This helps you to clean the menu.
- Similar to Sense, the EVO 4G on CyanogenMod can still specify a time frame the device will not re-engage the pattern lock
- The buttons and some widgets can do miracles:
- Long press the home button to customize the number of recent apps that can be displayed
- Long press the power widget so that the items found in the notification area will go the Settings
- Long press the back button to close the app that is currently open. This feature has to be enabled.
Things that CyanogenMod has to improve on:
No matter how great CyanogenMod 7 is, it still has some limitations that need to be worked on:
- Revoking permissions on some apps that require those permissions might cause the app to crash
- The launcher still keeps on restarting. This is a similar problem with the Sense UI, and it has not improved in CyanogenMod.
- The camera app found in Sense has a very cool feature: it lets you touch and hold the screen to take a photo
- The HTC keyboard found in the Sense UI still seems to be a preferable input method. The typing correction of HTC keyboard is exceptional when we compare it to other types of input.
- Some Sense widgets will definitely be missed, such as the widgets for Weather and Calendar
CyanogenMod 7 brings a fresh and very welcome improvement from the laggy and problematic Sense. It provides a faster performance to the point that using the EVO 4G from the Sense feels like using a brand new phone completely. In spite of the minimal limitations that it has, the CyanogenMod is still a much preferable experience. Go on, try it. Once you do, you would not want to switch back out again.
What can you say about the CyanogenMod 7? Share it in the comments section below!