In a breakthrough for Android device customisation, the team behind the CyanogenMod ROM has released an installer for their modified software on the Google Play store.
The app, which guides users through the process of downloading and installing the CyanogenMod custom ROM, currently only supports phones and tablets from the Google Nexus line-up, as well as Samsung's Galaxy and HTC's One series.
While it's likely that more devices will be supported in the future, compatibility includes the most popular handsets available, such as the Samsung Galaxy S III and S4. For what it's worth, the custom ROM itself already supports a wide range of handsets.
The installer requires a Windows PC and USB cable, prompting users through every step of the installation process, including downloading a custom ROM, setting up and erasing the phone or tablet to receive it and transferring the customised data from PC to mobile device. It's a long way from a single-click process, but the app can also resume the process if there's a power failure and can restore the device's factory settings if there's an error along the way.
There are also several caveats; the CM guys say that it's best to use a high-quality USB cable that you know can handle data transfers, and your Windows PC has to run Vista or newer. A version of the installer that will guide users through an upgrade via Mac is in the works.
The CyanogenMod installer is the first app released by the team since it secured over US$7 million from investors, with the goal of releasing a ROM that improves features neglected by Google and adding new, secure online services entirely.