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Android Fork Serves Froyo to Older Phones

09.01.2010
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The CyanogenMod project provides a modified version of the Android firmware.  This week the community-built fork released version 6.0, which is based on Android 2.2 "Froyo".  Although CyanogenMod doesn't have Google's custom closed source applications like Gmail, Maps, or YouTube, it does offer several custom community-built ROMs and more importantly, it allows certain Android phone models to have more up-to-date ROMs, extending the capabilities of certain forgotten models.

CyanogenMod started out as a backport of Android 1.6 to T-Mobile's G1 using an instance of Google's gerrit tool for code reviews and patch submission.    Now it has become a thriving project for Droid, NexusOne, HTC Aria, HTC Evo 4G, HTC Aria, Droid Incredible, MyTouch Slide and more.  Support for HTC Hero and Droid Eris are coming soon, and Samsung Galaxy S support is expected for version 6.1.

Version 6 has new enhancements for Ad-hoc WiFi connectivity, OpenVPN support, built-in apps, Bluetooth HID, Incognito browsing, and controls over UI and audio elements.  It also brings Android 2.2 to older models or devices like the Droid Incredible, which hasn't gotten the 2.2 upgrade yet.  This gives the older models features like the new Dalvik JIT compiler and improves CPU code performance.  CyanogenMod 6.0 also brings Froyo's Flash 10.1 support, a much faster browser (with the V8 JS engine integrated), and several new APIs and services.

Here are a couple more interesting additions that CyanogenMod 6 brings:

  • FLAC audio playback support
  • JIT toggle, configurable heapsize, compcache support
  • MMS enhancements
  • Superuser 2.3.3
  • ADWLauncher 1.0.1
  • Custom wallpapers
  • Enhanced accelerometer settings
  • Dual camera support

Installation instructions can be found on the project's wiki.  Extra ROM download links can be found on the forums.  Inexperienced users should not flash their devices with unofficial firmware because it could cause the device to cease functioning.