And what they gave as a new year surprise was to shut down! Yes this is about Cyanogen Inc.™ and CyanogenMod. If you’re not really into modding and tinkering with your device, CyanogenMod was a community driven (and Cyanogen Inc. funded) custom android firmware project with a really huge user base and mammoth of features which you couldn’t find in what Google™ or your device manufacturer provided to you. It was so organized and popular that many of the custom android firmwares are still based upon it. But what came as a bigger surprise was that the community has not given up on the project and will be continuing it under a new name Lineage OS (meaning descendent) which is still under process of rebuilding itself-this is where other custom firmwares pop up. While Lineage OS is still grounding up itself and already available for some devices, let’s look at some other custom firmwares.
Dirty Unicorns by far is the most stable and smooth custom firmware I am aware of and thus easily tops the list. This team makes sure all of their features are in perfect shape before delivering the firmware to the masses. This makes the firmware not only stable and smooth but also battery friendly-which means less of sticking to the wall. This team packs some great features like DUI Smartbar, Pulse, clock customization, status bar mods, and many more. This team supports only 20 devices as of the time of writing this article. Also, with CyanogenMod theme engine (CMTE) gone, this firmware is fully compatible with Substratum theme engine (a new player in town). If you want stock like experience with some extra features, go ahead and hit the download button!
The only reason I am addicted to this firmware is their simplicity and perfection! Very close to stock android and addition of only essential features are the specialities of the firmware. This is personally my favorite firmware out there due to it’s stability and battery performance. Surpassing the screen on time what stock firmwares gives, this firmware also adds a bit of new but essential features to the devices like pie controls, immersive display, CMTE, and many others. Although they release the firmwares and updates a bit slow as compared to others, this gap is filled when they actually release one-with almost zero bugs this firmware rarely requires an update! If you’re the one looking for stock android experience, wait no more and head to their website.
It’s not wrong to call them the king of ROMs with gargantuan amount of features and ample of customizations all whilst providing a stable and smooth experience! Started in 2012, the ROM is based upon Lineage OS and contains hand picked features from other custom ROMs and also bake some on their own. While CyanogenMod was alive, they used CMTE to let users theme their phone to whatever they like but since CyanogenMod along with CMTE is dead, the ROM is currently providing legacy support for Substratum theme engine. The most amazing thing about the ROM is they support almost all popular devices and even outdated ones. If you happen to be not finding your build, just head over to XDA or DevsBase for an unofficial build. The best feature of this ROM according to me is Blur personalization which just like iPhones, gives you the option to blur the background then interacting with the status bar or system popups. The ROM, unlike others, is frequently updated and patched for bugfixes. If you need an ultimate firmware with all popular features from other firmwares flash this on your device!
Nitrogen OS was one of the very AOSP based ROMs bringing android nougat to unsupported devices like the Nexus 5 and Nexus 4. Since then it has not only evolved to be stable and smooth but also added some handful of features which are really necessary in day-to-day life. The developers are constantly updating the firmware to be on par with AOSP status whilst supporting only handful of devices out there. The general features included in the ROM are lockscreen customization, buttons customizations and many others. Flash the ROM with a custom kernel and you’ll be blown by it’s performance and battery life! If you need a decent ROM to start with, go to their webpage!
Other fantastic ROMs
Update: Lineage OS is already released for some devices and the devs are adding more devices as the time goes by. A total of 80+ devices are planned to be supported.