Soon after its debut,
) mobile OS was championed by modders and tech heads as the more
open alternative to
Sure, many Android devices are still sold with locked bootloaders
preventing an easy and full root access. Yes, carriers still dump
bloatware on their phones and won't necessarily carry certain
flagship devices. (Sorry,
) subscribers; you'll probably never have a Nexus 5.) And, of
course, if no Google Play edition is available,
(OTCMKTS:SSNLF) and HTC phones will sport an annoying TouchWiz or
Sense skin over the stock OS, preventing speedy version updates.
But in the grand scheme of mobile platforms and their tendency to
be closed and unmodifiable, it's pretty much the best we can hope
for. And many users have taken advantage of this somewhat elevated
level of control and customization to change the ROM on which their
devices run -- one of which is the very popular CyanogenMod.
Heavily supported by a team of developers who constantly update and
polish releases both nightly and stable, CyanogenMod has become the
go-to firmware for users who want a ROM as close to stock Android
as possible. Programmers have even been able to perform grand and
charitable feats like putting Android 4.4 KitKat on the outdated,
yet still beloved, Galaxy Nexus.
But the CyanogenMod team has just reached a new milestone for not
only its work but also for the "openness" of the Android platform.
Starting next week, the Oppo N1 phablet will be sold running the
CyanogenMod firmware out of the box.
Breaking the good news on Google+, developer
wrote that Google has approved the build for production, making it
the first Google CTS-certified CyanogenMod phone that can run
Google's app suite legitimately.
The Oppo N1 is a mammoth device with a display just under six
inches and a weight just shy of half a pound. While its build
quality has been commended by critics, the device unfortunately
doesn't support 4G LTE speeds and is only compatible with GSM and
HSPA+ networks. (Looks like you're out of luck again, Verizon
customers.) Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but analysts suspect
the off-contract price will be $599.
Despite the less-than-perfect specs, this release is a huge win for
developers and customers who despise carrier skins and the delays
they cause. An official CyanogenMod phone effectively eschews the
carriers and offers greater control for the end user.
Make no mistake, the hacking community would love to see more
devices of the same ilk supported on their networks.
Especially those on Verizon.
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